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2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T Review By Carey Russ

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2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T

If there is anyone out there who still thinks of Hyundai’s as poorly-made vehicles that epitomize the most negative connotation of the word "cheap", it's time to reset your clock. Twenty-five years forward would be a good start.

While you're at it, if you think of "sports Hyundai" as a classic oxymoron, there's a Genesis Coupe or two that would like to disabuse you of that notion. Long ago, the Scoupe was a poseur, and the later Tiburon was more sporty than true sports. That was then. Now, the Genesis Coupe is the Real Deal, with turbo four or naturally-aspirated V6 power.

The Genesis Coupe has some major revisions for model year 2013. Most noticeable from outside is the new Hyundai face. Most noticeable behind the wheel is More Power! -- 274 horsepower from the 2.0-liter turbo and 348 from the 3.8-liter V6. The 14 percent gain for the V6 is impressive enough, but it's eclipsed by a 30 percent increase for the 2.0T. Both engines can be had with a standard six-speed manual gearbox or a new, Hyundai-developed, eight-speed automatic.

The Genesis Coupe drives the right set of wheels for true sports car abilities -- the rear. Its 2+2 unibody is derived from that of the Genesis sedan, but shortened and modified extensively for sports coupe duty. Suspension is fully-independent, of course, and, in the base and Premium trim levels of the 2.0T it's tuned moderately firmly, for good street driving characteristics and all-day comfort. The R-Spec is firmer of suspension and has larger brakes, by Brembo , all the better for sport driving and the odd day of fun amongst the cones at an autocross. On the V6 side, the Grand Touring gets the appropriate moderate setup, with the R-Spec and Track models being more serious.

My test car for the past week was a base-spec 2.0T with the stick and no factory options, only a set of floor mats. Nothing extra? Nothing extra needed! As delivered, it's not just a good-looking, fun-to-drive sports car with plenty of power, the Genesis Coupe could also be a practical only car, especially for young or young-in-wallet singles and couples thanks to its 2+2 design with a rear seat that will fit children or small (under 5' 6") adults and useful trunk space. At just over $25,000 the "base model" Genesis Coupe is a fine example of value with a great mix of performance, comfort, space, and everyday usefulness. Plus decent fuel economy if you can keep your right foot out of the boost, and plenty of fun if you can't.

APPEARANCE: With a bold new-look grille and matching hood, the Genesis Coupe got a bit more than the usual mid-product cycle styling refresh this year. The front fascia, headlights, grille, and hood are all new, with a blacked-out bar in the grille cleverly making the opening look larger than it really is while still offering bumper protection. The "air vents" in the hood are purely cosmetic. At the rear, the taillights have been restyled and now use LEDs. Overall dimensions are unchanged, as are the classic long(ish) hood fastback proportions. The greenhouse doesn't look like that of a four-seater, and the characteristic dropped-beltline rear side windows continue. Short overhangs add to the sporty proportions and allow good clearance for parking and sharply-sloped driveways.

COMFORT : Interior upgrades are in the 2013 program as well. From the driver's seat, the Genesis Coupe looks and feels above its price class, with stitched soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and doors, even in the base 2.0T. Here, seats are cloth and manually-adjustable. The steering wheel manually adjusts for tilt and reach, and has a leather rim and cruise, phone, and auxiliary audio controls. Front seat comfort is good; the rear buckets are best for small to medium-sized people. Thinner rear seat cushions could increase headroom. Easy-access latches help rear passenger access. Main instruments are electroluminescent for easy visibility in all light, and effectively shielded from glare. Small analog gauges for instant fuel economy, turbo boost (or torque with the V6), and oil temperature are found on the center stack, presumably for passenger entertainment as they're far out of the driver's line of sight. There is an informative trip computer. All contemporary audio choices are supported as the audio system has AM, FM, and XM radio, a CD player, and jack and USB/iPod connections. Climate control is quick and effective for both heat and air conditioning. Trunk space is good for a 2+2 sports coupe. The rear seatback folds down, revealing a short passthrough. A space-saver spare is found under the trunk floor, no can of fix-a-flat here.

SAFETY: All Genesis Coupe models are designed and built to protect passengers with front and rear crumple zones. They have a full complement of airbags, active front headrests, four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel antilock, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist. Electronic stability control is also standard, and can now be reduced in effect or deactivated for more enthusiastic driving.

RIDE AND HANDLING: In standard tune, the Genesis Coupe is closer to "grand touring" than "sports racing" and for everyday use there is nothing wrong with that. The MacPherson strut/multilink suspension is tuned moderately for a sports coupe, so there is some body roll in enthusiastic cornering but compliance is good on less-than-perfect surfaces. If there is too much roll for your tastes, opt for the R-Spec, with stiffer springs and dampers, larger anti-roll bars, and larger brakes, from Italian specialist Brembo. As is, it's a fine car for everyday use.

PERFORMANCE: A new, more-efficient twin-scroll turbocharger and a larger intercooler plus continuously-variable cam phasing on both the intake and exhaust cams have helped to give the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine an admirable 30 percent boost in horsepower and 23 percent gain in torque, to 274 hp @ 6000 rpm and 275 lb-ft at a low 2000 rpm. That's on unleaded premium -- knock sensors will cause adjustments in ignition timing and fuel mapping if running on regular so output is merely 260 hp and 260 lb-ft, still pretty impressive. My test car had the six-speed manual transmission, which is a good match for the engine, and improves driver involvement. Linkage was good, but sixth gear is definitely meant for maximum fuel economy, and so is of minimal use under 65 mph on the highway. Turbo lag is not a problem if you keep the revs up - anywhere between 3000 and 5000 is the sweet spot, with instant acceleration on tap. It fades a bit at the top, a good thing that will keep you from unintended acquaintance with the rev limiter. Response below 3000 is a bit slow, just keep the revs up or downshift. There is an impressive amount of power on tap, and it's all useful. EPA fuel estimates are 21 mpg city, 30 highway. Despite minimal highway driving and maximal enjoyment of the turbo, I managed 22 mpg for the week. A lighter foot and more highway driving could seriously improve that, but this is a high-performance sports coupe.

CONCLUSIONS: In 2.0T form, the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a well-balance and enjoyable car that can work for all of the daily needs of a driving enthusiast.

2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T

Base Price			$ 24,250
Price As Tested 		$ 25,320
Engine Type			DOHC turbocharged and intercooled
				 16-valve inline 4-cylinder with
				 continuously-variable cam phasing
				 on both camshafts
Engine Size			2.0 liters / 122 cu. in.
Horsepower			274 @ 6000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft)			275 @ 2000 rpm
Transmission			6-speed manual
Wheelbase / Length		111.0 in. /182.3 in.
Curb Weight			3400 lbs.
Pounds Per Horsepower		12.4
Fuel Capacity			17.2 gal.
Fuel Requirement		91 octane unleaded premium gasoline,
				 87 octane unleaded regular permissible
				 with reduced power
Tires				F: 225/45R18 91V R: 245/45R18 96V
				  Bridgestone Potenza RE92A
Brakes, front/rear		vented disc / solid disc, ABS and EBD
Suspension, front/rear		independent MacPherson strut /
				  independent multilink
Drivetrain			front engine, rear-wheel drive

EPA Fuel Economy - miles per gallon
    city / highway / observed		21 / 30 / 22
0 to 60 mph				est 7.0  sec

Carpeted Floor Mats			$ 105
Destination Charge			$ 875