Roadshow Video Reviews
2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe R SpecThe purest form of the V6 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Most car makers constantly move their cars upscale, adding more and more [unk]. Not this one. It's all about going the other way, lean. Let's drive the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec, and check the tech. Now you can also give the Genesis Coupe in their fully laden touring form or the boys' toy, the track spec, but aim lower and you'll end up with more. This is the R-Spec. It's the least expensive, most pure version of a rather remarkable young entry in the sport coupe market that trades tech toys for driving joy. The red paint on those calipers makes sure you notice their brembos, but I'm not overly impressed. They're brakes. They work fine and brembo long ago stopped being an exclusive racing brake. Now the R-Spec is this new kind of lean version of the Genesis Coupe. It's kind of stripped. The idea is you're a tuner or a fiddler. If you buy one of these, you wanna do your own stuff. So we're not gonna find a lot of tech toys here. For example, there's no cruise control on this car. The only gearbox available is the 6-speed manual transmission. Other Genesis Coupes can offer you an automatic. No navigation head units available. You just got this blue display right here with your pretty basic array of sources, AM, FM, no HD, XM satellite radio, traffic, weather, no 'cause there's no navigation system. CD slot is right here. No DVD on that. But beyond that, I gotta tell you it's kind of refreshing for me anyway to get back into a car that's simpler than it is elaborate. And you've got a pretty good Aux array here. You've got the USB or the Aux jack or with this combo cable. You hook it up to your iOS device. And the output on this guy is kinda generic. It's 170 watts and 6 speakers. Again, the person who buys this car, first thing they're gonna do is get a crowbar and rip out that head unit, put in some kind of an adapter plate and put this thing up to their spec. So, Hyundai hasn't gone very far in the cabin tech on this guy but by design. And, of course, our car has got a 3.8-liter V6; hence, the designation 3.8 R-Spec. The other Genesis motor is the 2-liter turbo. It's a different video. Now, it's not the prettiest motor out there. If you were just to judge by this intake, you'd think this car came from North Korea instead of South Korea, and what's missing here, I don't know. But on paper and on the road, it's a good motor. 306 horsepower, 266 foot-pounds of torque, kind of a big delta there. But 0 to 60 happens in 5.4 seconds while this guy gets 17/26 MPG with the manual. For the automatic, you'll pick up one more MPG on the highway. Let's see how that actually works on the road. First thing you'll notice on the road in the Genesis in a 3.8, anyway, is an incredible willingness to rev. This engine just loves to go all the way to the needle. Not a problem. There are no flat spots that I can detect. It feels like a very light flywheel. Spins up quickly but you can dump this car easily too. And in stop and go around traffic, you've gotta give it a lot of revs, 2500, 3000 as you're getting off the line. You can't just ease the clutch and have the car move; it'll die. So it's a little bit tenuous in everyday driving. But it's a joy on the open road, except the occasional gear change when you're expecting a little more oomph from the engine's rotating mass, it's not there. The other thing you'll notice right away in the handling on this car is the way we used to do it. It's a rear-wheel-drive car. No all-wheel drive. No front wheel drive. No super fancy all-wheel drive, torque-vectoring, blah blah. You just push the rear wheels and you can steer with your throttle. It's a lot of fun to drive in a simple old-school way. Kind of like what the Celica used to be. Now Hyundai says they've got a revolution in the rear seat for a compact Coupe. Normally, this is kinda where I-- ouch! I need a-- oh, God! orthopedic surgeon after I do one of these. But okay, if the seat were back here, that's not a bad bit of leg room in the back or the front all at once. The problem is no head room. I gotta sit here like a chimp in a circus car. Get me out. The price of this guy 2011 Genesis Coupe with the 3.8 in the R trim is $27,600. This is the least expensive of the V6 Coupes. In terms of tech options, there really aren't any. The options are things like, you know, locking lug nuts and crap. You can buy the iPod cable. That's $37. That's about all you can do here. The teching up to make this guy CNET style is done in the aftermarket.