The first sports car from Korea
What it Is
Hyundai Genesis Coupe Concept Preview – 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: The Hyundai Genesis Sedan that the company will unveil in Detroit in about a month is a groundbreaker, at least for the Korean company. But from the moment the concept was unveiled last year, speculation abounded that there would be a coupe version. This was confirmed in spy photos, and officially today as Hyundai took the wraps off the Genesis Coupe Concept, a modified version of what will eventually be the production car.
by Keith Buglewicz
Photo Credit: Hyundai
Why it Matters
The concept itself isn’t the real story, it’s the production car it’s based on that matters. The Genesis Coupe quite possibly could reshape the vision people have of Hyundai, thanks to its aggressive but clean styling and most importantly, its rear-drive configuration. Right now you can count on zero fingers the number of rear drive Korean cars offered in the U.S. The Genesis will change that, and quite possibly change the game altogether.Page 3
What’s Under the Hood
Two engines will be available in the Genesis Coupe. The first is 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder with an output of around 220 horses, and this is likely what the tuner kids will gravitate to thanks to the turbo’s easy tunability. The second will be powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 engine pushing somewhere north of 300 horsepower. Transmissions for the base engine aren’t clear, but the V-6 will be mated to a six speed manual…at least, that’s what the concept has. And as we mentioned, all that power goes to the rear wheels. No word yet on whether the rumored 350-plus horsepower V-8 will find its way under the hood.Page 4
What it Looks Like
There is very little controversial about the Genesis coupe. The overall shape has classic front-engine, rear-drive proportions, with a long hood and short rear deck. The wheels bulge impressively under the fenders, and the extra body work on the concept is outrageous, but not to the point of disguising the underlying goodness of the production vehicle. Our only quibble is with the peculiar treatment of the rear side window, which dips below the beltline already established by the front windows. Tension or just a slip of the pen, it’s a little odd looking.Page 5
The Genesis Coupe Concept’s interior is the most unrealistic part of the car, as we highly doubt that the white plastic single-piece chairs and white on gray plastics will make it to production. Still, we’ve come away impressed by recent Hyundai interiors, and expect that when it makes it to production, the Genesis Coupe will have a layout as clean as anything else we’ve seen from the Korean manufacturer.Page 6
What Hyundai Says
Two men were on stage to introduce the concept, so it seems only fair to quote them both. From John Krafcik, vice president of product development and strategic planning at Hyundai Motor America: “Concept Genesis Coupe is the most thrilling, most emotional Hyundai yet. When it hits the market in early 2009, we aim to deliver a driving experience that challenges cars like Infiniti G37, at prices more like Mitsubishi Eclipse.” And from Joel Piaskowski, chief designer at the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, Calif.: “The mission for Concept Genesis Coupe was to create a pure performance car with a design that would capture the imagination of hardcore automotive enthusiasts. With its aggressive look from just about any angle, I think we have been able to do that.”Page 7
What We Think
The hype sounds impressive. With promises of G37 performance at Eclipse prices, it’s a little hard not to get excited. Hyundai has a recent track record of hitting its targets pretty hard as well. Are we excited? Sure, why not.