Performance » 8
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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
The shifter lacks the direct, positive feel one would hope for from a performance coupe, and the finicky clutch requires too much attention in aggressive driving.
Four-cylinder models are reasonably gutsy, despite noticeable turbo lag.
The suspension is also impressive, but not up to true sports car stature.
There's no body roll; the brakes are powerful and don't fade; there's plenty of feel through the cheapo steering wheel and there's a wonderful neutrality between under and oversteer.
steering is quick, well-weighted, and accurate - but a bit lighter on feedback than we'd hoped
The rear-wheel drive Genesis Coupe was a revelation for Hyundai and those who appreciate high-performance coupes, as it's capable of delivering thrills at the track yet has enough sophistication for long-distance touring.
First off, there's a four-cylinder model that uses Hyundai's turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which churns out 210 horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque. Step up to the Genesis Coupe 3.8, which chases the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, and 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 Camaro and the Mustang recently getting power bumps this year, the pressure's on; 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.
Overall, the Genesis Coupe is a joy to drive, with crisp turn-in, great body control, and strong brakes to match the brisk powertrains. Tire sizes are staggered, front to back, for better grip and balance. The feel of the steering is about the only thing that we'd like to see different; it can feel somewhat nervous on center, yet a bit dull in corners. And keep in mind that dynamically, the 2.0T and V-6 versions of the Genesis Coupe are very different in personality. The 2.0T feels light and balanced, with only a hint of turbo lag yet a power curve that rewards revving. The V-6 however has the feel of a typical Japanese sedan V-6: It's smooth and strong and pulls hard through the range.
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe has what it takes to dance with entry-level American pony cars, as well as some premium-brand sport coupes.