The word genesis is a noun meaning, “The origin or mode of formation of something”. However, Hyundai has decided to end its genesis before it really began. After the 2016 model year the genesis coupe will be no more. Hyundai will abandon it and no longer offer a rear wheel drive, 2 door, “sports car”.
In a way the Gen. Coupe was everything you could ask for.It was Hyundai’s answer to the v6 pony cars, the 370z/g37, and even the German 2+2 coupes. The car had its own unique look, as well as ample space inside and luxury styling ques. Initially launched as a 4-banger and v6, the 4 banger hoped to be what the BRZ is today, a fun affordable 2+2 tuner dream. It had a turbo 4 that shared parts with the EVO, But the 2.0t never took off. For the 2015 year they killed off the 4 cylinder and left us with the V6. The V6 was a 3.8 liter (more than all the competitors) and offered 348 horsepower at 6400 rpms. For 30k you could get the R-spec which came only in a manual, had brembos, an LSD and “track tuned suspension” (for reference 30k gets you a base 370z and no pony car, or bmw or lexus coupe)
So what was the issue with the Genesis Coupe? Why didn’t it sell in droves, and why didn’t it significantly impact the market?
To answer this question you have to drive one. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of driving the 2013 Gen Coupe with the grand touring package a few months ago. Honestly, I was excited by the car, but left sorely let down. Sitting in the car feels more luxurious and large than sporty and cocoon as you expect from a sports car. There’s a lot of room inside which is welcome. The back seats were true back seats. ,but when you’re in a sports car you don’t necessarily want the extra room. The materials all felt nice, so I disregarded the lack of sportiness. The center console had plenty of information to take in,but one thing was readily apparent, it was a sedan first and a coupe second. Hyundai was by no means a Porsche or even Chevy when it came to making sporty interiors. It was definitely more on the comfortable side.
Starting the Car up, the V6 roared to life, and the interior concerns went away. The car had a heavy feel to it, but the steering was solid, not too heavy, too light, or too sloppy. The suspension was nothing special; not floaty, not supremely stiff, just okay. It didn’t have any redeeming qualities. Being the GT package the car only came in an auto, but I intended to put it through its paces regardless. The auto transmission in manual mode was not the sharpest. There was always a lag between pulling for the next gear and getting it. The power delivery… was all mid range. Its direct competitor being the G37s, makes a lot of its power in the mid and upper ranges. The Genesis is different. It beats you with power in the mid range but is left wheezing at higher ranges. It’s reminiscent of that kid who runs his first 400m dash and goes easy building power the first 100, sprints the next 200, then that last 100 is gassed, but makes it just barely. But it felt and sounded exhilarating doing it, then I realized the car had augmented sound it didn’t need. It used artificial exhaust sound pumped into the speakers to feel ehilirating. When really pushing the car in a straight it went about in a brutish manner, which was the same for corners. There was some body roll, but mainly it came barreling through the turns only to punch you with mid range power again when you exit. Understeer was present In turns. Overall The car felt more like muscle car meets Korea than trackstar meets Korea. When I came to a stop and turned the car off it was tame, the seats hugged me and I was comfortable. Then I realized; the car totally missed the mark.
The Genesis coupe all these years was shooting to be an exciting fun track based car when really it was a fun above average Grand tourer with great looks. It felt like they were selling me a baby mustang more than a competitor to the g37s. There’s nothing wrong with that. But THAT car was never going to be a leader in THAT segment. It didn’t stand a strong chance coming from a company with 0 history in the segment. It had ALL the ingredients, but a good cook knows which ingredients are necessary and where to put them.
This is definitely not the end for this car. It will live a long prosperous life as a second and third owner car. It will depreciate to the low 20s and be gobbled up by college kids and young professionals or even people who want a cute sporty car. It still looks unique and woos people. Hyundai does have plans for a Coupe in their Genesis lineup in the future.
It’s sad that the Gen coupe died. The answer to fixing it could’ve been simply giving it the v8 the sedan has, or maybe repositioning it, or giving it a sportier suspension. No matter the solution something had to be done. In its present state the car was a paper champion that could have been. In a sense, it was the 2012-2013 LA Lakers team. So full of potential; all the proper ingredients to be successful. However it just never came together, no true sense of direction left them as champions only on paper or in video games. Moment of silence for the Genesis that never started.