The result is distinctive and (from the side at least) unmistakably Hyundai Coupe, but there is heated debate in the office as to whether the auto-surgeons have created another natural beauty or a genetically modified monstrosity.
Only the end-of-year sales figures will tell, if it is possible to make any sense out of a market mangled by the New Cars Pricing fiasco, whether the new range is going down better with user-choosers than its predecessor. The signs are encouraging, because since the new Coupe's launch in February, more than 2,400 have been registered (900-plus in the fleet and business sectors), which is on target to match last year's 4,860 total, itself about 20% of the company's all-in UK sales.
Cosmetics like the sculpted bonnet, chunky air dam, bigger rear spoiler and new five-spoke alloys are key to an upward sales curve, because there's little else new except extra soundproofing and vibration damping, a smoother gearchange, an improved driver's airbag and air-conditioning CFCs have been replaced with an ozone-friendly refrigerant.
The engines might sit on nice new mounts, but they're the same four-cylinder Beta units as before - 1.6- and 2.0-litre 16-valve petrol, producing 111bhp and 137bhp respectively. The smaller engines have the option of i or SE trim, the larger SE only, but either can be specified with automatic transmission for another ú799.
Prices are up marginally. At the end of its run the previous Hyundai Coupe, excluding the F2 specials, cost from ú13,671 to ú17,875.75 on-the road. The start and finish points for the new version are ú13,999 for a 1.6i and ú18,198 for the 2.0 SE with four-speed auto.
When the full Vauxhall Astra Coupe range is on sale (the 1.8 and the 2.2 have just been launched, 2.0 Turbo is due late autumn) prices will run from ú16,150 to ú19,995. Renault's Megane fastback has 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol engines and covers the ú12,850 - ú17,400 bracket. The subject of this report is the Hyundai Coupe 2.0 SE with manual transmission. This costs ú17,399 on-the-road and has a P11D value of ú17,219.