Hyundai wheeled out what it promised would be 'the most affordable 300bhp sports coupe on the planet' at the New York show - but was reluctant to say whether it will be offered outside America.

The Genesis coupe is a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive car that is due to go into production in 2009.

However, hen asked whether the car had been engineered for right- as well as left-hand drive, company officials were unable or unwilling to answer.

They also would not be drawn on whether European as well as American crash-test regulations had been considered in its development.

All they would say is that it was designed to 'appeal to performance enthusiasts' and that the range-topping version would be powered by a 3.8-litre 306bhp V6.

Of more interest to UK buyers, though, would be the 212bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine that will also go into the car.

The Genesis is said to be 24% stiffer than a BMW M3 coupe and have a limited-slip differential to aid handling.

Big Brembo brakes and the option of six-speed manual or paddle-shift semi-automatic gearboxes will be available.

What has been confirmed for Europe is a replacement for the current front-wheel-drive Hyundai Coupe, based on the Velostar concept shown at the Los Angeles show last November.