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The Hyundai Scoupe Was Hyundai's First Attempt at a Sporty Car

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2016

What you see above is a Hyundai Scoupe. If you've never seen a Hyundai Scoupe before, don't be alarmed -- most people have never seen a Hyundai Scoupe before. And if they have seen one, they've probably forgotten about it.

But the Hyundai Scoupe was an interesting vehicle for a lot of reasons, starting with its name. A combination of "S" and "Coupe," the car was marketed as the Scoupe (pronounced like "scoop") in the United States and the S Coupe (pronounced "S-Coupe") in the U.K. Presumably, this was done after years of market research where Hyundai decided Americans prefer to finish things up in as many syllables as possible.

Next, we'll move on to the Scoupe itself. Sold in the U.S. from 1991 to 1995, the Scoupe was Hyundai's first "sporty" vehicle. I put sporty in quotes, because the Scoupe was only sporty if your previous vehicle was a full-size pickup truck, a tiny economy car or perhaps a decommissioned prison bus.

Here's why: In 1991 and 1992, the Scoupe offered only one engine, an 81-horsepower 1.5-liter 4-cylinder. In 1993, the Scoupe saw a monstrous power gain, to the point where Hyundai was able to extract an impressive 92 hp from the same engine. And while this may not sound like much, don't count out the Scoupe just yet. The 1992 model year saw the addition of a turbo version, which put out a total of 115 hp. The turbo version was manual-only, sort of like another 1992 turbo sports car, the Ferrari F40.

Unlike the F40, however, the Scoupe has faded from our collective memory. It was soon replaced by the Tiburon, which is kind of sporty, and then the Genesis Coupe, which is certainly sporty. As for the Scoupe, this article is probably the only reminder of one you've had in years. Now, you are free to forget about it again.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Hyundai Scoupe Was Hyundai's First Attempt at a Sporty Car - Autotrader