The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec: Korea's best challenge yet for the American muscle cars

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I recently spent some time behind the wheel of the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec - a V6 powered sports coupe that presents itself as the best chance yet for the Korean automaker to challenge the American muscle cars even without a V8 engine.

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe was introduced in 2009 as a 2010 model year vehicle and for the 2013 model year, the “Gen Coupe” received a facelift and more power to help it keep up with the Joneses in the affordable performance car segment. In doing so, Hyundai has brought their best sports car thus far that can take a real shot at the American muscle cars including the Ford Mustang, the Dodge Challenger and the Chevrolet Camaro.

The Exterior
The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec looks more or less identical to the rest of the Gen Coupe lineup and that begins with the “new” front end. This exterior design includes a front end that takes a heavier cue from the automakers fluidic design language, with similar cues that we see on the Hyundai Veloster. This begins with the new, massive grille opening that is finished almost completely in black with just a scant sampling of chrome around the Hyundai “H”. Flanking the lower portions of this large grille are a set of uniquely shaped fog lights packed in matte black housings while the upper grille is joined by a set of sharply angled headlights featuring projection style assemblies set in black and chrome bezels. Some might frown upon the front end design of the Genesis Coupe but in a segment where an aggressive design goes a long way – Hyundai has hit a home run with the 2013 Genesis Coupe.

The wide, low front end of the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe runs back to a hood that is long and flat, extending almost all of the way out to the top of the fenders. New for 2013 is a set of matte black grilles mounted in the middle of the hood that add that certain something in terms of sporty styling although these new items are more aesthetic than function. The hood gives way to a steeply sloping windshield that angles up to a very short roofline that almost immediately angles back down towards the back end. The roofline and rear glass combine to create as much of a fastback form as you can ask for – giving the Genesis Coupe a very sleek, slippery shape while also offering great aerodynamic properties. Along the side, the 19” wheels that are unique to the R-Spec and Track package fill the large, angled wheel openings nicely while a set of hard body lines running front to back with an upwards direction help to give the Gen Coupe the form of a big cat ready to pounce.

Out back the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec wears new tail lights for the 2013 model year which are angled inward with all of the lighting needs (brake lights, turn signals, backup lights) all incorporated into one single lens design with both red and clear/chrome portions of the assembly. Above these new tail lights is a subtle spoiler molded into the trunk lid while the lower matte black rear fascia houses the large dual exhaust tips for a very clean look.


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"Realistically, the advancements in engine technology among the Detroit Big 3 muscle cars has come a long way so their V6 and V8 engines offer a pretty substantial advantage over the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec." First of all, are you reviewing the 2012 or 2013 model? Since you refer to the new power ratings and you have 2013 in the title and peppered throughout the review I assume you are reviewing the 2013 model. Second, the 2013 Genesis 3.8 is tied for second for the most powerful NA V6 you can buy. Not one of the Big 3 have a V6 with as much power. If you had left out V6 and and stuck to the correct year model you would have been fine other than the "you think?" reaction you are still going to get from the idea that a V8 with greater displacement puts out more power than a V6. It would be misleading if the poor writing wasn't so obvious. I don't own one or have a dog in the fight. I just prefer accuracy and information that is relevant or is more informative than telling me V8s have more power potential than a V6. You don't even touch on important issues like the problems with brake fade from the Brembo's or the issues with up shifting at redline that would have been obvious in a real test of the car. Hell there isn't even a mention that it comes with Brembo brakes.
So how was the visibility? Was the car like sitting in bathtub due to the fact that the R-Spec does not have seat height adjustment? I sat in a Touring model the other day and it was nice, but I didn't have the time to drive it...yet. No R-specs are available in the area to tell for myself.