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SLK Style For Half The Price
Not content with copying the style of a Ferrari, Hyundai has now borrowed the folding hard-top from a Mercedes SLK! The firm is to reveal this head-turning convertible version of its Coupé at the Frankfurt Motor Show early next month, and it's set to go on sale within the next two years - at half the price of its Mercedes rival.

Although the model, which will be Hyundai's first-ever convertible, is officially still dubbed a concept, it is already signed off for production and set to be launched in mid-2004.

As with the successful tin-top version, most of the Coupé Cabrios are expected to find homes in the US, but Britain is the biggest market for convertibles in Europe and it's expected to be extremely popular here as well. A soft-top concept of the previous gen- eration Coupé was shown at a Korean motor show in 1997, but was never intended for production. The company promised it would create a convertible version of the new car instead, and has kept its word.

Hyundai had intended to use a conventional fabric roof, but the increasing number of rivals using retractable hard- tops forced a rethink. Although the styling is the work of Hyundai's California Design Studio, the engineering of the complex roof mechanism was entrusted to German expert Karmann, which created the SLK's revolutionary roof and has just begun production of Renault's new Mégane CC.

The mechanism works in a similar way to those of the Mercedes and Renault, both of which use a hinge above the rear window and a complex mechanism which opens the boot backwards to swallow the folded top. Unlike the Renault version, though, the Hyundai's conversion has robbed the Coupé of its rear seats. There is however a surprisingly large boot, even with the roof stowed. Extra strengthening in the sills and bulkheads has made the whole body structure stiff enough to cope with the loss of roof, while reinforced pillars in the windscreen support the car in the event of a roll-over. The Frankfurt show car uses a range-topping 2.7-litre V6 with standard six-speed manual or five-speed auto transmission.

Engine choices in the eventual production models will closely resemble those of the Coupé. The entry model will feature a 103bhp 1.6 taken from the Elantra, while mid-rangers will use the standard Coupé's 136bhp 2.0-litre unit with manual or auto transmission.

The drop-top's launch will coincide with a minor mid-life facelift for the entire Coupé range, which includes changes to the interior trim and redesigned lights. A new, direct-injection petrol engine, called TCI, is also due.

As with the rest of Hyundai's line-up, the Coupé Cabrio's main attraction will be the price. The 1.6-litre variant is expected to cost around £16,000, which is less than the 2.0-litre version of the smaller Peugeot 206 CC and half the cost of a Mercedes SLK 320. A top-level 2.7-litre V6 Coupé Cabrio is likely to be around £20,000
I STILL wouldn't buy that car
 

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Not Special Enough
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drop it 2 inches and I'll buy it!
 

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turn it into a real SLK and ill buy it
my sisters friend has a tib' GT and my auto focus almost kept up with it! it doesnt even look like the tiburon would look good as a convertible
 

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"Lets make a heavy car even heavier! And while were at it, lets take away all the trunk space!"
girls will be all over this. I predict the next must have daddy buy me now car.
 

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the only thing I dont like, besides the pucilanimous power, is the "elantra" front. I they would restyle that, I think it would be real slick. I cant help it, Im a fan of the Tiburon.
 

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turn it into a real SLK and ill buy it
my sisters friend has a tib' GT and my auto focus almost kept up with it! it doesnt even look like the tiburon would look good as a convertible
Yeah, I could keep up with my friend's before he crashed it...hehe
 

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pucilanimous
I was doing good reading this whole post until I came to this word...and now I have a migraine!!! WTF does that mean??

I cant even pronounce it...oh my brain!!
 

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P'youcil-ani-mous

p'yousyl-animus

and for the record, the correct record is

pusillanimous

It means very small. not strong of resolution or character

Mod edit..

The pic is not necessary.
 

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I give Hyundai props. Most of us here are old enough to remember the Excel that they first brought to U.S. None of us could of thought that they would come this far. Give them another 20 years and Honda and Toyota will be asking how Hyundai sales are greater than either one of those.

Sure there vehicles are one generation behind other asian company vehicles, but for most outside of enthusiasts, there's nothing wrong with that. They're making money off of what others spent a lot to design and test.

I've been pretty impressed with the Elantra GT, Sonota, Santa Fe, and even the Tiburon (although I don't see any of those as "driver's cars"). I think this convertible looks a lot better than the sunfire/caviler or even the sebring/solara and those are what it will compete against, not the miata/mr2.
 

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I give Hyundai props. Most of us here are old enough to remember the Excel that they first brought to U.S. None of us could of thought that they would come this far. Give them another 20 years and Honda and Toyota will be asking how Hyundai sales are greater than either one of thiers.

Sure, Hyundai vehicles are one generation behind other asian company vehicles, but for most outside of enthusiasts, there's nothing wrong with that. They're making money off of what others spent a lot to design and test.

I've been pretty impressed with the Elantra GT, Sonota, Santa Fe, and even the Tiburon (although I don't see any of those as "driver's cars"). I think this convertible looks a lot better than the sunfire/caviler or even the sebring/solara and those are what it will compete against, not the miata/mr2.
 

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You guys are all insane... the front of the car does NOT have anything similar the the elantra, the gills on the side are to remind you that Tiburon means shark...and as far as you keeping up with a V6 in your slowmatic...I'd like to see it. I have a stick Zx3 with some fun mods, a friend at work as one of these in the 6 speed so of course we're gonna try it
All I have to say is he must not have been trying with you...I like the cabrio I give it
I'd get one (yes I'd have to lower it & put some rims on it first thing though, then go for that sick wide body kit)
 
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