2009 Hyundai Genesis Coupe – A Real Racer?

On my way to somewhere else, a few weekends ago, I happened to pass by my local Hyundai dealership.  There was a HOT lime green, new Hyundai Genesis Coupe.  I pulled in without thinking & quickly glanced at the stickers & interiors of the 3 of these models on their lot.  Only one of them was the 2.0 liter, standard transmission model.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of my Racing Ready business cards on me, so I left their lot (the card is a good way to break the ice & also have people follow-up on the blog).

I had first seen this vehicle advertised during the Super Bowl & blogged about it here.  I liked what I saw published about it on their Genesis Coupe website.  In March I read an introductory first drive article in my AutoWeek magazine (they were pleased with the vehicle, especially for the price).

Then I read this article on the NextAutos.com website about the new Genesis Coupe.  It goes into much greater depth.  It confirmed that I thought I would prefer the 2.0T Track model, but now I’m positive it would be even better to wait for the 2.0T R-Spec version (and it’s said to be less expensive!).  Read through that link for more details!

Please note: The following are only 1.3 MP camera phone pix...

So, would this vehicle be an acceptable daily driver & weekend autocross/road racer?  I decided to go back & do a test drive today.  There were 3 on the lot, 2 red ones & a blue one (sweet).  Two were the 3.8 liter model (both automatics) & the third was the 6-speed, 2.0T Track M/T (Manual/Turbo) model I was most interested in.  That’s the one I wanted to test drive for writing up this report.  I met Samer the salesman & he found the “keys” (one of those remote fobs – the keyless ignition feature I’m not a fan of).  I’m sure Hyundai could have saved some coin & given us the standard keyed ignition – but no, got to follow the trends of marketing hype.

Usually test drives start out with the salesman driving the car to a neutral parking lot & then swapping seats with the customer.  Not this time – thanks Samer!  We had to avoid an accident on the Interstate highway, so I drove the access roads north to my favorite test loop, Tejas Trail.

My initial ergonomic impressions?  The shifter seemed about 4″  too far back.  Although it was easy to find the correct gear, the linkage seemed rubbery – not exactly confidence inspiring when one is at speed.  The wheel was not quite  adjusted properly for me without hiding the top portion of the dual binnacle instrument panel.  The instruments displayed their data just fine, without any unexpected distraction.  We drove with the AC on & I completely ignored the console top mounted navigation/control screen.  As with most initial test drives, I left the radio off.  I’m sure it’s wonderful, but that’s not why I was driving this car, today.  In fact, the the rising & falling machinations of the engine matching revs with the clutch & the turbo spooling up are the sound symphony I enjoy listening to & the the Genesis Coupe did not disappoint.

Driving an unfamiliar, very new car with someone you don’t know causes you to have a tendancy to hold back on the throttle & steering inputs.  I did & therefore wasn’t fully satisfied with what I’m sure this car can do.  I couldn’t fully delve into its potential.  Part of that, I’m sure is that I didn’t get to get a good feel for the car’s limits with ASC traction control (I left it on).  In addition, I’m sure the tires could have used a few more PSI.

Going around the Tejas Trail, the car felt very solid, not at all bone jarring.  We went around that less than 2 mile loop at a faster clip than other cars I’ve driven up there – I’m sure there is a lot of potential for more.  This would be a great car to test its (& my) limits at Harris Hill Road.  This car would be more in it’s element there – it’s that good!  As to whether this car would be a good autocross choice – I don’t know.   But it would sure be fun trying.

Bottom line?  With only 15 minutes behind the wheel, this is definitely a car to consider verifying with a thorough test drive & it is priced reasonably, too!
But, I’m still waiting for details about that 2.0T R-Spec version…
Here’s the R-Spec update details!

Racing Ready forges forward to research vehicles, assisting your future enthusiast car buying decisions.

Dan

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