Monthly Archives: November 2008

Hyundai Genesis Coupe has BMW’s 335i Coupe in Its Sights

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Is there a segment of the market that Hyundai isn’t targeting? Whether through its namesake brand or via its subsidiary Kia, every category from subcompact hatchbacks to V8-powered luxury sedans and full-size 4×4-capable SUVs has a competitive model vying for its piece of the action.

The first vehicle to truly stun auto industry pundits was the full-size Veracruz crossover, and that only came after a Santa Fe that did its fair share of jaw dropping. Comments such as Lexus-like appointments were followed up with BMW-like handling and breathtaking acceleration when the Genesis sedan arrived, overshadowing its own full-size front-drive Azera and near best-in-class Sonata. Now the Korean segment shaker is taking on BMW’s sacrosanct 3-Series Coupe with its new Genesis Coupe, making some pretty bold claims that it will have to live up to as soon as the first test drives take place.

By targeting BMW’s 3, Hyundai knows that all other comers will be pushed to the side, the German car revered above all direct competitors, other than possibly the Infiniti G37 Coupe for handling prowess. Therefore other rear-drive sport coupes like Ford’s Mustang, Dodge’s new Challenger and Chevy’s upcoming Camaro, at least in V6 trim, will be automatically disqualified. Right off the mark its 310-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 and 3,402 pound curb weight give it a better power to weight ratio than the top-line 335i, Infiniti’s G37, the Camaro LS and the Challenger.

The numbers speak for themselves, with a 0 to 60 mph time of just 5.7 seconds and EPA highway fuel consumption in the 25 mpg range.

“One of the program targets for the Genesis engineering team was world-class weight efficiency,” commented John Krafcik, vice president, Product Development and Strategic Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “When you look at the size and content of both Genesis models, you’ll find we lead all our competitors in weight efficiency. We also target leadership in power-to-weight ratio. We think that’s just smart strategy in today’s world. It pays huge dividends in both performance and fuel economy, and that’s especially important in the segments in which these cars compete.”

The Genesis Coupe fuel miser is its entry-level 3,303-pound 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder with dual continuously variable valve timing, good for an estimated 220-horsepower and 223 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm, while using premium fuel (regular fuel is good for 210-hp). It comes mated to a standard six-speed manual, with a five-speed automatic featuring steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters as optional equipment. The car’s top speed is targeted at 137 mph, while highway fuel consumption is estimated to ring in at 30 mpg. But a turbocharged four-cylinder wouldn’t offer the kind of refinement you’d want, right? Maybe it will.

“While some turbochargers sacrifice smooth drivability with high operating boost pressures in the 20 psi range, Genesis Coupe uses a refined, low-boost calibration for smoothness and efficiency,” said Derek Joyce, Genesis Coupe product manager. “We could have opted solely for big performance numbers, but our focus for the 2.0T was a more balanced package.”

While all of the aforementioned is impressive, you might want to sit down about now, as what you’re about to hear next might be shocking. Like the Genesis Sedan, the new rear-drive Coupe uses a lot of ultra-high-strength steel, resulting in world-class body rigidity. Slapping the big boys right in the face, the Genesis sedan already enjoys 10- to 12-percent greater torsional rigidity than its Lexus and Mercedes-Benz competitors, while being lighter than either benchmark four-door and delivering more interior room. At a mere 3,303 pounds the Genesis Coupe 2.0T is hundreds of pounds lighter than all of its independent rear suspension-equipped rear-wheel drive rivals, with (take a deep breath) body-bending rigidity that’s twenty-four percent higher than a BMW E46 M3! OK, them’s fightin’ words, Hyundai.

To make matters worse, Hyundai will offer a track model of the four-cylinder and six-cylinder coupe, models that will no doubt be snapped up by drifters and autocross specialists alike. An even edgier R-Spec model will be four-cylinder only, and get stripped of many creature comforts luxury coupe buyers expect in their rides; the latter category will be happier with the Grand Touring model.

The Grand Touring will be surprisingly well stuffed with luxury accoutrements if fully loaded, such as proximity sensing keyless entry and push button start, heated brown leather clad front seats (black leather comes standard in the regular 3.8 model, power actuated for the driver with lumbar support, a navigation system that will soon include a Microsoft co-developed Sync-like Bluetooth interactivity interface, heated power remote mirrors, back-up sensors, a power glass sunroof, and a 360-watt audio system with 10-speakers and a sub. Visibility will be enhanced with HID headlights too, very premium spec equipment.

Back to the Track and R-Spec models, gone are the chrome accents on the front grille, replaced with body-color, while 19-inch gunmetal finish alloy rims will come framed in Bridgestone Potenza RE050A rubber at 225/40 in the front and 245/40 at the rear. Clearly visible through the spokes will be 13.4-inch front rotors clamped down on by four-piston Brembo calipers, while 13.0-inch discs will get the pinch from four-piston calipers in back. At that end a torsen-type limited slip differential gets added, while stiffer coil springs and beefier shocks are joined by a 25 mm front sway bar and a 22 mm one in the rear.

A rear spoiler and fog lamps will be added too. Altogether it should be a particularly formidable foe for weekend warriors, although probably a bit nasty for day to day driving.

