A Budget Priced Enthusiast’s Car
When I heard that the Hyundai Genesis coupe was coming, I wasn’t expecting anything sporty. After all, the Genesis sedan is a luxury car, and I thought the coupe would be a boulevard cruiser. Boy, was I wrong. The Genesis coupe shares very little with the sedan, besides its name, and is geared for the enthusiast on a budget. It features a standard turbocharged engine, rear-wheel drive and swoopy styling. You have to wonder why Hyundai used the same name for two very different cars.
The Genesis coupe has that boy-racer look that turns a lot of heads on the street. A fastback roof, sharp creases in the sheetmetal and alloy wheels, all shout look at me. The only thing I would change is the miniscule grille up front. The coupe needs something sassier.
The cabin is sporty too, but in a more subdued way. Well-bolstered sport seats look purposeful, and hold the driver and front passenger in place during vigorous driving. Large gauges on the dash are easy to read, and a brushed silver center panel houses logically placed audio and climate controls. However, the high-mounted center armrest makes using the shifter a bit awkward.
Beneath the hood, Hyundai offers a choice of two engines, a 2.0-liter, turbo four-cylinder, with 210 horsepower, and a 3.8-liter V-6 that pumps out 306. Both come with standard six-speed manual gearboxes that transfer power to the rear wheels. The turbo can also be had with an optional five-speed automatic; the V-6 automatic has six gears.
Hyundai delivers the Genesis coupe in three levels of trim for the turbo model, and three for the V-6, at this time. One more version, the “R-Spec” will come later. The base models are not bare bones, but are short on of frills, except that the V-6 model gets leather. The middle grades for both cars add luxury items like, a premium sound system, keyless start and a sunroof. The top-of-the-line models are called “Track,” and they get the performance goodies.
My test car ws a four-cylinder turbo, with a manual gearbox and the Track package. As the Track name implies, it included a stiffer suspension, 19-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential, xenon headlights, a rear-deck spoiler, and black leather seats with red cloth inserts. A gearhead’s delight.
The turbo motor pulled well above 2500 rpm, and could hit 60 in under seven seconds. However, the exhaust note was rather tame. The steering was quick (2.7 turns from lock to lock) and conveyed a good feel of the road. The stiffer suspension made the Genesis feel nimble, and the 19-inch wheels and rubber delivered plenty of grip in turns. The Brembo brakes did their part too, providing straight and smooth stops. The only fly in the ointment was the manual gearbox, which proved balky at times, especially when downshifting.
But perhaps the best thing about the Genesis coupe is its affordability. The base turbo model comes in at just $22,750. My test car had a bottom line of $27,500, and the V-6 equipped Track tops out at $29,875.
Sports Car Handling (Track Model)
Balky Manual Gearbox