Fast, good-looking and top-notch JDM performance. These are terms not typically associated with the H badge from Korea. When Hyundai enlisted major aftermarket teams to build up a pre-production Genesis, HKS was at the top of their list. After accepting the proposal they had their work cut out for them. The idea was straightforward-build a realistic representation of what could be done with the new platform. And build it in a manner that any real enthusiast would not only respect, but be proud to own themselves. To say that the end result was a success would be an understatement.
Anyone in the scene would be able to describe HKS as an aftermarket powerhouse of JDM brands. Even if this is the first time you've ever picked up a copy of Super Street, you've most likely at least heard of HKS. In the off chance that you grabbed this magazine because you thought it was Maxim and are not familiar with HKS let us fill you in. HKS is responsible for a fleet of amazing Japanese makes, including numerous record-setting time attack monsters, many of which have graced the cover of Super Street. However, this would be the first time they would dip their feet into a Korean-make this intensely. With a reputation to uphold and a community of tuners to impress, HKS set forth on the Hyundai build.
With SEMA as the official debut, HKS got down to business making all of the chassis-specific parts you see from scratch. Since the Genesis is a new body style, and at this point still pre-production, HKS had nothing to work with for this platform. With the exception of a few electronics pieces everything had to be designed, tested and tuned for the first time. When I got word that I was going to be shooting the vehicle I didn't really know what to expect, but from the moment I saw the car I was blown away. Even more so once the hood was raised, the quality of workmanship is truly second to none.
I couldn't believe my eyes at first sight of the bay. The first thing that drew my attention was all the carbon, this isn't your run-of-the-mill carbon-look bs. It's almost as though they gave up on using metal. It's a treat to see Ti or custom-welded aluminum pieces used in an engine bay from time-to-time, but when I saw the carbon intercooler and intake piping, I had to do a double-take. Aside from racecars, I can't recall ever seeing this method applied to the breathing system of a car. Not to mention the intake scoop, box and strut bar are also carbon. But it gets even better, not only are the parts carbon. HKS took it up a notch by fabricating dry carbon pieces. It doesn't get much better or more baller than that!
Having been around the block more than a few times, the guys at HKS knew that in order to get the response Hyundai was looking for out of the car they would have to do more than just blingy power-adders. Working side-by-side with the people at Kenstyle, this Genesis took on a whole new look. For those of you that didn't see the "Intel" section in our December 2008 issue, we've included a shot from the process. The procedure is so crazy even I didn't believe it until seeing the photos. Even after seeing the photo it's still hard to believe. Kenstyle sent a specialist from Japan out to HKS' US headquarters in Torrance to build the body kit from scratch.
Using little more than wood, putty and some sculpting tools, one man perfectly crafted an exact replica of the computer illustration created back in Japan. This is the type of craftsmanship you can only get from a true JDM body kit, no knock-off stuff here. When the dust cleared, the Kenstyle specialist had handcrafted a front bumper, a rear bumper, side skirts, a hood-lip and an engine cover. A far cry from what the vehicle used to be, all I thought was "damn... that's a Hyundai!?"
With it's newly reshaped body in place, the car was sent off to Kelly & Son Crazy Painters (yes that's their actual name) to be rendered a different hue. The red candy paint job is as close to perfection as one could ask. The color change was completed meticulously. There isn't a hint of silver to be seen on the car. Even die-hard paint buffs would be none the wiser to suspect it was originally another color. And the quality here is no fluke, in fact I was informed that Kelly & Son are under contract laying down the OE paint for Hyundai. Adding some splash to the interior, HKS also had some of the interior pieces color-matched.
When the paint work was completed, ghosted logos and all, the car returned to HKS for some final touches. In the interior you won't see loads of gadgetry and useless components. Instead HKS keeps everything simple but effective. Rather than having a huge gauge pod mounted in the vehicle, a new CAMP2 gauge system is set up to display all the vitals across the screen of the Kenwood head unit. To keep the upgraded GT2835 Pro S turbo in check, an EVC boost controller was installed. To round out the electronics, the vehicle is running on a F-Con iS that is secured in the engine bay on a custom dry carbon plate.
The last of the tuning bits are the quintessential tuner necessities. A custom-made HKS Legamax exhaust was designed to free up some power generated by the newly-acquired turbo upgrade. To give the car a proper stance and improve the handling characteristics, they fabricated a set of their newest Hipermax III coilovers to fit the Genesis. And last but certainly not least, new wheels were in order. And what better wheel to match the new school performance and new school styling of the car than Volk RE30s? Once wrapped in new Advan rubber and mounted up to the Hyundai, the car takes on its new demeanor.
For the first time Hyundai is offering up a real performance-oriented vehicle. Taking an already popular Mitsubishi 2.0L turbocharged 4B11 engine and mating it longitudinally to a RWD chassis looks like it might be the key to their underground success. When you throw world-class tuners like HKS (who are only 1 of 3 builders enlisted in the SEMA project) into the mix it only looks better. Things are looking up for Hyundai, but they still have a long road ahead of them before they are no longer considered the other H badge.
2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Owner HKS for Hyundai USA
Hometown torrance, CA
Daily Grind Making Parts
Under The Hood 4B11 2.0L Turbocharged; HKS GT2835 Pro S Turbo, S-Type front-mount intercooler, S-Type oil cooler, Super Sequential blow-off valve, Dry carbon intercooler piping, Dry carbon intake scoop, Dry carbon intake box, Super Hybrid air filter, radiator cap, Legamax Premium exhaust w/double wall stainless tips; Kenstyle engine cover
Stiff Stuff HKS Hipermax III coilovers, Dry carbon strut tower brace
Rollers 19X8 (front) 19X10 (rear) Formula Silver Volk RE30 wheels; 235/40/19 (front) 265/35/19 (rear) Advan Sport tires
Stoppers Brembo front big brake system
Outside PPG Candy Red paint; Kenstyle front bumper, rear bumper, sideskirts, hood lip; Hyundai Accessory OEM rear wing
Inside Reupholstered OEM leather seats; HKS shift knob, EVC boost controller, Camp2 monitoring system
Ice Kenwood DDX 712 A/V unit with custom console
Props HKS USA, Kenstyle, Yokohama Tire, Mackin Industries, Kelly & Son Crazy Painters, Kenwood, Creative Car Audio & Motorsports, BP Customs
www creative-motorsports.com; hksusa.com; kellyandsoncrazypainters.com; kenstyleusa.com; kenwoodusa.com; mackinindustries.com; yokohamatire.com