August 27, 2012
First up was the Subaru BRZ, perhaps at a slight disadvantage, as I hadn’t been on the track in over a month. I set what I thought was an okay lap and jumped into the Genesis to do the same. Immediately the Genesis felt softer in the corners and less communicative than the BRZ, which was disappointing, actually. But I was on a mission: the Genesis’ extra horsepower should easily overpower the BRZ down the straights and I was pretty confident that cornering speeds would be very similar, and looking at the data afterwards it seems I was correct.
A lap of Calabogie Motorsports park begins with a long straight into a high-speed corner. In the Subaru, I entered this corner at 142 km/h and slid to the outside, getting back on the power with an exit speed of 135 km/h. In the Genesis, as I suspected would happen, entry speed was higher at 147 km/h, but exit speed suffered as the tires are more of the touring variety. As a result, I only exited at 131 km/h as I struggled to keep the car on track. The BRZ came out of that sector ahead by 1/100th of a second, so yeah, it was close.
On to sector two, a series of slower corners leading onto the long straight. Entry speed this time went to the more nimble and lighter BRZ at 80 km/h. The Genesis suffered under hard braking, entering the corner at 72 km/h, and coming out of this sector the BRZ was now ahead by 3/10th of a second.
On the long straight, the Genesis kicked into high gear, pulling ahead of the BRZ. Despite my lack of confidence in the Genesis’ brakes after the first big braking zone, I still managed to hit 177 km/h in the Hyundai, but according to my lap data, I was still on the gas in the BRZ at that point, as I was more confident it would be able to slow down in time for the next corner. Despite this, the BRZ maxed out at 172 km/h as we entered a double apex right. The Genesis was now ahead, but barely…
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T (top) and 2013 Subaru BRZ. Click image to enlarge
Another long straight into a corner known as Temptation, a long decreasing-radius left-hander, which is tricky to do properly and quickly in any car. The BRZ’s lighter weight and better brakes allowed it to take a more commanding (but still close) half-second lead at this point. The story continues down the next straight as the Genesis caught up, but as we exited the series of corners call the Duck’s Head and Beak, the lighter, nimbler BRZ took the lead by more than 6/10ths. Through the high speed esses of Spoon and 4-left, the cars were even, but then the Quarry complex, a series of four right-handers, put the nail in the coffin, as the BRZ exited and crossed the line with a 2:41.625, over a second ahead of the Genesis’ 2:42.837.
It was close, and the Genesis would have done better if the brakes were better (R-Spec anyone?), so who is the winner here? It would be a cop-out to say that the consumer is the winner here, but that is somewhat of a truth, as either car will perform exceptionally on the track, but if you plan on taking your Genesis to the track, there’s no question you should be opting for the R-Spec with its upgraded brakes.
In this comparison the winner was obvious: the BRZ was more fun, easier to drive and faster around Calabogie Motorsports park. The chassis is incredibly compliant and capable, and the vehicle speaks to the driver in plain language. The Genesis felt isolated and reserved, making it more street friendly, no question. But as a weekend warrior there is no debate where my money would be spent.