A pony car from the company that used to put out the Pony. What a concept.
But then, it's long past time to keep recalling Hyundai's past- er-"efforts" every time they trot out something new. Like pimply high school yearbook photos, some things are better left buried in the closet.
Hyundai's been on a roll long enough that I think it's time to bring a steelier eye to bear. After all, when a new Toyota or Honda launches, everybody gets out their magnifying glasses and searches for minor flaws. These companies have solid reputations and must be judged against past successes.
Well, in my opinion, so must Hyundai. The Santa Fe's been a great SUV buy for years. The Sonata should be on every midsize-sedan shopper's list, and while everyone's clucking about the swoopy-looking Veloster, the Elantra is a practical and stylish runabout that's quite good to drive.
Really, taking a good hard look at this refreshed-for-2013 rearwheel-drive sport coupe, the only real question is: Is this car good enough to wear a Hyundai badge?
Say, anybody catch any basking shark clips on Shark Week? Just asking-no particular reason.
The Genesis Coupe already had a svelte design, and while I'm not in love with the false louvers implanted into the new hood, the updated (referred to in some circles as "Velosterized") front fascia looks good. It might be a bit gawp-mouthed, but it looks better in reality than in pictures, and if the Audi-esque expression really bothers you, just order it in black.
What the new front-end does give the Genesis coupe is some much-needed road presence. The outgoing model is a good-looking car, but fairly generic.
Aside from the characteristic belt-line divot of the rear 3/4 windows, the old Genesis could have been made by any of the Japanese manufacturers. The new grille is pure rising Korea, and partnered with LED accents front and back, and red Brembo brakes peeking out from behind 19" alloy wheels, you know it's business time.
I'd love to say the interior revisions made to the Genesis coupe are like a slap in the face to higher-ticket coupes like the Infinity G37, but not quite. The Genesis is still a bargain, and it feels like one on the inside.
Mind you, the improvements do help. Rotary dials on the A/C controls are more intuitive, the navigation display is properly positioned, and the centre stack's new layout is overall more modern. Triple gauges display information on oil-temperature, torque and fuelconsumption and honestly, you'll never glance at them after the first two minutes behind the wheel.
New perforated leather seats are extremely comfortable and bolstered right at the perfect pitch-point between easy streetcar ingress and track-car lateral support. Some fiddling is required to get the lumbar support just right, but those looking to move into a performance coupe from something like a Honda Civic will doubtless find the seating position more familiar than V6 versions of the Mustang or the Camaro.
This year, the Genesis Coupe's 3.8L V6 is a even more of a heavy hitter, with direct-injection bumping horsepower to 348hp. Even better, turbo-charged four-cylinder models now sport a respectable 274hp, up from the rather wheezy 210hp of the old model.