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.
We loved the Automatic 86 but it was missing something so we recently picked up the base six speed manual model. Driving wise, we found that the manual is obviously much more engaging to drive than the automatic. The six speed manual squeezes the true essence and driving joy out of this car. It fits in the whole the whole formula quite well.
After all this time driving the car around, it’s time to go a bit technical and show some of the mechanical features under the hood.
The beautiful thing about the 86 is that it is built to be a very basic car. Even Toyota’s advertising department complained about this as an issue during the 86’s development as there is nothing of the extra ordinary that can be used to create hype about this product. Toyota, along with many Japanese car makers, have always known and believed that advanced technology does not mean a best selling car and the formula seems to be applied here as well.
In the previous review, I discussed the creature comforts that accompany the top range 86; now its time to cover the real important chapter everybody is waiting for! Earlier, on the Yas Marina circuit, the higher the revs and speeds, the more alive the 86 felt but on the roads, the 86 can be a calmer, smoother and less juvenile car.
If you did not know yet, Al Futtaim Motors generously offered us a top range Toyota 86 to test drive for a few days. Wherever I drive the 86, the car just gets attention from people on the streets. It looks too unusual for a Toyota, it’s anything but conservative ‘or boring’.
As a daily driver the Toyota 86 is a pleasant experience and here is the story of how life is with the modern day ‘hachi roku’, starting with the creature comforts.