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2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec (pictures)

It may be devoid of advanced cabin tech, but the new Genesis Coupe R-Spec delights my inner Luddite with its blend of track-ready performance and value.

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Antuan Goodwin

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2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec

The 2013-model-year update for the Hyundai Genesis Coupe could have been as simple as a face-lift and a power bump. Actually, it is that simple, but the degree to which Hyundai took the revisions is rather dramatic.
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New fascia

The most obvious change is the Coupe's new front fascia, which gets a healthy dose of the automaker's Fluidic Sculpture design language to become more Veloster-like in appearance.
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What is the R-Spec?

The R-Spec trim level is supposed to be Hyundai's track-focused option. You get all of the go-faster goodies of the Track model, but with much less tech, fewer creature comforts, and for much less money. However, you still get some features like MP3 player connectivity and hands-free calling.
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More power, please

The 3.8-liter V-6 engine gets a 14 percent boost in horsepower thanks to some direct-injection tuning. Output is now rated at 348 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
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Sports car profile

The profile of the Coupe is largely unchanged, but this is a good thing. The side view has always been the Genesis Coupe's best angle.
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Interior details

The Genesis Coupe's interior is largely unchanged from last year's model. Expect lots of rubbery soft-touch material covering the upper dashboard. It feels cheap, but it doesn't look cheap, which counts for something.
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Quieter cabin

The Coupe's cabin does seem to benefit from a healthy dose of sound deadening (either that or the 3.8-liter engine has quieted down). I could barely hear the engine at low revs with the music playing at a moderate volume.
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Sport seats

Red sport seats are trimmed with leather but have grippy fabric seating surfaces. They're very comfortable, and I particularly liked the headrests, which were positioned perfectly for actually resting my head upon.
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Responsive steering

The Genesis Coupe's steering is still powered by hydraulics and features great feedback. Telescoping adjustment is a new addition for the 2013 model year.
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Audio and voice controls

The stripped-down, track-focused R-Spec trim level keeps its good voice-command system for hands-free calling. Simply tap the voice button and tell the car who you want to call.
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No cruise for you!

More audio and phone controls can be found on the right side of the wheel, but you won't find cruise control on the R-Spec.
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Row your gears

The R-Spec is available only with a six-speed manual transmission, which has been improved since we last tested this ride.
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Instrument cluster

Instrumentation is simple and direct with a two-gauge layout. The monochromatic center LCD can also display trip computer information.
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Auxiliary gauges

Halfway down the center stack is where you'll find this second cluster of gauges for instantaneous fuel economy, torque, and oil temperature. They're all nearly impossible to watch while driving due to their low placement in the cabin. If you opt for a 2.0T R-Spec, the torque meter is replaced with a boost gauge.
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MP3 connection points

Like nearly every Hyundai/Kia on the road today, the Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec comes standard with USB and auxiliary inputs. iPod and iPhone users can bridge these connections with a $35 cable to gain full-speed control of the media stored on their devices.
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A rather simple display

A monochromatic LCD sits at the top of the center stack. You interact with it by twisting and tapping a pair of small knobs just below this display. Navigation is not available without an upgrade to the Track or Grand Touring trim levels.
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Not much room for info

Most of your phone interactions are handled by voice, so the small screen isn't really detrimental here. However, browsing long lists of MP3s can be tedious.
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Suspension upgrades

The suspension has largely gone unchanged since we last saw the Genesis Coupe R-Spec, but that's fine by us. The taut chassis, stiff springs and dampers, and thick stabilizer bars work well together.
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Brembo brakes

R-Spec Genesis Coupes shave off speed with these 13.4-inch, four-piston Brembo brakes (13-inch units out back). The tire sizes of the 19-inch wheels are staggered, with wider rubber out back.
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Wide and low

The Genesis Coupe is wide and low, as a sports car should be. She may challenge the Nissan Z, but the Coupe is actually closer in size to a Ford Mustang or Infiniti G37 Coupe.

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