Auto Review: Hyundai’s performance Coupe
By Bill Heald - ReminderNews
Featured Article - posted Thu., Oct. 17, 2013
If you’ve been following the auto industry the last few years, you’ve seen a lot of fresh faces in categories that used to be dominated by just a few manufacturers. Hyundai in particular has been doing an amazing job at expanding into new genres with very competitive machines, and in the case of their more upscale Genesis models, they started on the luxury side of the equation and then added more performance-oriented editions. This week’s auto is an enthusiast-focused version of Hyundai’s handsome Genesis Coupe, designed to deliver exhilarating driving dynamics. It’s called the Genesis 3.8 Track, and this beautiful rear-drive two-door is a backroad warrior that comes complete with all the latest electronic trimmings.
The Genesis Coupe has two engine options and two gearboxes as well; in the case of the former, a turbocharged 2-Liter Inline Four with 274 horsepower (when run with premium fuel) and a 3.8-Liter V6 with 348 horsepower (also using premium fuel). Both of these mills can be had with either a manual or automatic transmission, a six-speed for the manual gearbox and eight speeds for the automatic. Eight speeds is pretty amazing when you consider it wasn’t all that long ago that four speeds was the norm for automatic gearboxes, especially on marques primarily associated with affordability.
There’s a total of six trim levels, and we while tested the performance-focused 3.8 Track version, there’s also variants with the turbocharged Four as well (and an R-Spec edition of the V6 that is very similar in terms of chassis tuning). Our Track had the eight-speed automatic, and while it performed well and was especially fun in manual mode, true enthusiasts might prefer the six-speed manual. The suspension is definitely on the firm side, which can get harsh at times. However, the reward is excellent control and handling – and the faster you go through bumpy corners, the better the suspension works. The spring rates and other calibrations are unique to the Track and R-Spec models, as are larger-spec stabilizer bars. Different front and rear tire sizes (as well as high-performance rubber that is biased toward road adhesion over tread life) and a Torsen Limited-Slip differential also helps to get the power to the ground as efficiently as possible. The icing on the performance cake is a host of Brembo braking components, and in combination with the sticky tires brought us down from 60 mph in a short 110 feet.
Highly-supportive performance bucket seats cradle the driver and front passenger with big side bolsters and excellent overall seat sculpting, and the instrument pod is clean and easy to read without excessive display theatrics. The controls are also very logical and easy to master, with torque, oil temperature and MPG gauges in the lower part of the center stack. These reside below the Radio/Navigation screen, but there is no back-up camera, which is surprising at this trim level and price point.
The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track A/T is EPA rated 16 MPG city/25 highway and has a base price of $34,250. With options, our MSRP came to $35,290. www.hyundaiusa.com