A real beauty to look at, but does its go match its show? The swooping lines and haunch of the vehicle make it feel as though it’s a cheetah ready to pounce on tonight’s dinner.
The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe R-Spec is a car that defines when you really should judge a book by its cover. Since its introduction as a 2010 model, Hyundai has made subtle yet noticeable changes to the exterior of this vehicle, which have rendered it quite a stunning coupe from nearly every exterior angle. Revised front and rear fascias front including LED lights transform this vehicle from being a bargain buy for those wanting a cheap thrill into a serious competitor in the 2-door sports coupé category.
Now I’m more of an American muscle guy myself, but through conversations with colleagues and fellow car nuts I can definitely see the appeal in such a beautiful car. Pulling up to any stoplight in a Genesis, especially in the tester’s bright red Tsukuba Red, will garner stares. The swooping lines and haunch of the vehicle make it feel as though it’s a cheetah ready to pounce on tonight’s dinner. But like so many other cars, is this one all bark and no bite as well? Heck no.
The 2013 2.0T R-Spec is fitted with a 2.0 litre 4-banger that can punch out 274 horsepower (albeit with premium fuel) while mated to a 6-speed transmission. All that power is delivered to the rear wheels, giving the Genesis vehicle the needed oomph to go 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds. That’s pretty outstanding for a vehicle tipping the scales at almost 3400 lbs. Not to mention, due to Genesis Coupé’s rear-wheel-drive setup with the limited-slip differential, it is definitely a fun vehicle for any enthusiast looking to get completely sideways around a corner. I wasn’t exactly looking to get good fuel economy with this car, but I found that even at regular highway speeds, the Genesis stays in boost. This prevented me from doing much better than 11L/100km. However, on a spirited jaunt to Muskoka’s back roads, I saw as low as 6.5L/100km averaging 85-90 km/h.
As I was saying, the new Genesis is definitely a car that should be judged by its exterior. What do I mean by that? Well, even though the 2013 had improvements to the exterior, it is still lacking in refinement compared to its competitors. This particular tester was fitted with red leather seats that had mesh middle inserts. Though the seats were actually pretty comfortable and supportive both for highway cruising and tackling the twisty backroads, the mesh inserts look cost-cut. The vast majority of the interior trim is black plastic, which in this instance made the interior look drab, especially with the hard touch surfaces.
Technologically speaking, this Genesis Coupé seems to be falling a generation behind, not because of a lack of in-dash GPS in this particular unit, but because it still looks like what you could get in a 10 year old pseudo-luxury sports coupe. The multimedia system still needs Hyundai’s proprietary cable in order to play an iPod. As this car is one of the largest in its class, the redeeming factor is the actually useable back seat. Now I wouldn’t recommend this as a road trip vehicle, but for quick jaunts or a night on the town, four people would be reasonably comfortable.
As for pricing, the 2013 2.0T R-Spec manual starts at $28,799 which is quite competitive for 2-door sports coupes near the $30,000 mark. As for competition, my colleagues and I could only think of a few vehicles that would match: The Honda Accord Coupé is held back by its front-wheel-drive; the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are ridiculously small in comparison, as is the Mazda MX-5. The Ford Mustang technically can compete from a value standpoint (a V8-powered GT can be had with current incentives in the low $30,000 range), but hardly anybody would cross-shop the two.
Overall, the Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec is a great buy for those looking for something practical enough for their everyday commute, and good enough to keep up with their enthusiast friends on the weekend. Its slick powerband, turbocharger, and stunning looks definitely give it a huge advantage. One note to Hyundai though that would make this vehicle more awesome: a convertible please!
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe R-Spec Gallery