27
May
09

The Genesis Device

genesis coupe 1

Hyundai’s aptly named rear-wheeled drive coupe has caught the eye of many an enthusiast since its j-turning debut at last year’s New York Auto Show, and it’s not difficult to see why. Hyundai’s second attempt at an RWD performance car, the Genesis coupe’s 3.8L V6 is an intriguing addition to the sports car market, a place populated with luxury coupes and beastly muscle cars. So how will the Genesis contend?

I don’t go upstate much, and when I do, it’s usually for ill-advised plummeting down a mountain side with a plank of wood bound to my feet. Heading out to Gran Prix New York and taking the Genesis coupe out for a spin seemed like an ideal reason to take the trip.

genesis coupe 3

The exterior lines of the Genesis coupe follow a “Z” line, which results in a haunchy rear and a front end that rounds out to a low, grinning facia. The coupe looks primed to pounce and attack the road with 19″ inch alloy wheels. Hyundai’s use of the contour lines that run down the hood and across the Genesis’s hips add to it’s elegant and sporty demeanor.

Our journey begins as I and a fellow journalist head out for some country air in the 3.8 Grand Touring model, sporting the 6-speed automatic transmission. As we hit the highway, we lay the pedal down to the extremely satisfying sound of the V6 bark with impunity as the revs climbed. the automatic transmission, with optional paddle shift, was extremely responsive, with every gear change quick and deliberate.

Interior styling of the Genesis coupe is just as purposeful. Both passenger and driver positions are comfortable, with many standard features on all models to keep you entertained, such as ipod connectivity, satellite radio, and bluetooth wireless. The Grand Touring package will also bestow upon you keyless start with a proximity sensor, leaving your keys free to languish in your pocket. Oddly, if you so choose to indulge in the vestigial habit of inserting your key to start, you may do so, but it’s done in the center console under a panel that hides the AC outlet. To older motorists, this will feel like putting your keys in the ashtray. An ashtray that won’t close because the key is sticking out. It’s an unusual oversight in a generally well-designed interior that looks to have been an afterthought at best.

genesis coupe 2

Off the highway now as we decide to soak up some the local culture. As it is the early days of summer, the weather is ideal for trips through the towns adjacent to Mt. Kisco. Portrait-like green hills adorned with white barns and country houses were our back drop with wooden fences occasionally poking out the hedges along the backroads, cradling flowers.

We eventually stopped for a bite to eat and swapped out our Genesis Coupe for another with a manual transmission, eager to see what we could do with it on the windy country roads back.

We gave our new Genesis Coupe a proper thrash on the journey home, with the 3.8-liter V6 putting as much of the 306hp to the rear as we could, as the Coupe’s 5-link rear suspension keeping the car hugging bends comfortably. Put the Genesis Coupe in 3rd, and let the car cut through turns, as the revs climb endlessly, but attempt a proper downshift, and the response is muted at best. Heel-toe from say, 5th to 4th, and you’ll feel awkward and dissatisfied. Try to lay down some tire marks and you’ll feel just as uncomfortable.

Bare in mind, it’s a hot day, with even hotter roads and very well-warmed tires, but we do attempt a little horse play with some friends. Perhaps it’s due to my V8 inclination, but I rev between 3 and 4k and drop the clutch without so much as a chirp. Fine. I redline the tach and try again and get yet another, albeit slightly more sustained…chirp. You won’t impress anyone with your wheel-spinning bravado in the Genesis Coupe.

genesis coupe 5

Come to think of it, however, that’s OK because that’s not the point of the Coupe. As a spiritual successor to Nissan’s 240SX, the Genesis Coupe looks to be the sports coupe that’s affordable, easily modded, and maintain a track-oriented nimbleness.

I tried desperately to write this without using the phrase “bang for your buck”, but I must concede failure, as you do get plenty of one for the other. If we look at it’s immediate competitors, it stands alone in many areas. The engineering benchmarks set for the Genesis Coupe have been cars such as the Infiniti G37, the Mazda RX-8 and the BMW 335i. Does it meet these high standards? the short answer is “no”, but the more involved response is that the car performs admirably in this company but falls short, but not by much, mind you, and for significantly less money.

the 2.0 I-4 turbo model starts at $22,000 while the fully loaded 3.6L track package with automatic tops out at $31,000. At the moment, there’s only one real competitor at this price range with an HP output of around 300hp:

IMG_2161

yup.

Yes, the 2010 Mustang runs the $25-$30K line, which makes for tricky shopping decisions, and ultimately, boils down to personal taste.

Having spent time in both, my choice has to go to the Mustang (remember: biased), as I find the build quality to be superior, the cabin to be more comfortable, and the engine response to be more substantial. However, the v8 obviously runs a lower mpg, it’s heavier, and the Genesis Coupe comes with more standard features and is the more nimble vehicle.

genesis coupe 4

I would easily take the Genesis Coupe over the 2010 Camaro LS, which only beats the coupe in looks alone, but more on that later.

At the end of our cruise, we decided that the Genesis Coupe has set out in the right direction to become a truely exceptional car, but the best things come with time, and Genesis, appropriately enough, is a great start.

  • Specs: 2010 Hyundai Genesis coupe 3.8T
  • Layout: RWD  2-door coupe w/ front engine
  • Engine: 3.8L v6  306 Hp @6,300 rpm
  • Performance: top speed- 137mph 0-60- 5.7sec (C&D)
  • Transmission:6-speed manual/6-speed ZF w/SHIFTRONIC
  • Suspension: MacPherson strut dual-link front suspension, 5-link rear suspension
  • Price: $25,750

-Alex K-

Photos courtesy of egmCarTech

Advertisements

2 Responses to “The Genesis Device”


  1. May 30, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    I just want it to be noted that I do check out your blog. Often times I think “That is a pretty car.” I try not to comment with that though, as that would be the stereotypical girl response. Let’s pretend I typed something about engines instead.

    • 2 Alex K.
      May 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM

      All comments are welcome, don’t feel shy. But for this one, I’ll pretend that you found the 3.8 liter V6 pretty interesting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: