This isn't Hyundai's first shot at making a sports coupe. Back in the mid 90's, they came up with an aptly named Hyundai Coupe. It never quite had that sporty attitude, though, due to its small engine and front-wheel-drive layout. But things have definitely changed for the better, as we found out. Packing 303 horsepower from a hefty 3.8L V6, the rear-wheel-drive Hyundai Genesis Coupe is what a real sports car should be. Although this isn't a Hyundai Coupe replacement, it sure does make up for the former's shortcomings.
The Genesis Coupe is one hefty beast for something that's meant for speed and agility. Putting this into perspective, its wheelbase is actually longer than the Sonata’s and 100 kilos heavier than the four-door saloon. Why they didn't make it smaller and lighter for performance's sake is anyone's best guess, but all this bulk does have an upside. As we tested, two full-sized adults can manage to fit in the rear seats, making this a true 2+2 seater. Additionally, the personal space-conscious need not to worry, as the two-door coupe gives ample elbow room upfront. Still, they do have a reason why they put in all that power for good measure - making it go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.0 seconds.
Wide 19-inch rims, a Limited Slip Differential (LSD), and a 6-speed gearbox are just some of the toys that the Genesis Coupe comes with. And with all that power on tap, it'll be a wise choice to keep the Traction Control turned on, because a quick squeeze on the throttle sends this sports coupe hurdling into an adrenaline pumping sprint. As a bonus, Hyundai even threw in a dual exhaust system that growls along with every rev, tempting me to gun it even more whenever I get the chance. But because it burns a liter of fuel every 6 kilometers, the fancy coupe’s gas consumption makes it unpopular among eco-conscious citizens. Still, I reason my actions with the fact that it fairs much better than some SUV's, and I get more than ten-times the fun while doing so.
Despite its sporty attributes, we're led to believe that it's more a comfy grand tourer than an uncompromising track day assault weapon. Yes, the Genesis Coupe does handles quite well considering its girth, accurately responding to every steering input without exhibiting so much body roll. But here’s the thing: the chassis gives very little feedback to the driver, which makes on-the-limit driving a bit risky. Also, the 6-speed automatic transmission isn't that impressive. It shifts up on its own at 6,300 rpm and without an auto-blip feature, downshifting is only possible below the 3,000 mark, rendering the paddle shifts useless. All my passengers also complained about the headrests that are positioned too far forward, forcing them to sit with a hunched back. On the upside, ride comfort is surprisingly pleasant for a car designed to take corners at speed, making it very suitable for long spirited out-of-town drives.
A Thrill on Wheels
I think this is a car that no longer needs any introduction to describe how sexy it looks - a sight for sore eyes especially when draped in a screaming Dynamic Yellow tone. There are also enough goodies on the inside to indulge all its passengers, such as the Infinity sound system that comes complete with a center speaker and sub. Meanwhile, it's still a mystery why they even bothered installing a sunroof given the Philippines’ tropical climate.
P1,858,000 buys you the 3.8L V6 GLS AT that we tested. But if you're looking for a bit more excitement, spare yourself the trouble and just go for the 6-speed manual. It will also save you P123,000 in the process. There's also a 210 horsepower 2.0L inline four-cylinder turbo option that's within the V6's price range, so there's no real point in getting that.
Just a few years ago, no one could have ever dreamed of owning rear-wheel-drive sports coupe for the price of a crossover SUV. Packing performance figures that puts it up to spec with the Nissan 370Z and Ford Mustang, Hyundai's Genesis Coupe is indeed ready to play with the big boys.