Half the fun of being a Car Guy (remember, the term Car Guy is gender-neutral, but the capitalized C and R are manditory), is getting people’s reaction to what you’re driving. I’m always surprised at what attracts attention, and what doesn’t. I still wonder what went wrong when I borrowed one of the first new-generation Camaro convertibles for a run to Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank on one of Bob’s impromptu Friday night car shows; no one gave it a second look. Odd, because the Camaro makes a big, bold statement. It screams “Look at me!”
It’s the exact opposite story with Hyundai’s frequently refreshed line of Genesis Coupes. They keep their voice down (mostly: we’ll talk performance in a moment), but I can’t tell you how many people stop to ask what I’m driving. It’s no surprise, Hyundai’s design squad has crafted a stylish ride.These are the same folks who created the Veloster, a 3-door Swiss Army Knife that –in matte brown– is the most unique car on any road, anywhere.
The Genesis’s nose looks like a Jaguar XK had a date with a Telsa Model S and this was the result, at about a third- or a quarter- of the cost. Hyundai has made certain the Genesis is affordable, by offering range of options, mostly in terms of engines.
So let’s go ahead and talk performance. Options range from a modest 4-cylinder, to a 4 cylinder wtih a smooth-spooling turbo, to a screaming 350 hp V-6. Prices range from about $26K to upwards of $35K. I’ve done track time in various coupes (don’t tell Hyundai … oh wait, they already know), and prefer the good old fashioned grunt of the rear-drive’s V-6. The turbo is fine — no turbo lag — but it’s no surprise the V-6 just feels stronger.
The fit and finish is what you’d expect from a Hyundai these days. Years ago, that wouldn’t necessarily have been a compliment, but it is now. And a day in the driver’s seat isn’t tiring. Noise from outside does work its way in; but when it’s your own car’s exhaust note, that’s not a bad thing.
Any of the Genesis coupes would be worthy rides to a weekend car show. Maybe with the single exception of a Friday night at Bob’s Big Boy. I tell ya, that crowd is tough.