- Hyundai

Here's Why the Hyundai Scoupe is the Coolest Forgotten Car of the 90s

It's a cool car, I swear!

21w ago

A lot of cars have been lost to history. Either they were just too boring, too mainstream, or just too mundane. For a lot of these cars, it's justifiable. Like the Chevrolet Corsica. When was the last time you heard about a Corsica, let alone seen one of the things?

But, for the Hyundai Scoupe, it's different. The Scoupe was a quirky little economy sport coupe sold by (you guessed it, Hyundai!) from 1988 to 1995. The name comes from a combo of the words sporty and coupe, and it just makes it so much better to me to imagine those Hyundai people sitting and brainstorming the name for their new sporty coupe. Aha! I've got it! The Scoupe!

An old advertisement for the Scoupe

An old advertisement for the Scoupe

The Scoupe was a quirky little thing. It was supposed to be a sporty coupe, but it was based on the Hyundai Excel, an 81 horsepower, dreary, econobox sedan. The Scoupe maintained that dreary 81 horsepower, 1.5L Mitsubishi I4, but the 1993 and above models had an in house designed 115 horsepower engine for some extra oomph in your driving wedge.

Now, you might be thinking... that sounds like a horrible car. It deserves to be forgotten. Don't make that judgement just yet, there's so much more character that the Scoupe has.

The first bit of character that the Scoupe has is the optional 5-speed manual transmission. You can really feel connected to that 81 or 115 blistering horsepower.

But wait, there's more. Hyundai really tried to pull out all the stops with this one. They knew that the boring suspension on the mundane Excel sedan wouldn't be fantastic for this supposedly sporty coupe, so they went over to Lotus to ask for some help. Yes, Lotus. And Lotus agreed. Lotus and Hyundai collaborated on a car. It's crazy to think about.

So, in conclusion, we have a car that's supposed to be sporty, but based on a normal, everyday sedan with a 5-speed and Lotus tuned suspension. Sure, the CRX is a better car, and was only about a thousand dollars more expensive at the time, but what's the fun in having a car that's legendary within the JDM community and can't be acquired for a few hundred bucks and a McChicken?

And if you're STILL not convinced on the greatness of the Scoupe, watch this amazing Motorweek Retro Review from when the Scoupe was still new. It's an entertaining six minutes.

I would say you should go out and find one, but at the time of writing this, I could not find a single one for sale. Sad times for the avid Scoupe enthusiasts.

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Comments (10)

  • We need a South Korean car tribe.

      4 months ago
  • It seems like one of those honest cars. Doesn't offer a lot, but it tries its best. And I appreciate that in a car.

      4 months ago
  • Wasn't there a Scoupe Turbo in 1991, making 129hp and reach a top speed of 205km/h? I also know that Scoupe turbos were very vulnerable to overheating as they didn't have intercoolers, lol.

    Nevertheless, I liked Hyundai Scoupes, along with every single early to mid 90s Hyundai cars.

      4 months ago
  • Never heard of this car, but it seems like quite a nice little thing. Great article, by the way - thoroughly enjoyed!

      4 months ago
  • Hyundai come a long way from back in the day, when they use Mitsubishi engines in some of their models. and look at them now.

      4 months ago