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