I walk into a showroom a couple of weeks ago to take the Genesis Coupe for a spin. I hate judging a sports car by driving it gently on the roads as it does not reveal much but these are my impressions after spending an hour behind the wheel of Hyundai’s first rear wheel drive sports car.
The Gen Coupe, like fans call it, is the car that Hyundai always wanted to have and they did good job for a car-maker with no motorsport heritage. More than a decade ago they launched the last generation front wheel drive Coupe, aka Tiburon in the US. The Tiburon was one model that changed the image of Hyundai and did give a good run for already dying names like the Eclipse, Prelude & Celica.
Hyundai’s most prominent philosophy is to provide more in car for less money and they did give Japanese carmakers a good run for their money, several times.
Locally, the Gen Coupe is aimed to rival the likes of the Infiniti G35 rival. Fans loved it for a reason; it strictly follow’s Hyundai’s policy of more for less being one of the most affordable rear wheel drive sport cars in the market. The models selling in the US market are tastier specifically the base R-Spec model. Though the Genesis Coupe, locally, is sold strictly as luxury sport model, going head to head with the Infiniti G37. Also, a means to pave the way for Hyundai’s new Luxury brand, “Genesis”, aimed to stand in the way of Infiniti & Lexus.
The car drives smoothly and nicely, very refined & comfy. The wide tires and weight just plant the ride into the ground. There is nothing to complain of with exception to some of the cheap hard plastics at some areas and that 8 speed automatic. The new auto transmission plays a role in making the ride very smooth yet it is not easy to adjust to for spirited driving; the transmission not as responsive you need it to be. I will want to be fair though as I did not try it in sport mode.
Luxuries beat the top range 86 in terms of more space, an armrest, a sunroof, a better audio system but lacks a dual zone a/c. A nice touch are the center dash triple gauges that measure Acceleration, Torque and Oil Temperature; an inherited feature from the original Tiburon.
Overall, the locally sold, Genesis coupe is a good luxury sport car; good enough to go head to head against cars like the Infiniti G37 or Lexus IS. The Genesis Coupe sells only as one trim here in the UAE. If it was to be fitted with better automatic or even a manual; it could exhibit the true potential of its capable chassis.
The Gencoupe beats the Toyota 86 with a more powerful V6. Though wiser performance and/or tuning choice; would be the 2.0 turbo with a more responsive transmission which unfortunately are not available locally.