While the Genesis Coupe shares names and is mechanically related to Hyundai’s near-luxury rear-drive sedan, it’s far from being just a two-door version of that model. The Coupe is more-dramatically styled, offers an exclusive range of powertrains, carries a far sportier demeanor and costs less than the comparatively sedate sedan. It competes, at least on paper, with models like the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Nisaan 370Z models.
The Genesis Coupe’s front end features an upswept look, with wide lower air inlets residing under integrated headlamps that migrate up and into the broad shouldered front fenders. The roofline slopes rearward into a tall rear end design, while the rocker panels hunker down close to the ground.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, and delivers a just-adequate 210-horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque. While the sedan’s V8 engine isn’t offered, an enhanced 306-horsepower version of its 3.8-liter Lambda V6 is alternately available with 266 pound-feet of torque for stronger and smoother acceleration. It employs Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing and a Variable Intake System to help all six cylinders breathe efficiently for maximum power and fuel efficiency. This power plant is sufficient to propel the car to 60 mph in less than six seconds, which makes it competitive, though not necessarily world-beating, in its price class.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard on select models, with either a five-speed or six-speed automatic standard or optional depending on the version. Both automatics can be taken through the gears manually, via either the shift lever or steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Standard 18-inch wheels and tires (19-inch rims and rubber are also offered) a sports suspension, quick-ratio steering and a rigid chassis with a 55:45 front-to-rear weight distribution all contribute to reasonably agile handling. Electronic Stability Control is standard, and a Torsen limited-slip differential is optional to help securely channel the engine’s power to the road. While the car’s ride quality is far from being punishing, the Genesis Coupe delivers a bit rougher ride than buyers of the sedan would ever stand for.
“R-Spec” versions are aimed at tuners and weekend racers, and are available with either the turbo four or the V6 engine and the six-speed manual. They include even-stiffer suspensions for more tenacious handling, along with heavy-duty Brembo calipers for enhanced braking authority. A “Track” V6 version includes all the performance enhancements, but with added amenities, with the six-speed automatic transmission available as an alternative to the stick shift.
Inside, the Genesis coupe features a well-designed four-passenger interior that features well-bolstered bucket seats and blue-illuminated analog gauges. Standard features include an input jack that allows iPods and other portable music devices to play and be controlled through the car’s audio system, and Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity. Convenience-oriented options include heated front seats, a premium Infinity audio system, a keyless entry/push-button start system and a GPS navigation system. The top 3.8 Grand Touring Model comes trimmed in rich brown leather, while the 3.8 Track model offers black-hide upholstery.
The Genesis coupe certainly infuses the Hyundai lineup with some much-needed excitement, and at a reasonable price. Even though it’s not a top seller in what is a crowded market of better-established sports coupes, it does give the brand a certain street cred, at least with enthusiasts who aren’t otherwise steadfastly sold on the usual suspects in this segment.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe Quick Facts
Engine: 2.0-liter 4-Cyl Turbo, 3.8-liter V6
Horsepower: 210 @ 6,000 rpm, 306 @ 6,300 rpm
Torque: 223 @ 2,000 rpm, 266 @ 4,700 rpm
City/Highway: MPG 17/26-21/30
Transmission: 6-Spd Manual, 5-Spd Automatic, 6-Spd Automatic
Wheelbase: 111.0 in
Overall Length: 182.3 in
Width: 73.4 in
Height: 54.5 in
Curb Weight: 3,294 lbs
MSRP: $22,250 – $30,750
Did You Know?
Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Hyundai established itself in the U.S. in 1986 with a single model, the compact Excel. As of model-year 2012 the brand name will be affixed to no less than a dozen different models in North America. These include the new Veloster coupe, which will compete in the F2 class of the World Rally Championship.