2013 Hyundai Genesis 2.0T
2013 Hyundai Genesis 2.0T. Click image to enlarge
First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Test Drive: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8GT

Manufacturer’s web site
Hyundai Canada

Review and photos by Chris Chase

Photo Gallery:
2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Rear-wheel drive is making a comeback, but who’d have thought that Hyundai would become a major player in that renaissance. That is, until it introduced the Genesis sedan in 2009 and followed up with the Genesis Coupe, a sporty car based on the sedan’s platform but with a completely different look and attitude.

For 2013, the already-entertaining Genesis Coupe gets a serious boost in performance: the entry-level 2.0T model’s turbocharged, four-cylinder “Theta II” engine now makes 274 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque—significant increases over the 210 hp and 223 lb-ft in the 2012 model. The up-level six-cylinder variant gets more juice too, but it’s a less dramatic improvement; its 348 hp and 295 lb-ft represent increases of 42 and 29, respectively. Read more on that model in Mike’s Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 GT Test Drive.

As is becoming common, the 2013 model’s extra power comes without a fuel economy penalty: my test car’s Natural Resources Canada ratings of 10.0/6.6 L/100 km (city/highway) are a tick lower than those for the 2012 2.0T model.

2013 Hyundai Genesis 2.0T
2013 Hyundai Genesis 2.0T
2013 Hyundai Genesis 2.0T. Click image to enlarge

Given Hyundai’s focus on aggressive pricing, we wanted to spend some time with the less-expensive version of this car. It’s the more interesting of the two versions, particularly given the resurgence of turbocharging in general across the auto industry, and the fact that the new turbo mill’s power output is within spitting distance of last year’s V6. A small-displacement turbo motor is also a better fit in a compact rear-wheel drive sports coupe.

The other nifty angle is that this engine is essentially the same one Hyundai offers in its Sonata family sedan, while Kia uses it in the Optima. It’s a fab performer in those cars, so we wanted to see how it works in a car more befitting its performance potential.

We approached Hyundai Canada about a long-term test of a Genesis coupe, and they provided us with a 2.0T model with manual transmission and the optional Premium package; we’ll expand on the details of that option shortly.

Turbo engine or not, the Genesis coupe can play to either end of a growing niche for sporty coupes. With the V6, it can compete with six-cylinder versions of cars like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, and its 348-hp output fits somewhere between that of the V6 and V8 motors offered in those domestics. At the other end, the 2.0T model might be cross-shopped against the recently introduced Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, which share a 200-horsepower, normally aspirated 2.0L boxer engine. That’s a lot less power than the Genesis Coupe, but at a similar price: the FR-S starts at about $26,000, while the BRZ sells for more than $27,000. Despite the horsepower discrepancy, the Genesis coupe is a more natural match with the Scion and Subaru, and we’ll have a chance to pit our long-term Hyundai directly against the BRZ around the beginning of September, when it joins the Autos.ca Ottawa test fleet for a couple of weeks. Needless to say, we’re really looking forward to that comparison.

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