2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe R Spec review


The all-new Genesis, launched in 2008, was the ultimate culmination of Hyundai’s quest to up their quality. They have now successfully branded themselves far, far from their 90s nadir, when Alec Baldwin famously put down Ed Harris in “Glenn Garry, Glenn Ross” with, “Because you drove a HYUN-dai to get here; I drove an $80,000 BMW.”  The company continues to succeed in a tough economy, and they deserve to.

Sharp front end, cats-eye headlights and body-colored trim make a hawt Genesis.

Now comes the Coupe R Spec, starting at a base price of $24,500. Scott Margason of Hyundai says:

“The interior upgrades, our hot new 3.8 R-Spec model, and revised lineup of six focused models show that Hyundai is meeting the demands of our customers. The upgraded interior is a great illustration of how Hyundai continually raises its own high benchmarks for quality.”

Margason and I concur on the “hot new 3.8 R-Spec” part. I absolutely loved the exterior of my test ride—big slabs o’ metal, authoritative stance, twin exhaust—nothing wrong there.

Looks good goin', too.

The inside, though, is straight-to-rental. It’s boring and bland, with Mattel appointments here and there and a sound system seemingly designed by the same guy who thought up waterboarding.  More on that later.

My test drive took me about 500 miles over 7 days, through the most glorious, sun-drenched end-of-summer weather to the ballistic fog and vicious rain on the New Jersey Turnpike last night.  The ride has plenty of cojones and its steering and handling are more than satisfactory, particularly in this price range.

It was a pleasurable test, but the car has been gone from my garage now for a day and it’s already fading in memory, unlike similarly styled brands I’ve tested this year.  What I will remember, though, for years, is the following, which I don’t say out of meanness or snark.  When something SUCKS, it needs to be pointed out.  Here goes:

It’s not uncommon to come across an automakers whose sound systems are a mess; witness BMW’s iDrive, which still is a piece of crap left over from the Inquisition.  But even the iDrive is capable, eventually of being figured out.  It sucks, but you can figure it out.

The R-Spec’s iPod hookup is incomprehensible, even with the owner’s manual in hand.  The cheap-looking audio system features 4 toggle switches, none of which were able to direct me to ARTIST followed by the ability to scroll through the alphabet to find what I was looking for.

Ten minutes after pulling the Genesis over and consulting the owner’s manual, I still did not have my tunes on my sound system and gave up.   SOUND SYSTEM FAIL.

Run screaming from this system.

-Josh Max, Auto Gigolo

More info, from press kit:

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe R-Spec comes with all-aluminum 3.8 liter V6 engine delivering 306 horsepower and 360 foot-pounds of torque. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is covered in 5.5 seconds. The amazing results are achieved by number of technologies like DCVVT and a new Variable Intake System (VIS) that helps cylinders breathe more efficiently at both low and high RPM. The better-breathing results in outstanding off-the-line acceleration, passing performance and remarkable fuel efficiency. The V6 engine uses an alloy block and cylinder heads for lighter weight and thermal efficiency and features durable timing chains with no scheduled maintenance.

The sports coupe features  MacPherson® strut dual-link front suspension and a five-link independent rear suspension setup to deliver better handling and additional comfort.  The engine is fitted with a standard six-speed manual gearbox and as an option there is a ZF® six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC to handle the additional torque.

13.4-inch ventilated front brake rotors and 13-inch ventilated rear rotors stop you quickly and easily.

More information available here: Click me!