It turns out thirteen is a lucky number for Hyundai’s Genesis sport coupe.
For 2013, the fastback has been reworked a bit to freshen it up after five years on the market (introduced in Korea in 2008, the Genesis Coupe is going into its fifth year of production). Happily, much of what was good about the Genesis Coupe remains. There is however, one aspect of the Genesis Coupe we wish they’d left alone. While the new hood is marvelously sculpted (and hopefully Hyundai’s engineering team will find a use for its fake vents one day), the Genesis Coupe’s formerly delicately aggressive face has been transformed to pick up the new familial look. And while it looks right on the Veloster with all of that car’s quirkiness, it looks heavy and out of place on the Genesis Coupe. Of course, that’s our opinion—your results may vary. After all, there’s no accounting for taste.
That aside, everything else done to freshen the car for its mid-cycle refresh works really well and improves what was already a good driver’s car. And just as it should, it all starts under the hood. Freshly fortified with direct injection and a higher compression ratio, the 3.8-liter V6 fitted to the Genesis Coupe R Spec now makes 348 horsepower and 295 ft-lbs of torque, up from the 306 horsepower and 266 ft-lbs the engine produced before the mods.
Feeding the coupe’s rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, the revised engine, in our admittedly unscientific observations, consistently hurtled the coupe to 60 miles per hour in just over five seconds. The engine pulled strongly throughout the range of its tachometer’s travel and provided a most satisfying shove in our backs while doing so. The aggressive sound it makes under full acceleration marks the engine as something significant as well.
Adding to the gratification supplied by the revised powerplant is the sharpened feel of the shifter. With shorter throws than before, the gearbox feels considerably more accurate and shifts feel quicker too. Clutch take-up is equally improved, as Hyundai’s engineers spent some quality time recalibrating that aspect of the Genesis Coupe’s powertrain as well.
In the handling and braking department, changes to the front suspension have softened it a bit. This improved both the car’s balance and steering feel when the Hyundai is asked to change directions quickly and repeatedly. Turn-in is nice and predictable and you’ll get good communication from the front end. No, it isn’t as sharp as a Porsche or a BMW, but it is better than a Mustang or a Camaro. The brakes return unchanged, which isn’t a bad thing in terms of stopping the car—they do so accurately and with good determination—but the pedal still feels a bit more mushy than we prefer. All in all though, mechanically speaking, this is a greatly improved Genesis Coupe.
The interior redecoration has also elevated the car considerably. The formerly built-to-a-budget appearance of the sportiest Hyundai’s interior has been shown the exit. Supplanting it is a revised treatment featuring enhanced trim and finishes, a new instrument panel, a new center stack, and a new steering wheel.
To say these changes have completely transformed the Coupe would be overreaching a bit, however they are a marked improvement. Hyundai’s product people have specified softer touch materials for the surfaces occupants come into contact with—as well as some nice stitching for the parts you see but don’t really have to touch. This has definitely given the Genesis Coupe’s passenger compartment a more upscale aura.
About the only two things we don’t like are the $2000 price increase for the R-Spec (though it’s still something of a bargain) and that new front end. For drivers who don’t need the sharper edge supplied by the R-Spec version of the Genesis Coupe, there are a couple of other iterations of the two-door Hyundai available with the V6—albeit more costly.
The 3.8 Track and 3.8 Grand Touring versions of the Genesis Coupe can also be had with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. To get more agility—at the cost of less power—there’s also the 2.0T R-Spec Genesis Coupe fitted with a 274-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four with 16 valves. This engine can also be had for two other versions of the Genesis Coupe, the base 2.0T and the 2.0T Premium.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe pricing starts at $25,125 for the base 2.0T. The 3.8 R-Spec starts at $29,625. The most expensive version of the Genesis Coupe, the 3.8 Track model, starts at $33,875.