Hyundai announced that 2016 will be the last for the Genesis Coupe after a six year run. Prior to the Genesis, Hyundai had trotted out of string of forgettable ‘sporty’ cars, so when the 2010 Genesis Coupe arrived, it was a dramatic shift for the Korean automaker. Boasting rear wheel drive, a choice of a turbocharged four or V-6 and available six-speed manual, Hyundai finally had a car with appeal to auto enthusiasts. So, what gives? Hyundai now uses the Genesis name as a luxury sub-brand, so if you believe what Hyundai has to say, the current Genesis Coupe doesn’t fit into the Genesis brand. Some media speculated that in light of this, the Genesis Coupe would simply continue under a different name, but Hyundai has other plans. There will be another Genesis coupe, perhaps as early as 2017, but that car will be higher end in keeping with the new Genesis brand image.
Hyundai is to be commended for taking a risk and building the Genesis Coupe, and having driven a few it was an enjoyable car. But there were a couple problems. At a glance, it was a dead ringer for the more expensive and refined Infiniti G37 coupe-not a bad thing, but if your expectations were what you expected from a G37, you didn’t get that. Perhaps the biggest problem was the Genesis Coupe was never the car itself, but who the car was competing against. A rear wheel drive performance oriented Hyundai was heretofore completely unheard of. But for the same money, the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro (with V-6 power) need no introduction. And in North America, they need no explanation as to why you bought one, where the Hyundai might raise some questions, and buyers of cars like these might not be in love with defending their purchase. So while Hyundai did bring a gun to a gun fight, it was still a rookie against seasoned gunslingers John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. One look at what you see on the road today, and it’s abundantly clear we picked the legends over the new guy.