Cameron Audet: There may have been a time when driving enthusiasts would have considered the term "Hyundai performance coupe" to be an oxymoron… but I think it’s safe to say that those days are gone.
Amanda Salas: This fresh styling and performance has taken the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe from slightly sporty to an aggressively postured road warrior.
Cameron: Hyundai’s lineup coincides with engine size and starts with the base model sporting a vastly improved twin-turbo 2.0T four. Then there’s the 2.0T R-Spec and Premium.
And that’s all good, but for maximum muscle, you’ll want to go and look at the 3.8 R-Spec, Grand Touring or Track models.
Amanda: This is a sport coupe that has the credentials to compete with the Ford Mustang V6, the Nissan 370Z and the BMW 128i.
Cameron: The entry-level 2.0T gets 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps and LED taillights. The 2.0T R-Spec ditches some of the basics in favor of performance upgrades, including 19-inch wheels, Brembo performance brakes, a limited-slip differential and a track-tuned suspension.
Its front seats are well bolstered and feel comfortable enough for long rides.
Amanda: Yeah, and there’s plenty of head and legroom up front, too. However, the back seats almost seem unusable for adults; it’s pretty tight back there.
Cameron: A nice touch is that iPod, USB and Bluetooth connectivity are all standard, even on entry-level models. This is typical of Hyundai to give buyers a lot of features for their money.
Amanda: Even the base radio comes with a great-sounding six-speaker system, CD/MP3 playback and XM satellite radio.
Cameron: I’m glad that Hyundai kept the low-slung driving position and the sloping dashboard. But let’s see if she’ll go as promised.
Amanda: All models send power to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. The base 2.0T puts out 274 horsepower. The 3.8 R-Spec we’re driving today uses a 348-horsepower V6.
The 3.8 is pretty close to the V6 Mustang, which only puts out 305 horsepower, but that’s not bad, relatively speaking.
Cameron: It’s good to know! I mean, this Genesis Coupe handles great on the road, but how is it gonna handle my wallet at the pump?
Amanda: The base model two-liter with the manual transmission gets 21 miles per gallon city and 30 highway. The 3.8 V6 with the manual drops off to 18 city and 27 highway. Both get slightly better highway ratings with the eight-speed automatic.
Cameron: The 2013 Genesis Coupe delivers solid value for the dollar. The base model starts at $24,250. A top-of-the-line Track model with the available eight-speed automatic will fetch a little over $34,000.
Amanda: Well, Cameron, I like what I see in ways of design, and it has a lot of power, too. And the ride is pretty much what you’d expect from a car that has a sport-tuned suspension.
Cameron: It’s true, and you add that to great handling and state-of-the-art technology, and you’ve got yourself a winner.