Here at the The Garage we haven’t been shy about our enthusiasm for the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but so far we have not had much to say about the Genesis sedan, Hyundai’s first crack at building a luxury car aimed directly at the BMW 5-series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Infiniti M-Class. The Genesis sedan was introduced as a 2009 model, available with V-6 or V-8 engines. So far, the car has been a solid seller, posting gains the company seems pleased with. But the Genesis buyer hoping for a little more zing has been left out, until now. For 2012, enter the Genesis 5.0 R-Spec.
The heart of the R-Spec is its engine, a 5.0L direct injected V-8 belting out a healthy 429hp. That’s right folks, the Hyundai makes more horsepower than the Ford Mustang GT 5.0. The R-Spec is paired to an all-new 8-speed automatic that will be used in all Genesis sedans for 2012. The R-Spec also features exclusive 19″ wheels, rear stabilizer bars for improved handling, bigger brakes and revised steering calibration.
For those hoping for something in the way of a sportier exterior, I have bad news. Visually, from the outside and in the cabin, the R-Spec is virtually indistinguishable from lesser Genesis sedans. Sorry, but I don’t count darker chrome used in the headlight bezels and different floor mats as really meaningful features to separate the top of the food chain Genesis from its V-6 and smaller V-8 models. A car packing this much punch deserves that little extra. On the flip side, the Genesis 5.0 R-Spec could possibly be the ultimate highway stealth bomber-the oft admired ‘Q-Ship’. This is nothing new, folks. Tune into to any Barrett-Jackson or Mecums auto auction on TV, and the crowd loves nothing more than an anonymous looking sedan from the 1960’s stuffed with the most potent engine available. In that light the R-Spec makes more sense, no? Feel free to disagree, but I challenge you to show me a V-8 powered luxury sedan with 429hp for a price anywhere close to the R-Spec’s $46,500USD tag.