Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Review

Explosions, fireworks, and screeching tires: the Hyundai display at the New York auto show today crackled with energy, not to mention smoke and burning rubber. Hyundai was out to impress Mustang and Camaro and Challenger fans with its new coupe, and with some inside-Javits stunt driving and a pair of sleek, powerful coupes, they succeeded.

There are actually two Genesis Coupes set to go on sale early in 2009, a four- and a six-cylinder version. The former, says Hyundai product VP, is "an intriguing alternative to existing front-wheel drive sport coupes," while the latter 300-hp six-cylinder version could take on the likes of the Infiniti G37, he suggested.

The four-cylinder model uses Hyundai's turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which churns out 212 horsepower (223 hp with premium gas) and 217 pound-feet of torque. That version gets the moniker Coupe 2.0t.

The more compelling Coupe gets its engine bay wedged full with a 3.8-liter V-6 that has 306 horsepower (310 with premium gas) and 310 pound-feet of torque. For comparison, the Mustang Bullitt has 315 hp and the Infiniti G37, 330 hp. Hyundai says it will hit 60 mph in about six seconds and go on to a top speed of 149 mph.

A six-speed manual is standard on both the four-pot and the V-6. The four-cylinder gets an optional five-speed automatic, while the V-6 version has an option for a six-speed ZF automatic.

Like the Infiniti but unlike the Mustang, Hyundai's Coupe sports an independent suspension at all four corners, with a five-link setup in the back. Even the base four-cylinder car comes with 18-inch wheels, while 19-inchers are available. The two-door rides on a 111.0-inch wheelbase, and is 182.3 inches long overall.

The interior gets a pleasant, not entirely edgy theme that includes a big tachometer splayed in the driver's sight, illuminated blue. A push-button starter and a proximity key are offered. Front, side, and curtain airbags are standard, as is anti-lock braking. A Brembo brake package is a performance add-on.

The audio system includes both iPod jacks and a USB input. An Infinity audio system is available, as are heated seats.

You'll have to wait until early 2009 to get your hands on a Coupe, but The Car Connection gets our first shot at driving the new two-door later this year, along with the Genesis sedan we showed you in January at the Detroit auto show.

Marty Padgettt

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