Hyundai moves to the rear

Hyundai lifts its im­age with a rear-drive coupe, writes JAMES STAN­FORD in New York

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

STUNT driv­ers do­ing cir­cle work in­tro­duced the new Hyundai Ge­n­e­sis Coupe in New York. It was a de­lib­er­ate move to em­pha­sise that the Tiburon re­place­ment sends its power to the rear wheels.

Un­til the in­tro­duc­tion of the Ge­n­e­sis sedan in the US ear­lier this month, all Hyundai pas­sen­ger cars had been front-wheel-drive.

The Ge­n­e­sis Coupe, which Hyundai Aus­tralia hopes to in­tro­duce lo­cally from 2010, was un­veiled in New York in its fi­nal pro­duc­tion guise.

Hyundai re­vealed that, in the US, the two-door coupe will run a 3.8-litre quad-cam V6 with a healthy out­put of 228kW and 357Nm when it goes on sale from Septem­ber.

It fea­tures vari­able valve tim­ing and a new vari­able in­take sys­tem.

Hyundai says the V6 Ge­n­e­sis Coupe can do 0-97km/h in less than six sec­onds.

There will also be a turbo 2.0-litre, four-cylin­der base ver­sion with a re­spectable 158kW and 294Nm.

The in­ter­cooled quad-cam en­gine also has vari­able valve tim­ing.

Both pow­er­plants are linked to a six-speed man­ual. A five-speed au­to­matic is avail­able for the four­cylin­der and a six-speed ZF auto is op­tional for the V6 model.

With an im­pres­sive pow­er­train se­lec­tion and sleek styling, the Ge­n­e­sis Coupe could be the car that changes Hyundai’s rep­u­ta­tion as a maker of bud­get cars.

‘‘This brings a new cred­i­bil­ity to the brand that we haven’t had, quite frankly,’’ Ge­n­e­sis Coupe chief de­signer Joel Pi­askowski says.

‘‘Along with the Ge­n­e­sis sedan, I think it re­ally is go­ing to el­e­vate the im­age of the brand and bring in buy­ers we haven’t seen be­fore.’’

Ru­mours had sug­gested Hyundai might even drop into the coupe the 4.6-litre, V8 en­gine used in the Ge­n­e­sis sedan, but Pi­askowski says that is not the case.

Asked if a V8 Coupe was com­ing, he says: ‘‘Not yet. As it cur­rently stands the V8 will not pack­age with this sheet metal.’’

Pi­askowski ex­pects the V6 model to be the star, but says the turbo base Coupe should hit the mark with young driv­ers who en­joy mod­i­fy­ing their cars.

‘‘The four, I think, will re­ally ap­peal to the tuner crowd,’’ he says.

The Ge­n­e­sis Coupe will be the first Hyundai to be fit­ted with brakes by Brembo, the Ital­ian com­pany that makes an­chors for some of the world’s most exclusive su­per­cars.

Brembo brakes with four-pis­ton front calipers are stan­dard on high­er­spec SE mod­els. Base cars come with a stan­dard, sin­gle- pis­ton calipers.

Elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol and front, side and side cur­tain airbags are stan­dard on all mod­els.

Base cars come with 18-inch wheels; the SE gets 19-inch rims.

Built off the same base as the Ge­n­e­sis sedan’s, the Ge­n­e­sis Coupe’s body is stiffer than the E46 BMW M3, ac­cord­ing to Hyundai.

It is no light­weight. The four­cylin­der Coupe tips the scales at 1560kg and the V6 weighs 1609kg.

Hyundai says the car will have a front-to-rear weight dis­tri­bu­tion bal­ance of 55:45.

A lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial is stan­dard on SE mod­els.

Step­ping up: the new Hyundai Ge­n­e­sis Coupe has an im­pres­sive pow­er­train se­lec­tion and sleek styling.

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