The Hyundai S Coupe (pronounced as scoop) is a 2-door coupé, classed as a sports car. It is called the S Coupé in the UK, while in some places it is called Scoupe. Hyundai began producing it in 1988 and used a Mitsubishi-sourced engine to power it. It was succeeded in 1996 by the Hyundai Tiburon (aka Hyundai Coupe).
The S Coupe is an Excel-based car. It is, in fact, often referred to as the coupe variant of the Hyundai Excel. Like the Excel, it has a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. It used the same engine that the second-generation Excel used, which was a 1.5-litre (1,468cc) 4-cylinder multipoint injection petrol engine with a peak power output of 62 kW and torque of 120 Nm. Either 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed gearbox transmits this power to the drive wheels.
The Australian-spec S Coupe sole model was released with central locking, power mirrors, power steering, power windows, and radio cassette with four speakers as standard equipment.
It had independent front and rear suspensions. MacPherson strut with coil springs/anti-roll bar served the front, while the rear had trailing arms with coil springs/anti-roll bar.
The following year (1991), a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre Alpha engine offered more power at 68 kW and 132 Nm than the earlier model. More trims were available, too, the GLS, LS, and Turbo. The base trim included similar equipment from the first release but added a rear spoiler.
A turbocharged 1.5-litre Alpha engine had the power and torque upped at 84 kW and 168 Nm and featured alloy wheels and front fog lights. The Turbo variant is exclusively available with a 5-speed manual gearbox. It could do a 0-100 km/h in 9.2s per road testing conducted in Australia.
The S Coupe Turbo was the first production vehicle to use the T15 turbocharger produced by Garrett Automotive Products. This model was Hyundai’s maiden attempt at a sports car. It used a firmer strut valve than those fitted on the GLS and LS trims.
Unlike other sporty models, the S Coupe’s equipment could be considered spartan. It helped lower the cost for the budget-conscious sports enthusiasts. Its successor, the Hyundai Couple, should satisfy those looking beyond the bare necessities. It has cooler features, with an understandably higher price tag, too.
Overall, the S Coupe would be perfect for young, adventurous drivers who don't need too many features or interior space. This 2-door, 4-seat sporty version of the Excel is affordable, fun to drive, light and zippy. In one of the episodes of BBC's Top Gear Series, it featured this fun and inexpensive car as the most suitable model for a 17-year-old driver.
Maintaining sports cars is part of the fun and the learning process of owning one. If you’re tinkering with an old S Coupe and need car parts to repair it, you may send us a parts request message or browse our website’s classifieds.