Hyundai Elantra Mid-Engine Redesign Doesn’t Look Half Bad, Do You Dig It?

Hyundai Elantra mid-engine coupe rendering by The Sketch Monkey 10 photos
Photo: The Sketch Monkey / edited by autoevolution
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Better known as The Sketch Monkey, pixel artist Marouane Bembli dared take the Hyundai Elantra where no series-production Elantra has ever been. A midship coupe with oversized wheels and extra aerodynamic trickery over the compact sedan produced by the South Korean automaker, this rendering features rather small rear side windows and a somewhat unfinished rear end.
It's a promising design study nevertheless, a Photoshop’d sports car that harks back to Hyundai’s long-running RM series of midship concepts. We’ve been waiting for a series-production RM ever since the RM14 premiered in 2014 at the Busan Motor Show, based on the Veloster.

The latest evolution of the RM is blessed with an electric motor instead of a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, with said electric drive unit producing a mammoth 596 kW (799 horsepower) and 960 Nm (708 pound-feet). It hits 100 kilometers per hour in less than 3 seconds, while zero to 200 kph (124 mph) takes merely 9.88 seconds.

There’s no case to be made for a mid-engine coupe, though, let alone a midship electric coupe. In addition to the family-sized Ioniq 7 crossover, the Seoul-based automaker is currently focused on advancing its BEV lineup with sportsters like the Ioniq 5 N and Ioniq 6 N.

The midship rear-drive configuration isn’t the most practical out there, and practicality is high up in every customer’s list of priorities in a sporty vehicle. Hyundai also learned two hard lessons in the form of poor sales for the Tiburon (a.k.a. Coupe) and Genesis Coupe, which sold poorly in South Korea and the U.S. of A. as well.

Electrified performance based on existing models is the name of the game for Hyundai going forward. That doesn’t mean the internal combustion crowd will be left out by the zero-emission onslaught, with Hyundai catering to them with the likes of the Elantra N and Kona N in the United States and i30 N in the Old Continent.

Ignoring the ever-stringent emissions and fuel economy regulations that force automakers to invest billions over billions of dollars into battery-electric vehicles, Hyundai cannot afford to dilly-dally as legacy automakers try their best to catch up to Tesla. Hyundai currently finds itself in a rather good position, namely third place in terms of BEV market share in the U.S.

The South Korean brand and sister company Kia enjoy a market share of 7.1 percent, with Ford ranked second with 7.6 percent and Tesla finishing 2022 with 65 percent under its belt.

To this effect, no fewer than 17 all-electric vehicles will be introduced under the Hyundai and Genesis brands by 2030. Six of them will be released by Genesis, the luxury-oriented brand born from the ashes of the Hyundai Genesis four-door sedan and Genesis Coupe.

The South Korean automaker targets 7 percent of the global EV market by 2030, namely 1.87 million all-electric vehicles, according to estimates. Come 2025, all newly launched Genesis vehicles will be electrified.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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