At this point, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is the closest thing to a sports car Hyundai has in its lineup. But all that could change soon after Michel Nandan, Hyundai’s team principal for its WRC team, recently told Drive that Hyundai will be launching a performance sub-brand soon.
The company appears to be using its return to the World Rally Championship as the stepping stone to promote the new performance sub-brand with the initial focus set for the European market where the rally series holds almost all of its races.
The launch isn’t expected to come anytime soon, though. Plans call for the company to launch the brand sometime in the next year with the initial offering expected to be a performance version of the i20 subcompact. We’re not exactly sure how that’s going to translate but if it can be anywhere close to what a car like the Chevrolet Sonic RS is offering, then you can look at the performance i20 having a real shot to be a successful introduction model for Hyundai’s still-unnamed performance sub-brand.
We can also at least expect more performance-oriented versions of the Veloster and the Genesis Coupe with the possibility of all-new models being part of the lineup. Whatever the case may be, Hyundai is dead serious about launching this performance sub-brand and if we’re looking for indication as to what we can expect, we’ll have to see its WRC performance next season.
Click past the jump to read about the Hyundai i20 WRC Race Car
Gallery Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Hyundai’s taken a long time developing the new i20 WRC in preparation for its debut at the 2014 WRC season. But if the brand lives up to the hype, you can point to all development the Korean automaker put in to make the car run as smoothly and as competitively as it does. The i20 WRC has since undergone numerous updates to the aerodynamics, thanks to the addition of a new rear wing and front spoiler while also receiving updates to the chassis and suspension to improve cooling, enhance suspension kinematics and chassis stiffness.
The model also received a redesigned livery that combines Hyundai’s corporate blue with innovative characters from the native Korean script, Hunminjeongeum.
The model will soon begin a more intensive test program at various locations in Europe and depending on the results, the car will be updated to be ready for the 2014 racing season.