At times it can be a fantastic feeling. My lust for the Genesis coupe started back in 2007 when I started working as a Hyundai technician. It was a very exciting time for me. I had just changed careers and was now working on the cars that I have known for quite sometime. However, there were rumors of a new RWD platform in the works. My mentor and close friend at the time, Jerry Lawson, would be off at training sessions in Miami at Hyundai's technical facility in Doral. He would come back with tidbits of information on this new platform and other cars that were in the works. What I really wanted was a RWD sports car and my obsession began. Fast forward to April of 2009. I had switched dealerships trying to find work. I was now in a small dealership in Vero Beach, FL and on one bright sunny afternoon, there it was...the object of my affection. A nordscheife gray coupe 2.0 turbo just came off the truck. It was gorgeous! It was everything that I had imagined it would be. Seeing pictures of it just did not do it any justice. I asked my manager if I could do the pre-delivery inspection (PDI) on the car and knowing my obsession with it, he agreed. On one stipulation, absolutely NOTHING happened to the car while on my test drive. I agreed. I looked over the car with hungry eyes. Completing the PDI, it was time for a test drive. I was in heaven.
The R-spec is a trim level that Hyundai designates as their race edition. The car comes with all of the hardware from the Track edition but without the frills. There is no cruise control, no moonroof, not even a wing and some other fluffy comforts are taken away. The result is a vehicle that weighs 76lbs lighter and a price tag that was lighter on the wallet. This was only available on the 2.0 turbo, until 2010 when Hyundai released a 3.8 v6 edition. Even more cuts were made to the car. So now you could get into a 3.8 Genesis coupe for just under 27k. Doesn't sound like a bad deal. right? You get the big Brembo brakes, a torsen limited slip differential, and larger 19 inch wheels with summer compound tires.
All of the go fast parts are there and to be used at your will. Then this year Hyundai surprised us again with the R-spec Genesis sedan. This car gives you a 5.0 GDI V8 putting down 429hp and 376 ft/lbs of torque. It also gives you larger 19 inch wheels specific to the R-spec. Colors are also limited on the R-spec sedan, just as they are with the coupe. One thing though, it adds weight, presumably from the larger motor. How come the R-spec coupes do not give you more power? Are there other R-specs in the works? Maybe, with the Veloster Turbo to debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and the Elantra coupe to debut at the L.A. Auto show, I'm sure anything is possible. On the other hand though, I want the options AND the go fast parts. I'm a firm believe that weight savings starts with the driver!
I picked up my Interagos yellow 3.8 R-spec from the dealership and was ready to drive off into the sunset. That is if I could get out of the parking lot. I must have stalled it at least three times, how embarrassing. The clutch is heavy and very un-Hyundai like. Reverse does not have a lock out, but a pressure gate. It is left and up. You also get a little "Ding" when putting the car into reverse. I finally made it out of the parking lot and onto the main roads. For me, this is BIG car. Its almost a eight inches wider and longer then my Elantra. So needless to say I was being extra cautious. My initial impressions were that the car had quite a stiff, almost harsh ride. The steering was quick and accurate for the most part, though my tester did not want to center itself. The motor is powerful and will move the car very nicely. The interior is not that shabby with well placed controls, comfortable well bolstered seats and a good driving position.(the R-spec comes with red inserts and red leather on the doors) It's a nice place to be, even with all of the hard monotone plastics. The dash pad itself was soft touch, but not much else. The transmission is notchy and vague at times. I found that downshifting from 5th gear a little difficult. It would feel like it was being held up and would not move. I also found reverse to be slightly annoying. I was at a stop light putting in my flash drive into the center console usb port, when the light went green. I went to throw it into first gear, but instead I went into reverse, pulled it out, and went into reverse AGAIN! Getting honked and yelled at by a middle aged woman biker on her harley is not cool.
The sum of all of it's parts...
It all looks so good. Literally, its a gorgeous car, but like the hot girl that you have always wanted, it comes at a price. The 3.8 liter v6 is thirsty! I averaged about 22mpg. Now granted I'm coming from econoboxes where anything less then 27 mpg is unacceptable. I just could not afford to put gas in this car as much as I drive in a week. The act of driving is quite impeded by the overly granny'd Traction Control System (TCS or ESC). I made the mistake of leaving the TCS on while trying to test acceleration. My head jerked quite bad when I made the 1st to 2nd gear shift. The car literally falls flat on its face and then a second or two later will start to accelerate again. 2nd to 3rd was the same way. This was ridiculous. It was a bright sunny day here in Florida, there was no need for it to kick in the way it did. Next time, with the TCS off, it was much better a nice chirp came from the rear tires when shifting into 2nd gear, but 3rd gear still fell short and would not keep with the same intensity that the first two gears did. How disappointing. I think the electronics of this car really take away from the experience. I could only imagine if this had a cable instead of an electric throttle body. Maybe that is where the guys at Poweraxel or Seoulful racing come into play. Maybe it just needs to be programmed correctly.
My love affair...
|A1A south between Melbourne and Sebastian|
Another time another place...
|One of many PA backroads...Near Bangor, PA|