When Brembo attaches its braking technology to a performance vehicle, you better believe the situational marriage is for real. Known internationally in 15 countries, the company’s high-performance braking systems can be found on Ferraris, Aston Martins, Corvettes and now Hyundais. Yes, Brembo empowered the 2009 rear-wheel-drive Genesis Coupe with top-line braking capabilities when it was initially launched. For 2013, the new Korean coupe features four-piston aluminum front and rear calipers. Ventilated discs offer better cooling while Brembo says their monobloc technology increases stiffness, thereby enhancing braking capability.
Partnerships with Brembo, motorsports gurus like Rhys Millen, and countless SEMA customizers concedes a new and effective opportunity for the number six selling brand in the U.S. It’s partially the reason why 64% of people who trade in a Hyundai buy another Hyundai. The value proposition alone is reason enough to switch to the new trendsetting automaker. And they provide their customers with 10-year powertrain warranties. Now, the once disregarded Korean automaker is ready to take on top guns like the Nissan 370Z as if was a “Real Steel” showdown where the underdog walks away victorious.
Sure enough, the Genesis Coupe has the proper ingredients for a successful performance run. A completely new front end including the hood, grille and LED running daytime lights dictate the vehicle’s muscular, chiseled frame. The dual, flared dragon nostrils on the hood imply an aggressive temperament. I drove a Monaco White 2.0T R-SPEC to begin the Las Vegas journey from the Mandarin Oriental to Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club. It seemed like everything was new to the Coupe. I especially liked the 19” gunmetal alloy rims tucked in 225/40R19 front and 245/40R19 rear Bridgestone rubber. The flaming Red Brembo calipers added a nice touch and followed suit to the vehicle’s hand stitched, red leather performance seats. Large bolstering and mesh netting hinted that the vehicle wants the driver and passenger to stay put during spirited driving. The dual exhaust pipes are integrated in the rear bumper and loudly announce your intentions, no matter what speed you travel. Also new are the taillights, center stack, gauge cluster, and steering wheel. And you might as well toss in the Piano Black finishes and leather shifter.
The non R-SEPC models offer more understated performance. For example, you don’t get the Brembos and the wheels are not as flashy. You do get the choice of either the updated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder twin-scroll turbo with 274 horsepower or the new 3.8-liter V6 direct-injection engine with 348 horsepower. Keep in mind, twin-scroll doesn’t mean it’s a twin turbo. The engine features one turbo with two scrolls — which in theory offers quicker starts. Yet, I didn’t think the 2.0T’s acceleration was that immediate and preferred the full on power of the 3.8. An 8-speed SHIFTRONIC transmission with paddle shifting or a conventional 6-speed manual gearbox comes with either engine. I favored the 6-speed for this particular sports car. Depending on the configuration, expect 18 city/31 highway mpg.
The R-SPEC edition can be looked upon as the performance variant of Hyundai. Its $26,500 base price (excluding $875 destination) included all advanced safety, powertrain, and comfort technologies such as the track-tuned suspension, a limited slip differential for high speed cornering, electronic stability and traction control, power windows and locks, and iPod and Bluetooth connections.
Hyundai Blue Link is another amenity offered for added infotainment, safety and efficiency. Like a smartphone, you may incorporate turn-by turn navigation, Web surfing, and voice texting into your driving habits. The 10 speaker Infinity sound system is not bad either. Please do opt for the 7” touch-screen navigation system with 8GB USB memory and XM NavTraffic as with the “Tuner” crowd Hyundai is targeting with this vehicle, technology is absolutely essential. Besides the aforementioned Monaco White, Hyundai offers the Genesis Coupe in Parabolica Blue, Catalunya Copper, Becketts Black, Circuit Silver, Gran Premio Gray, and Shoreline Drive Blue. Interior choices are tan, red or gray.
The 2013 Genesis Coupe is fun to drive, fuel efficient, stylish and is loaded with the latest in automotive engineering. It’s tough to imagine how Hyundai is developing such packages at affordable prices while still attracting new customers; but somehow they are. This is the point where you don’t ask questions any more — you simply accept the vehicle and hope that as Hyundai continues to flourish, they don’t lose focus as some of the Japanese automakers have.
Genesis Coupe pricing begins at $24,250 for the 2.0T, to $34,250 for the 3.8 Track model (again, exclusive of an $875 freight charge).