The Most Forgotten Coupe from the 90's #blogpost
No, I’m not talking about the Mitsubishi FTO, Toyota Sera or any other japanese sports cars that many people claim are “forgotten” from the 90’s performance coupe craze.
This time this blog is about a true underated car, specially from the era where japense dominated the market. I’m talking about the Hyundai Scoupe and yes I know that many people don’t even know about the existence of this car probably because at that time Hyundai wasn’t as relevant as it is today and to be honest the Scoupe wasn’t a real threat to the japanese sports cars. Still this is a very interesting car.
The Scoupe was a first-timer for Korean car industry in many aspects.
Back in 1990 in Korea the streets were full of dull transportation so the time for a car with “style” arrived. Hyundai announced the production of Korea’s first sports car. Koreans were crazy about the idea of a domestic sports car being launched.
Korea’s First Two-Door Coupe
This project was developed under the codename “SLC (Sports Looking Car)”, as the name suggests the Scoupe was never intended to be a high performance vehicle. The objective was to offer a car that was dessirable to own, not only as transportation.
Hyundai named the Scoupe “Korea’s first sports car”.
Korea’s First Gasoline Turbocharged Car
As I said at the begining this car was a first timer for Korea. The engine offer for this car was a Mitsubishi 1.5 liter MPI producing 97ps and and a top speed of 174 km/h but Hyundai were not happy with the performance of this engine so they decided to axed it.
In 1991 Hyundai introduced their first independently developed engine, a 1.5 liter SOHC “alpha” engine producing 102 ps and a top speed of 180km/h.
However the korean automaker still wasn’t happy with the numbers of their first sports car so they added a Garrett Automotive Products’ T15 turbocharger to their “alpha 1.5 engine” in order to elevate power to 129 ps and 18.3 kg.m torque.
Now the Scoupe’s engine line up was completed and the first Korean car to use the gasoline turbocharger engine, to reach 0-100 km/h acceleration within a time of 9 seconds and to reach a top speed of 200 km/h (205 km/h) was created.
I’d like to describe Scoupe’s performance stats as “respectable” for that time. The most powerfull Scoupe was the GT (LS Turbo in the USA) with 115hp it wasn’t the fastest car on the planet, however the suspension on this car was tuned by Lotus Engineering and it only weighed 987 kg (2,176 lb) so it’s not that bad after all.
Thanks to its lightweight body and multiple options from its 1.5l turbo engine car guys in Korea took the Scoupe to the race tracks, soon that car became an icon for local motorsports .
Hyundai also entered the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1992 with Rod Millen behind the wheel of a Scoupe. They were victorious in the 2WD manufactured class.
The Scoupe is not a game changer for the automotive world, but it revolutionized the car industry and the car culture in Korea. Back in 1989 Hyundai developed this car and its very first engine without much knowledge and experience; that’s just 28 years ago and look how much they’ve moved forward from that and the Scoupe was the begining of it.
I did my research and collected data from these websites: