First Drive: 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

March 29, 2009

When a manufacturer invites the motoring press to drive their newest cars, they sometimes utilize a racetrack to help journalists safely evaluate the outer limits of the car's performance envelope. Safety talks always precede these exercises, along with pleading cautions about not burning up brakes or killing gearboxes.

Not at the launch for the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

The press showed up at Spring Mountain Raceway in Parahump, Nevada for a day's worth of full-throttle evaluations. The Hyundai PR flaks proffered no warnings about brakes, gearboxes or tires. As a matter of fact, they challenged us to see if we could make the optional Brembo brakes fitted to their Coupes fade. They never did, attesting to the capabilities of the mono-block four-piston calipers and big discs at each corner.

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

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Even after multiple groups of heavy-footed journalists, Hyundai's fix-it crew looked thoroughly bored. Aside from changing tires, the cars used on the track needed no service, not even brake pad swaps.

In addition to the track exercise, Hyundai offered journalists the opportunity to learn how to drift. Drifting brutally beats on the car's engine, transmission, drive shaft, differential, suspension, and steering while gratuitously destroying the rear tires. These cars didn't break either, although a stack of used-up Bridgestones could be seen behind the tech tent.

These exercises attest to the mechanical stoutness of the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. While it won't be impossible for regular consumers to break the car (never underestimate the driving public), your author thinks it unlikely. Keep in mind that Hyundai backs their cars with ten-year/100,000-mile warranties, so their new Coupe had better be tough.

As for the learning how to drift part of the event, success first eluded this journalist but he persisted. The streets around Detroit may never be the same…

For our full review of the 2010 Genesis, check out our new Bottom Line. With a starting price of only $22,000, this thoroughly entertaining rear-wheel-drive coupe engenders memories of what the old Nissan 240SX might have been had the car not been dropped. Coupes powered by the 3.8-liter V-6 begin at $25,000, and present an interesting alternative to the new 2010 Camaro LS or LT, the less expensive of which starts at $23,000 with a 304-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6.

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