Junkyard Gem: 1993 Hyundai Scoupe

Junkyard Gem: 1993 Hyundai Scoupe


Hyundai was incomes an enormous title for itself in North America when the Nineties dawned, first with the 1983 Pony (in Canada solely) after which with the spectacularly low-cost Excel starting in 1986. The Sonata debuted right here as a 1989 mannequin, luring some consumers away from the dearer Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Two years later, Hyundai introduced over a sporty coupe based mostly on the Excel: the Scoupe. Almost each instance of the Scoupe has disappeared from American roads and automotive graveyards by now, however I managed to search out this ’93 in Colorado not too long ago.

In the USA and Canada (in addition to in its South Korean homeland), this automotive’s mannequin title was pronounced “scoop,” whereas in Europe it was marketed because the “ess-coo-PAY.”

The Scoupe was obtainable right here from the 1991 by means of 1995 mannequin years. It was low-cost, with the bottom mannequin itemizing at simply $9,069 for 1993 (about $19,528 in 2023 {dollars}). This automotive has the extra luxurious LS trim degree, so its MSRP would have been $10,199 ($21,961 after inflation). The new-rod Scoupe Turbo for ’93 had a price ticket beginning at $10,999 ($23,638 in at present’s cash).

These have been robust costs to beat for a slick-looking notchback coupe on the time. Your pleasant Chevy supplier had the 1993 Cavalier coupe at $9,520 for the RS and $12,500 for the Z24. The most affordable model of the 1993 Honda Prelude was properly out the potential Scoupe purchaser’s worth vary, at $17,000, and even the lowly 1993 Civic coupe began at $10,350.

Toyota had the Tercel-derived Paseo coupe for $11,498, which was a superb deal when it comes to construct high quality however actually not for driving enjoyment. Isuzu was then in its ultimate mannequin 12 months of promoting non-truck fashions in the USA, and the Impulse coupe had an MSRP of $12,499 to go together with its Lotus-tuned suspension. Nissan? Yokohama’s least expensive notchback coupe over right here for 1993 was the 240SX, beginning at $14,755; an incredible deal for a rear-wheel-drive sports activities coupe however far out of attain for many potential Scoupe consumers.

The Ford Escort was hatchback- and wagon-only, however essentially the most inexpensive 1993 Mustang notchback (then in its ultimate 12 months on the Fox platform) had a sticker worth of a mere $10,719 with 2.3-liter “Pinto” engine. Pontiac had the bottom Sunbird Coupe for $9,382 and the Grand Am coupe at $12,524. The Plymouth Sundance and Sundance Duster two-doors have been hatchbacks however regarded notchbacky, and had sticker costs of $8,397 and $10,498, respectively. The Scoupe got here with a bunch of normal options that have been extra-cost choices on the competitors, too, which made it much more tempting to consumers.

The upshot is that it proved practically inconceivable to beat the Scoupe on worth alone (the poverty-spec Sundance and its Dodge Shadow twin simply barely managed the feat). By 1993, although, the abysmal construct high quality of the Excel was well-known and scaring off many potential Hyundai customers, in order that notion sat on the opposite facet of the size for automotive customers on the time. The Scoupe offered poorly right here and disappeared with out leaving a lot hint.

Below the Scoupe’s hood lived this Mitsubishi-based 1.5-liter SOHC straight-four engine, rated at 91 horsepower and 97 pound-feet. That was higher than the 81 horses within the Scoupe’s Excel cousin, however not so good as the mighty 115 hp within the Scoupe Turbo. Even the pokey Toyota Paseo managed to get into triple-digit horsepower for 1993, so we will assume that the entire Scoupe’s doubtless opponents (apart from, maybe, the bottom Sundance/Shadow and its 93-horsepower 2.2) would have eaten it up in a drag race.

The Scoupe’s base transmission was a five-speed handbook, and that is what this automotive has. The Excel for 1993 nonetheless had a four-on-the-floor handbook as commonplace gear.

The Scoupe LS got here with an AM/FM/cassette radio as commonplace gear, which was spectacular for the value on the time. This automotive has air-con, which added $810 to the value ($1,744 in at present’s {dollars}).

The design and meeting high quality in Hyundais improved dramatically because the Nineties went on, making the South Korean upstart an intimidating participant in the USA market by the daybreak of our present century. This automotive is an Excel beneath the pores and skin, although, and meaning its life expectancy was restricted. Reaching age 30 was an actual accomplishment for at present’s Junkyard Gem, however the ultimate mile tally did not even hit 75,000.

Nonetheless, the explanation we name even the poorly-built vehicles on this sequence Gems is that they are helpful to us within the historic sense. Hyundai established a near-instant toehold right here on worth alone after which proceeded to enhance their autos — and, simply as necessary, the American car-buying public’s notion of their autos — extra rapidly than another producer within the fashionable period ever has. May you think about another universe through which Malcolm Bricklin and his Yugo pulled off that feat?

Handles with precision, accelerates with authority and stops with assurance … however then, what’s to cease?

Sure, Hyundai!

The younger artist in South Korea feels uninspired, however then she will get into her Scoupe (inexplicably fitted with California license plates) and turns into extremely glamorous in a heartbeat.

The finest South Korean-market automotive commercials of this period had narrators with macho deliveries, and this one would not disappoint in that division.


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