Genesis Coupe leaves competitors even farther in the dust
When it launched a few years back amidst a barrage of Super Bowl commercials starring Rhys Millen and a set of smoking rear tires, the Hyundai Genesis coupe effectively tossed a hand grenade into the Canadian sport compact scene. By breaking the 300-horsepower barrier with a rear-drive two-door, Hyundai effectively recalled many great Japanese sports cars of the '90s to mind. Never mind that they’re Korean and new to creating performance vehicles.
Genesis Coupe had the added benefit of being sexy, too. It quickly became the first Hyundai anyone probably put a poster of on their wall.
For 2013, Hyundai’s put their hooligan-ready model under the knife. Like your favourite Desperate Housewives character, it’s undergone some modifications to its face and headlights. Fans will notice the new bumpers, new wheels and new accenting all over. Pre-facelift Genesis owners will likely be jealous. Inside, the centre stack, instruments and trim materials have all been updated, too.
The tester featured the latest in Bluetooth-powered and USB-linked infotainment connectivity, as well as an Infiniti stereo with enough wattage to upset your elderly neighbors.
There’s a three-gauge “pod” on the centre stack, too. The “Oil Temp” readout is useful. The “Fuel Consumption” and “Torque” gauges are not. But they look neat-o.
Two proper cupholders and fairly generous at-hand storage facilities were joined by brown heated leather seats for a cabin that functions well and looks touring-ready and upscale. And the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe cabin is large enough for two grownups up front, even if heftily proportioned.
At the end of the day, where styling and functionality are concerned, the new 2013 Genesis Coupe is still instantly a Genesis Coupe -- just a bit more modern, bright, sophisticated, and dialed up. And, thankfully, the dialing up of this car didn’t stop on the surface.
There’s more power all around. First-generation Genesis Coupes got a 2L 4-cylinder turbo engine with 210 horsepower, or a 3.8L V6 with 306. For 2013, the standard turbo four-banger makes 274 horsepower -- which approaches the output ballpark of the old V6. Accordingly, the new V6 maintains its gap by gaining direct injection and a higher compression ratio, good for 348 horses.
Said V6 motivated the tester, and came with a special pipe that transmit the full brunt of the engine’s sound into the cabin at full throttle. Hammer down, and the high-rpm wail sounds like the Genesis is trying to take over the world. Revs slip past 6,500 with plenty of forward thrust reserved for the upper limits of the tachometer. There’s plenty of low-end response, and a peaky, high-rpm pull that’ll make your passengers say bad words.
Best of all, the traction control system in the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe can be completely dismissed in a jiff should drivers wish to experience an amount of wheel spin. This beats having the “fun police” report your attempts at vigorous driving to the electronic throttle, which subsequently crosses its arms and little else.
Ride and Handling
And whether you’re interested in a great-looking cruiser or something to drive the pants off when nobody’s looking, the Genesis Coupe offers up a stable, locked-down and dense feel somewhere between sporty Japanese precision and muscular American heaviness. Maybe slightly towards the latter.
That’s not a bad thing.
Add in a set of high-performance Brembo brakes and quick but heavy steering, and you’ve got the building blocks of a driving experience that’s manly as heck. The shifter and clutch even feel like they’re attached to something more substantial than a pudding cup, which helps.
By demanding driver involvement, the 2013 Genesis Coupe makes you a part of its performance. The weight, feel and sound demand your attention and effort, and the reward takes the form of tidy handling, flattering grip, a slippery but predictable tail, and all the fast and furious sound effects you’d care to blast into your face.
And that’s all while being refined and smooth and quiet during highway cruising, too. A Lexus it is not, but the Genesis Coupe could get away with being much less comfortable.
Occasional noises make their way through the driveline and the Genesis sometimes lurches into gear, but even if it’s not the most refined powertrain on the road, the performance bang for the buck excuses it.
Some complaints still remain. Entry and exit can be fairly tight, the rear seats are useless for human beings of the adult variety, the trunk opening is hopelessly thin, and gas consumption can get hefty if you can’t keep off the throttle. Good luck with that.
At the end of the day, for affordable access to the world of seriously capable, high-performance motoring, the 2013 Hyunda Genesis Coupe is a must-drive. Consider it alongside the Mustang,Challenger, Camaro, 370Z, G37, and friends; and the extra power this year means its left lesser performance cars like the Mazda RX8 and Honda Accord V6 Coupe even farther in the dust.
You’ll find now, more than ever, that the combination of style, speed, and sound effects is very appealing. Pricing with the new 348 horsepower V6 is $37 grand. If you’re after a true performance car in this ballpark, opting for the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a virtual no-brainer.
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