Written by: Don Cheng
Photography by: Don Cheng
A few short years ago, whenever you heard the phrase “because it’s a Hyundai” it was usually at the end of a joke. Since then, the Korean automaker has revolutionized their product offering from a joke to a tour de force in every single segment the company decides to compete in. Hyundai’s entrance in the sports coupe category is no different. With the launch of the Genesis brand, the company was able to shed its Tiburon past and quite literally experience a new genesis; and what a genesis it’s been.
The Genesis namesake wasn’t just an opportunity for the automaker to showcase its newfound ability to make cars that were actually, well, in a nutshell, cars worth buying. It was also because the cars launched under the Genesis name all shared the same platform. Yes, it’s hard to believe that the Hyundai Genesis Sports Coupe actually shares the same basic platform as the first-generation Genesis sedan. However, Hyundai’s engineers have worked hard to make this possible through a sport tuned suspension, completely different body styling, and an up-rated version of the 3.8L Lambda direct injected (GDI) petrol engine pushing out 348 hp. The resulting car leaves any memory of the Tiburon in the dust.
I’ve always liked the look of the Genesis Coupe when it was first launched, although admittedly in retrospect, the initial design was beginning to look long in the tooth. Hyundai facelifted the Genesis in 2013 with a revised front fascia. The new design is very akin to the Veloster, and is incredibly aggressive with its massive front grille and double triangular – non functioning – hood vents. Ultimately, I think it’s a guise that suits the car’s performance. Kudos goes to Hyundai’s marketing team for making the base R-spec sound anything but base. To be fair, when looking at what the “base” model offers, it’s still a very well rounded package that offers a no-frills driving experience.
At a sticker price of $29,499, the R-spec offers up quite a lot of performance including 19 inch wheels, a Torsen-Type limited slip differential, a trunk mounted spoiler, and a set of 4-piston front and 2-piston rear Brembo brakes. Rounding out the performance is an enhanced version of the 3.8L GDI V6 pushing out 348 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 295 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 RPM. Mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the R-Spec looks to be a promising performer for a relatively small chunk of change.
Starting up the car is a dramaless experience; the factory exhaust is fairly quiet. But give it a light blip of the throttle and you’ll hear some snarls and burbles coming out the back. Not bad for a car that’s a used iPhone away from $30,000. Similarly the V6 in the front sounds pretty good, emitting a mean snarl that howls all the way up to its 6,900 RPM redline. So far so good right?
Where the car falls flat on its face is during redline gear changes where there is noticeable lag before the power kicks in - strange for a naturally aspirated car. Worse still is the manual transmission. Though I’m firmly rooted in the manual camp, the shifter and clutch combo in this car had me wishing it came with the optional 8-speed automatic. The clutch feels very spongy and the shifter is incredibly vague. Finding gears isn’t difficult but dropping gears quickly on the highway can be a challenge. The shifter reminded me of something you would find on a driving arcade game. There was a certain level of disconnect that was always present, and if that’s what I was going to feel all day long, I might as well get the automatic and flip paddles instead.
Admittedly, when the battle with the shifter is over and you’re booting along in the city, the car is all smiles. Hyundai’s engineers have done something special with this truncated Genesis sedan platform. The coupe is a very tail happy car, blip the throttle in a turn and you can feel the car getting ready to kick its tail out. So much so that I originally thought the wrong tires were on the rear axle.
Upon inspection, the 225/245-section front and rears were indeed the correct factory spec. Nevertheless, it’s a great little car to boot around in the city. Kitted with the factory standard Limited Slip Differential and you’ve got the basic ingredients to a rear rubber-burning machine. As an added bonus, R-spec engraved sports seats come standard with the Genesis Coupe and do a decent job of holding you in place when you manage to find a corner to slide about.
While the car does drum up quite the performance bargain, it’s easy to see where the company skimped to keep the price so low. The center console features too much hard plastic and the media player looked like it came straight from the early 2000’s. The cabin even features a prominent blue backlit LCD that’s reminiscent of the Timex watch you had when you were a kid. You know, the one that lights up a neon blue when you hit the big Indiglo button?
Despite the rather passé interior, Hyundai offers enough standard tech goodies to make putting up with the interior worth your while: Sirius XM, Bluetooth, and USB and auxiliary connectivity that make selecting your tunes a breeze and the standard 6 speaker stereo system doesn’t sound that bad either. It may not be the prettiest on the inside but Hyundai has designed a complete package with the Genesis Coupe R-spec that makes it impossible to ignore for those in the market for a RWD sports coupe. While it’s far from perfect, the high output of the V6 GDI, factory LSD, and the boatload of other performance goodies for a price that fits right in with its competitors makes the Genesis Coupe R-Spec a very compelling case for any serious car enthusiast.
型号 Model: 2015 Hyundai Genesis Coupe R-Spec
顏色 Paint Type: Empire State Grey
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $29,499
試車售價 Price as Tested: $29,499
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,820
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,630 / 1,865 / 1,385
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,628
引擎 Engine: 3.8L DOHC 24-valve V6, GDI, D-CVVT
最大馬力 Horsepower: 348 hp @ 6,400 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 5,100 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed manual
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, RWD
前懸 Suspension-Front: Dual-link MacPherson strut with sport-tuned springs and monotube gas-charged dampers
後懸 Suspension-Rear: 5-link with sport-tuned springs and monotube gas-charged dampers
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: 340 mm ventilated rotors, Brembo 4-piston monobloc fixed calipers
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: 330 mm ventilated rotors, Brembo 2-piston monobloc fixed calipers
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 14.4 / 9.9 / 12.4
輪胎尺碼 Tires: P225/40R19 front; P245/40R19 rear