Story and photos by Lorne Drury
Metroland Media/WheelsTalk.com –
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ is the mantra of some automobile companies, but not Hyundai.
The upstart South Korean automaker makes a habit of one-upping the competition by constantly upgrading its lineup.
Case in point is the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which bowed in 2009 as a 2010 model and now gets a significant refresh for 2013.
Hyundai’s re-do of the car for 2013 is much more than the nip here and a tuck there that other manufacturers might call a refresh.
To start with, the 2013 Genesis Coupe gets a serious power boost. Thanks in part to direct injection technology, the 3.8-litre Lambda DOHC V6 engine in my GT tester gains 42 horsepower to 348 and 29 lb/ft of torque to 295 that will propel the car from 0-100 km in the low five-second range. The power boost amounts to increases of 14 and 11 per cent respectively.
Add to that a more aggressive exterior design with new front fascia, grille, headlights, fog lights and hood design and you end up with a Genesis Coupe that has significant improvements for 2013.
Other new features for 2013 are retuned, low-velocity control suspension dampers, electroluminescent gauge cluster with information display, telescopic steering wheel added to the tilt function, power lumber adjustments for the driver’s seat and redesigned centre stack.
All this comes at a price, though, as my GT tester with six-speed manual sells for $36,999 or $38,799 with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
Meanwhile, the base 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine is also significantly more powerful with a new twin-scroll turbocharger and a larger, more thermally efficient intercooler.
That engine now makes 274 hp (up from 210) on premium fuel, although anti-knock technology allows you to run it on regular fuel if desired. The base model Genesis Coupe 2.0 with manual transmission is priced at $26,499.
A track-ready 2.0T R-Spec model is priced at $28,799 and includes a bunch of high-performance equipment like Brembo brakes, 19-inch wheels with summer tires, limited slip differential and a stiffer suspension.
This model finished a strong third in the Sport-Performance under $50K category in the recent Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) 2013 Car of the Year testing. The Genesis finished a scant three points behind the Ford Focus ST in testing and posted a 0-100 km/h time of 6.9 seconds and topped the 10-car field in braking with a 100-0 km/h distance of 37.9 m.
A 2.0T Premium model upgrades the interior of the standard 2.0T and adds items like touch-screen navigation system, 360-watt Infinity audio system, leather seats with two-stage front heaters, and power sunroof. This is priced at $29,899 for the six-speed manual and $31,699 for the eight-speed automatic.
Fuel economy is better all-round in the new Genesis Coupe with Natural Resources Canada numbers of 11.5L/100 km city and 7.3L/100 km highway for the V6 manual and 11.3/7.0 for the V6 automatic. With the 2.0L engine, the numbers are 10/6.6 for the manual and 10.4/6.4 for the automatic.
Power numbers are one thing, but where the rear-wheel drive Genesis Coupe 3.8 really stands out is in the weight-to-power ratio thanks to extensive use of lighter, ultra high-strength steel.
Against competitors like the BMW 335i, Infiniti G37, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, the Genesis Coupe is best overall and on par with the Nissan 370Z.
The cabin of the Genesis Coupe has a much more upscale look and feel than before. Among the new trim features is a stitched seam on the dashboard, while soft touch materials have a lower sheen for a more luxurious look. On the centre stack is a multi-gauge cluster with instant fuel economy, torque level (3.8 GT models) or turbocharger boost pressure (2.0T models) and oil temperature. The sport front seats have deep side bolsters for improved lateral support.
In back, there is ample passenger room, but headroom comes at a real premium because of the extreme rake of the rear window.
Outside, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels on the Genesis Coupe are all new for this year as are LED taillights.
Even with the more muscular look, the car’s proportions are unchanged with short front and rear overhangs, creating a wedge-like profile with broad shoulders and a wide stance.
The biggest improvement I found in the new model is in the ride comfort — I know I couldn’t live with the outgoing Genesis Coupe on a daily basis with its extremely harsh ride. Spring, damper and bushing ratings have all been recalibrated this time around for better road feel, more precise body motion control and best of all, more ride comfort.
The 3.8 GT we tested came with a track-tuned suspension that has firmer front and rear spring rates, and even with the firmer suspension, ride comfort shows a huge improvement.
The Genesis Coupe was already a great car, but with the improvements we’ve outlined above, Hyundai has made it even better for 2013.
There’s no standing still for Hyundai.
Hyundai Genesis GT Coupe 2013 at a glance
- BODY STYLE: mid-size sports coupe
- DRIVE METHOD: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
- ENGINE: 2.0-litre turbocharged DOHC 16-valve four cylinder (274 hp/275 lb/ft of torque); 3.8-litre 24-valve V6 (348 hp and 295 lb/ft of torque)
- FUEL ECONOMY: 2.0T manual 10.0/6.6 L/100 km (city/hwy); 2.0T auto 10.4/6.4 L/100 km (city/hwy); 3.8-litre manual 11.5/7.3 L/100 km (city/hwy); 3.8-litre auto 11.3/7.0 L/100 km (city/hwy)
- CARGO CAPACITY: 332 litres
- PRICE: 2.0T manual $26,499, automatic $28,299; R-Spec $28,700; 2.0T Premium manual $29,899, automatic $31,699; 3.8 GT manual $36,999, automatic $38,799