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Hyundai to Present Major Genesis Refresh for 2013 at Detroit Auto Show

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2012 Hyundai Genesis

By Thom Cannell
Sr. Editor

DETROIT - January 9, 2012: Today Hyundai is introducing a major refresh to the hot-selling Genesis Coupe and expanding the lineup to appeal to any coupe buyer. Thus, they draw a bead at not only Camaro and Mustang, but Infiniti G37 and Nissan’s 370Z, perhaps even BMW’s 1 Series.

Most noticeable is the new grill and front fascia. Gone is the multitude of horizontal bars, replaced by a single chrome bar in a blacked out nose. This is flanked by newly shaped wraparound headlamps below a very snarky hood with sculpted air ducts (we forgot to ask if they are functional). Several models, the 3.8 Grand Touring and the Track, will offer LED daytime running lights and all will use more heavily sculpted rear lighting with LEDs. In addition, both 18-inch and 19-inch wheel designs are new.

Interior upgrades are even more satisfying, but in a different way. Frankly, it was love at first sit! The leather surface, front and rear, are of a buttery softness we associate with the best luxury cars and are unbelievably comfortable to the touch. Plus, two-stage seat heaters are available, and a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with leather surface is included. The interior is further enhanced with an updated center console and new electro-luminescent gauge cluster that includes a multiple-information display to let you know the door is open, or details like MPG and odometer facts. The center stack offers, according to Hyundai, a better audio and navigation system, a fact we’ll have to confirm later. Control layout is logical and does its job without an overabundance of buttons. Our inner designer’s voice says there’s a bit of refinement yet to come in the graphics, or perhaps the backlighting was set to blazing-bright.

Hyundai includes its blueLink technological competitor to SYNC and uConnect, and it offers many features common to those systems like automated collision notice, SOS, remote start and door lock/unlocking. There’s also web search and voice-to-text, all accessible from the car, your smart phone, or the web.

Of greatest importance to some will be significant changes to two of the engines offered in the Coupe lineup. No, the Genesis R-Spec 5.0 didn’t grow a supercharger, rather the 3.8-liter V-6 and 2.0-liter four-cylinder received major upgrades to power and sophistication.

Watch the 2012 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec promo video

The 2.0-liter jumps its output from 210 horsepower to 275 on premium fuel, that’s 60 more horsepower and torque output at 223 pound-feet, yet fuel economy is expected to be 21 City and 30 on the highway. This engine does not get Direct Injection despite Hyundai’s adoption of this technology, for a very good reason. Tuners prefer, and can better work with, standard multipoint injection. The engine has all the goodies, dual variable valve adjustment, Hyundai’s patented twin-scroll turbocharger, electronic waste gate actuation, and more.

The workhorse 3.8-liter engine adopts Direct Injection and increases output by 35 horsepower with an expected 1 mpg gain. More power, more fuel economy, we like it. This mill uses two-step variable air induction, and optimized crankshaft with less rotating mass and lower overall weight, chain-driven dual variable valve timing, and more. One cool note: direct injection is comparatively noisy and is said to “tick” when fuel is injected. Hyundai countered with passive rubber spacer-washers at the injectors to absorb the shock and noise.

Transmissions include an updated six-speed manual (gotta honor the enthusiasts!) and a first-in-class eight-speed automatic that includes paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Hyundai says the chassis has been upgraded for better control at low velocities to offer greater road comfort and compliance and a two-mode stability control that can be set to no longer cut engine power.

This brings the Genesis Coupe family to six, three with 2.0-liter turbo engines (base, premium, and R-spec) and three V-6 powered Coupes, the “tuner ready” R-Spec, Grand Touring, and the 3.8 Track version, Hyundai’s ultimate performance Genesis Coupe.