In case you haven’t noticed, Hyundai is a company that is not known these days for complacency. With new models being introduced at a furious pace, Hyundai is constantly evolving and improving their cars. You would expect that attention to be lavished upon the bread and butter Elantra and Sonata. And us enthusiasts are simply thankful Hyundai offers a rear-wheel drive 2+2 sports coupe at all, and we’d even forgive Hyundai for not refreshing a high-profile but niche car. But that’s not how Hyundai rolls.
The Garage reviewed a 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe and came away generally impressed. For 2013, Hyundai has revised the Genesis Coupe, and the results of some minor tweaking show a considerable improvement over what was already a fine performance car. The most obvious change from outside is the new nose treatment which gives the Genesis Coupe a far more serious look to it. The bolder design makes last year’s car look meek in comparison. The hood scoops also add some visual interest, but they are for decoration only. Apart from new taillamps, the Genesis Coupe is unchanged from before. Finished in Gran Premio Gray with handsome 19″ wheels, our Genesis Coupe showed a level of sophistication not seen in the prior car.
Hyundai also spruced up the interior for 2013. Instead of idiot lights between the speedo and tach, the driver is greeted with a more contemporary LCD screen for vital information. The center console has also been improved, again offering a more contemporary appearance. A nice touch not seen on last year’s car is the introduction of three analog gauges offering oil pressure, torque meter or turbo boost. Not a big deal, but it does a lot to add sport coupe credibility. The rest of the Genesis Coupe’s interior is untouched, which isn’t a bad thing. While I still find the location of the power window and mirror controls less than ideal, the ergonomics are otherwise excellent. Visibility remains very good for a sports coupe, and as before, I found the seats very comfortable. I loved the red and black interior color combination, reminding me of my friend’s old BMW 633CSi. Classic.
Hyundai did not simply give the Genesis Coupe a facelift and an interior upgrade. The engine room received much attention, not that anyone was complaining for lack of power. As before, Hyundai offers the Genesis Coupe with either a turbocharged four cylinder, or normally aspirated V-6. For 2013, the base Genesis Coupe is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four rated at 274hp, a 30% boost in power over last year’s car. Our test car sported the V-6, a 3.8L direct injected powerplant generating 348hp, a full 42hp more than the 2012 V-6. Expect 0-60mph in the low 5-second range. The V-6 Genesis Coupe is one fast car, and the power delivery is so linear. The fact that the car produces one heck of a sinister exhaust note only sweetens the deal, and you’ll find yourself downshifting and blipping the throttle just to hear the fun.
If I had a complaint about the driving experience of the last Genesis Coupe, it was the shift linkage in the manual transmission. Thankfully, Hyundai heard the complaint, and for 2013 the six-speed manual is a dramatic improvement, and definitely helps make hustling the Genesis Coupe an even more enjoyable experience. Our test car was the R-Spec, meaning it has the firmest suspension and beefiest brakes offered. Even so, the car was very easy to live with, and perfectly comfortable over less than perfect roads. With summer tires, the Genesis stuck like glue to the pavement, and handling was exceptional. It’s a very rewarding and easy car to drive quickly on your favorite back road.
A base Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T starts at $24,250USD. If you can swing it, I strongly advise shelling out more for the V-6. Not that the four is slow, but the soundtrack and smooth power delivery is worth every penny. The V-6 Genesis Coupes are offered in R-Spec, Grand Touring and Track models. The R-Spec is the entry-level car, but you wouldn’t know it. The R-Spec includes a front strut tower brace, 19″ wheels with summer performance tires, Brembo brakes, Torsen limited slip differential, leather and cloth sport seats, six speaker stereo with XM satellite radio and Bluetooth. Including delivery, our Genesis Coupe R-Spec rang in at $29,625.
That represents one heck of a performance bargain. The improved Genesis Coupe has a lot going for it. More practical than a Nissan 370Z. More lively, nimble and involving than V-6 powered Camaros or Mustangs with a much better interior to boot. Hyundai’s dive into the world of rear wheel drive sport coupes was impressive, and three years later Hyundai has made small changes that have greatly improved the overall package. Well done.