The big story behind the 2013 Hyundai Genesis coupe is its rear-drive architecture. Just as it did with the Sonata hybrid, Hyundai has engineered a product with unique attributes specific to a small segment of the market. Neither is expected to generate much if any profit, both were developed just to show the company’s ability to do so.

Enthusiasts can celebrate this drive to earn respect because it gives them a very modern and highly technical car to add to their shopping list. Add in the fact it is built with quality rated at or near the best in the industry and comes with a level of standard equipment unusual at the price point.

First introduced for the home (South Korean) market in 2008, The Genesis coupe is based on the  platform developed for the Genesis sedan. The coupe made its way to North America for the 2010 model year and has received major mid-cycle upgrades for the 2013 model both visually and beneath the new metal.
The exterior styling is now much more aggressive and muscular from the gapping grill and big 19-inch alloys to the massive exhaust outlets.

Inside the 2013 Genesis coupe has seen major upgrades, other than the steering wheel, instrument pod and door panels which remain the same. The steering wheel now telescopes and the center stack has been revised. It now includes a nice big rotary knob for the fan speed and a trio of gauges in the center stack that display fuel economy, oil pressure and engine output – fun but other than latter unnecessary. They do provide entertainment for the front passenger though. Above them is a clear and clean 180-mm color screen for the navigation and the very impressive Infinity audio systems.

The seats in the test vehicle were comfy to the eyes as well as the butt. The perforated leather and stitching would look right at home in a much more expensive vehicle.

The 2013 Genesis coupe is available in four and six-cylinder guises with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. The turbocharged four produces 274 horsepower and 274 lb. ft. of torque while the the naturally aspirated but direct injected V6 puts out 348 horses and 295 lb. ft. of torque. That is a most respectable 64 additional horsepower for the four and 42 more for the V6 than the 2012 model.

Standard equipment on the line-topping 3.8 GT includes: 19-in aluminum wheels wrapped in high-performance summer tires, power windows, locks, seats, mirrors and sunroof; HID headlights, remote keyless entry,  heated leather seats, wireless connectivity, 10-speaker Infinity sound system, automatic climate control, navigation system,

The Genesis has the whoa to cope with its ability to go thanks to massive Brembo brakes — 340-mm in front and 330-mm at the rear. Both are clamped by four piston calipers. Aiding in this ability to erase silly sped with ease are summer-performance tires with a softer, stickier compound.

These tires play a major role in the car’s ability to tackle the turns as well. The suspension has been upgraded as well for 2013 with the goal of reducing body roll and improving road feel and ride comfort. Mission accomplished. There is more feedback through the steering and the harshness evident in the previous model over sudden surface changes is gone, even in the GT model I drove which has a firmer suspension.

A Torsen limited slip differential is standard on this model, allowing you to get more power to the pavement when there is a difference in grip between the two rear tires, such as when exiting a corner.
One slick feature is the portal that brings engine sound into the cockpit under full throttle acceleration.

The feel of 350 horsepower

A couple of my cohorts have commented that the Genesis V6 does not feel like it has almost 350 horsepower. I point out that what you “feel “at normal speeds in an automobile is torque, a quantity measured in a dynamometer. Horsepower is determined through a calculation based on torque. To greatly simplify the difference, horsepower determines top speed, torque how quickly you get up to speed.

When we hear numbers like 350 horsepower we tend to think of American V8 engines. These engines are commonly 50 per cent larger in displacement and produce much more torque. The 5.7-litrte Dodge V8, for example, produces 370 horsepower and 395 lb. ft. of torque - one-third more “power” (torque) and it reaches its maximum quantity with almost 1,000 fewer rpm. So in comparison to a larger American V8, the Genesis 3.8 is not as powerful.

A more apt comparison would be to other V6 engines of similar displacement. For example, the 3.7-litre V6 used in a Mustang produces 20 per cent less horsepower and comparable torque — at roughly the same rpm. The 3.7 litre V6 in a Nissan 370Z has 16 fewer ponies in the corral and 25 fewer lb. ft. of torque.