2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Performance

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Performance
Hyundai set the bar high with its first serious contender in the entry-level sports car market by trying to tangle with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro right out of the gate.

The four-cylinder model uses Hyundai's turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which churns out 210 horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque. Inside the more powerful Coupe 3.8, the engine bay is wedged full with a 3.8-liter V-6 that has 306 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. With both the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro getting power boosts from their V-6 engines over the past year, the competition is now more heated than it was, but the Genesis Coupe is still very competitive: Hyundai says its coupe hits 60 mph in about six seconds and can go on to a limited top speed of 149 mph.

A six-speed manual is standard with both engines. The four-cylinder gets an optional five-speed automatic, while the V-6 version can be outfitted with a six-speed automatic made by ZF. The manual gearboxes shift competently with a good mechanical feel.

The rear-wheel-drive 2011 Hyundai Genesis has the chops to dance with any of the V-6 American muscle coupes.

Like the Infiniti G37, Camaro, and Dodge Challenger, but unlike the Mustang, Hyundai's Coupe sports an independent suspension at all four corners. A five-link setup based on the Genesis Sedan hangs out in back. Even the base four-cylinder car comes with 18-inch wheels; 19-inch rims are also available. Tire sizes are staggered front-to-rear for better grip.

Dynamically, the four- and six-cylinder Genesis Coupe models are different animals. The 2.0t feels light and balanced. It accelerates with just a hint of turbo lag, but the car never comes across as flat-footed. The turbo's ramp in power gives the car a bit of welcome personality. The V-6 feels powerful and pulls hard. You'll never mistake it for a V-8, but the car has strong legs that like to run.

Overall, the Genesis Coupe is a joy to drive, with crisp turn-in, great body control, and strong brakes to match the brisk powertrains. About the only thing that editors haven't liked in past drives is a slightly tense, sensitive on-center feel in the steering.

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