Can the new Hyundai Genesis coupe fill the shoes of the 240SX? While most of Japan is going green and discontinuing all the turbo and sport compacts cars, Hyundai comes out of left field to offer us the new Genesis Coupe. No it's not a Tiburon, far from it. With the Silvia/240SX line coming to an end, Hyundai's noticed that there was a huge following that is now left with no new car option. Silvias were great because they were an inexpensive sport compact, with a turbo 4-cylinder and rear-wheel-drive layout. Since then no manufacturers have been offering anything with all those characteristics. It's about time someone offers an affordable turbo RWD car to the tuning breed like you and me. Just about any other affordable (under $25k) car is either FWD or just kind of `light on its feet'.
Although, Hyundai isn't everyone's top brand, it's hard to ignore the potential of this car. With a $22k price tag, it's hard to even consider a FF Civic or any other new car in that price range. It's hard to even think of another RWD car from Asia at that price range (turbo or not).
So you're wondering what's the car actually like? Jon and Sean were lucky enough to be invited to Willow Springs Raceway to drive the Genesis at the launch event. Unfortunately for me, I was too sick to attend. But that didn't stop Hyundai. I was even luckier, being flown to Vegas for another Genesis launch at Spring Mountain Raceway.
Although the car comes in at a pig weight of 3,300 pounds, on the track the power and weight was balanced so you don't even feel the weight. I took the Genesis on the road course, autocross course, and was even allowed to practice drifting in it. This is definitely a fun car. The V6 version has a butt load more horsepower and it's noticeably different, but I'd opt for the cheaper turbo four-cylinder version myself.
One of my favorite things about the car is the factory Brembo brakes (on track package vehicles). You know those Brembo brakes that come factory on the STI, Z33, and Evo? Well, those are the Brembo F40 and F50 calipers. That's the old two-piece design. The newer ones on the Genesis are the Brembo monoblock M4 calipers made from one piece of metal. Two-piece calipers are made from two pieces and the bolted together. They have a higher tendency to flex under load. Moving back to rear, the Genesis is equipped with a 4-piston rear caliper. That's something Nissan, Subaru, and Mitsubishi didn't get from Brembo.
So I've heard lots of rumors that the Genesis was coming with the same 4B11 engine from the Mitsubishi Evo. Well, it's time to put all those rumors away. The turbo 4-cylinder Genesis comes with the Theta engine (G4KC), not a 4B11. Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Chrysler joined forces to form GEMA (Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance), a shared engine manufacturer. Once the layout of the 4-cylinder engine was designed, each company tweaked with it to suit their own needs. Mitsubishi has the 4B11, Chrysler has The World Engine, and Hyundai has the Theta. So both the Theta and 4B11 come from the same group, and same bloodline, but they are two different engines. Furthermore, I talked to fabricator Gary Castillo of Design Craft Fabrication who's already begun building both the V6 and the inline four engines. Gary assured me that although the 4B11 and Theta engines are similar, they are still quite different. Think of the two engines as more like brothers than twins. Not only are the manifold bolt patterns different, the head designs are completely different. But that's not to say the Theta engine won't have the same aftermarket support that the 4B11 is getting.
The fate and success of this car really comes down to the aftermarket support. Both show and and go parts are already in the works. HKS built a full car for the SEMA show last year and this year Rhys Millen is piloting a Genesis in the Formula Drift series.
Hyundai has been hard at work in the product-planning department, and is well aware of our community of tuners. In mid-2010 they will be releasing a Spec R version of the Genesis. It will come with track-tuned suspension, 19" alloy wheels with performance summer tires, Brembo brakes, a Torsen limited-slip differential and R-Spec badging. To further reduce cost and weight, they should also come without back-up indicators in the rear bumper, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, cruise control, trip computer, chrome interior accents and steering wheel audio controls.
It's hard not to appreciate the efforts Hyundai is making for everyone. With their ridiculously generous warranty, you don't have too much to worry about with reliability, even with a turbocharged car. And since economic times are tough Hyundai is offering the Assurance Plan where they'll pay three months car payments or buy your Genesis back, if you should lose your job. Now only if they would pay all the car payments, due to having a lousy paying job than that would be perfect for me.
2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
The Sticker Starting at $22,000
The Power 210hp 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder; or 306hp 3.8L V6
Weight3,294 lbs. (4-cylinder turbo); 3,389 lbs. (V6)
Layout Front engine, rear wheel drive
Gearbox 6-speed manual or automatic with Shiftronic
Stiff Stuff MacPherson strut dual link with springs (front); five-link design with gas struts (rear)
Rollers 18" alloy wheels; 19" alloy wheels (on track model)
Stoppers 12.6" (front) rotors and 12.4" (rear) rotors; optional Brembo monoblock 4-piston calipers with 13.4" (front) rotors and 13.0" (rear) rotors
Efficiency 21/30mpg (4-cylinder turbo); 17/26mpg (V6)
The Pack Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mitsubishi Lancer, and Nissan Altima
Deep Thoughts Forget Hyundai's past; their future is now with the Genesis.