There is a business adage that says if you want to achieve success in a crowded marketplace, find a gap and fill it in a way that will make buyers stand up and take notice. For years now, Hyundai has followed that adage in segment after segment, winning sales and capturing market share by giving buyers all the things they expect in their cars and crossovers, along with a welcome surprise: Value.
Last year, Hyundai set its sights on unexplored territory – the rear-wheel drive sport coupe class – and sent a shudder through the pony-car herd with the introduction of the Genesis Coupe, the four-seat road-burner Hyundai calls the “sinister sibling” of the award-winning Genesis sedan. For 2012, the Genesis Coupe continues the round up, offering surprising efficiency, stand-alone styling, dominating performance and smile-inducing price points.
Aimed directly at the hardcore driving enthusiast, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe complements its track-bred dynamics with a wind-cheating wedge shape dubbed “fresh,” “startling” and “sexy” by the automotive press. The Genesis Coupe also gives buyers an abundance of choices, starting with a pair of powerful engines – a fuel-thrifty turbocharged four-cylinder and a pavement punishing, all-aluminum V6 shared with its “Car of the Year” platform mate, the Genesis sedan.
Looking to please sport coupe connoisseurs of every stripe, Hyundai offers the Genesis Coupe in six versions: 2.0T (MSRP $22,250), 2.0T R-Spec, 2.0T Premium, 3.8 R-Spec (MSRP $26,750), 3.8 Grand Touring and 3.8 Track (MSRP $30,750).
Melding an uncompromising commitment to performance with a long-standing dedication to fuel economy, Hyundai delivers superior punch with fewer trips to the pump thanks to the 2.0-liter turbocharged Tau four-cylinder engine that comes standard on all 2.0T models of the Genesis Coupe. Making a whopping 210 hp and 223 lb/ft of torque, the turbo four uses advanced engine technology, including dual continuously variable valve timing, to balance smooth power delivery with class-pacing gas mileage. Paired with either the standard six-speed manual transmission or the optional five-speed automatic (complete with steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters), the 2.0-liter returns an EPA-estimated 30 mpg on the highway.
For drivers looking to make a statement every time they blip the throttle, the available 3.8-liter Lambda V6 speaks loudly and clearly. With 306 hp and 266 lb/ft of torque on tap, the dual-overhead cam V6 propels all 3.8 models to a top speed of 149 mph and from zero-to-60 mph in a blistering 5.5 seconds. Best of all, the Genesis Coupe gets the job done using lower-priced 87-octane Unleaded fuel. A close-ratio six-speed manual serves as the standard transmission while the optional ZF six-speed electronic automatic boasts SHIFTRONIC technology with manual mode and paddleshifters.
On the road or at the racetrack for a weekend club event, power must be balanced by precision. That’s why Hyundai went the extra mile, equipping the Genesis Coupe with dual-link front struts, the perfect complement to the car’s engine-speed sensitive, variable assist steering. The rear suspension features a concise, yet forgiving five-link design. Standard brakes are four-wheel discs with hard-biting single-piston calipers. Track and R-Spec models get an upgrade to beefier springs, shocks and stabilizer bars, larger, four-piston Brembo Brakes and a Torsen limited-slip differential.
The Genesis Coupe also blankets you in safety, incorporating a raft of standard passive and active systems – including six airbags and front headrests that reduce the effects of whiplash – as well as a host of sophisticated driver aids. Electronic Stability Control and the Traction Control System work in concert with the four-wheel antilock braking system, which includes Brake Assist to keep you worry-free behind the wheel, whether you’re driving at a leisurely six-tenths or a knuckle-blanching ten-tenths.
The Genesis Coupe also nails the needle into the red when it comes to standard features. Even the entry 2.0T features automatic headlights, cruise control, Bluetooth® connectivity, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, 18-inch aluminum wheels, iPod/USB and MP3 auxiliary input jacks and a six-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD audio system. Both track-oriented R-Spec models add seats with black leather bolsters and red cloth inserts, along with 19-inch alloy wheels.
The 2.0T Premium moves even further up-level with highline items such as a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, push button start, fully automatic temperature control, a 360-watt, 10-speaker Infinity premium sound system and touchscreen navigation with voice recognition and Bluetooth streaming audio. The 3.8 Grand Touring shares those amenities and adds leather seating surfaces, heated side mirrors with turn-signal indicators and an auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink universal remote control. Jumping to the top-of-the-line 3.8 Track gathers all those standards and broadens the bounty to include aluminum pedals, a rear spoiler and high-intensity-discharge (HID) Xenon headlights.
The editors at Car and Driver declared the Genesis Coupe “a revelation” among its competitors. Whether you’re looking to spend lazy afternoons taming endless country switchbacks or you prefer to while away your weekends at the local track drifting tire tread into clouds of smoke, come see how Hyundai is chasing the ponies back into their barns – schedule a test drive of the new 2012 Genesis Coupe.