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Can a sports car be fun to drive, big enough to seat four adults and still return better than 40 mpg fuel economy on the highway? The answer is yes if we’re talking about Hyundai’s upcoming replacement for the Tiburon sports coupe.

That’s the bold claim of Hyundai exec John Krafcik, who has revealed to Autoblog that his company’s new sports coupe, a car based on 2007's Veloster concept (pictured), will do all that and be more efficient than the new 2011 Honda CR-Z Hybrid, which the EPA rates at 36 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

We’re talking economy car mileage here but the Hyundai sports coupe will have even more advantages. Since it will rely on a conventional four-cylinder engine, it should be significantly cheaper than Honda’s gasoline-electric CR-Z. The lower cost means Hyundai will be able to stuff it with goodies such as a large LCD screen interface and a number of connectivity options.

The announcement of the new sports coupe also ends speculation that the Hyundai Tiburon was being scrapped in favor of the current Genesis Coupe. Instead the two models will be going after different market segments, with the Tiburon replacement to be positioned below the last model. Krafcik has previously explained that the new model will have a lower price point, kind of eco sport positioning, where it is not going to be all about performance.

You can see spy shots of a prototype over at MotorAuthority.com, which reveal that styling for the new model will be very similar to the Veloster concept car.

No U.S. release date or model name has been announced, although Veloster and Tiburon are making the rounds, but we should know more details closer to the car’s world debut at the 2010 Paris Auto Show this October.

source: motorauthority

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