The standard Euroflange alloy wheels are sizeable too, at 18 inches, while the standard brakes get single floating calipers squeezing 12.6-inch front and 12.4-inch rear rotors. All Genesis Coupes feature a MacPherson dual-link front and five-link rear suspension setup, plus 24 mm front and 19 mm rear sway bars complemented by a beefy strut brace spanning the engine compartment. Steering is rack and pinion with 2.7 turns lock to lock, and Electronic Stability Control with ABS, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Brake Assist, plus a Tire Pressure Monitoring System also comes at no charge. Also part of the base package is front, side and side-curtain airbags, as well as active front head restraints.

Other standard features include power windows with one-touch up/down control, keyless entry, steering wheel controls accessing an AM/FM/XM/CD 6-speaker audio system boasting a hub with USB, iPod and an auxiliary jack connections, Bluetooth, cruise control, and projector beam headlights. A Premium model will be available with the aforementioned navigation system, glass sunroof, proximity sensing keyless entry and push-button start, Homelink, and the 360-watt audio system.

As an overview, the model lineup starts with the base 2.0T model, then moves up to the 2.0T Premium, 2.0 Track, 2.0T R-Spec (late availability), 3.8, 3.8 Grand Touring and 3.8 Track. Nine exterior colors named after famed racetracks (or portions thereof) should make sure you get some exclusivity off the shelf, and include Karussell White, Bathurst Black, Silverstone, Nordschleife Gray, Acqua Minerale Blue, Tsukuba Red, Mirabeau Blue, Lime Rock Green, Interlagos Yellow.

Should BMW be worried? Certainly 335i owners might want to work on their “I could take him if I wanted to” shrug as the Genesis Coupe flashes past, but the German brand isn’t about to lose many Bimmer loyalists, at least not right away. Street cred takes time to build and prestige much longer, but those who’d like to own a BMW but don’t have the necessary funds will buy the Genesis Coupe in droves, and they’ll take pride in knowing that their ride has the stuff to lay waste to many in the premium sector. BMW might not need to be too concerned, but other sport coupe makers ought to sit up and take notice, as Hyundai is about to shake up yet another category, and by doing so enhance its brand image yet again.

Hyundai Genesis can run with ‘big dogs’

Hyundai began selling cars in the U.S. in 1986 when it introduced the subcompact Excel here. The less than $5,000 price tag was a hit and prompted Forbes magazine to name it one of the top 10 products of the year.

Then things fell apart when reports about poor quality and reliability began to circulate. Predictably, sales tanked and it wasn’t until many years later, in 1998, that the results of new quality-oriented management began to draw attention.

To erase lingering doubts about quality, Hyundai introduced a 10-year powertrain warranty. With a new focus on quality and reliability, sales improved and have done so every year since 1998 with a 20 percent compound growth rate.

Even Toyota vice chairman Fujio acknowledged the company is growing in Toyota’s rearview mirror. “Hyundai has quality and prices that have caught customers’ attention, not to mention ours,” he said in August 2005.

Hyundai positions the all-new Genesis to compete with luxury brands such as BMW and Infiniti.

In 2008, Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai Elantra were awarded the 2008 Consumer Reports “top pick” and Elantra earned Consumer Reports’ “excellent” rating in predicted reliability. Elantra is Consumer Reports top-ranked 2008 vehicle, beating out such high-quality stalwarts as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Prius.

Considering that in 1998, Hyundai ranked among the worst for initial defects, the turnaround has been extraordinary. Confidence about their capability has prompted Hyundai to challenge the “big dogs” of the luxury segments.

During the design and development of the Genesis, Hyundai benchmarked the luxury brands with the specific goal of being equal or better. This process isn’t particularly new since most automakers constantly benchmark their competition. What is new is that a Korean producer of small, low priced cars has the confidence and capability to build a competitive upscale car.

The 2009 Genesis is an all-new, rear-wheel drive sedan with two trim levels identified by the powertrain configuration – 3.8-liter V-6 or 4.6-liter V-8. The styling is neither controversial nor trendy, but has an athletic, well-proportioned look of elegance. The lack of the “H” badge on the grille is intentional. Seeing a Genesis in your rearview mirror for the first time is sure to entice upscale shoppers to take a second look.

The Hyundai marketing folks like to compare the Genesis 3.8 to the Lexus ES, Chrysler 300, Pontiac G8 and Cadillac CTS. Likewise, Genesis 4.6 is compared with the Lexus GS, Infiniti M, BMW 5 Series, and Mercedes E-Class.

The 3.8-liter V-6 is rated at a respectable 290 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s better than any of its competitors. Fuel efficiency of 18/27 city/highway beats all but the Pontiac G8.

The 4.6-liter engine is Hyundai’s first production V-8. It’s a state-of-the-art powerplant that produces 375 horsepower and 333 lb.-ft. of torque using premium gasoline and drops to 368 hp. and 324 lb.-ft. with regular grade.

This new V-8 is impressively powerful, smooth and refined, just like the Lexus V-8. Fuel efficiency of 17/25 beats all V-8 competitors.

The V-6 and V-8 are coupled to six-speed automatics with manual shift mode are supplied by ZF and Asian, respectively. They were selected for their smooth upshifts and well-controlled downshifts.

The 52/48 front/rear weight distribution is nearly ideal for rear-wheel drive handling. The five-link front and rear independent suspension hardware is mostly lightweight aluminum to minimize weight. Only the Lexus GS offers the superior five-link suspension front and rear.

Knowing that most of their buyers are more interested in comfort than all-out performance, the suspension and steering are calibrated for comfort and ease of handling.

The anti-lock brake system is integrated with the electronic stability control, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist systems.

Inside, the fit and finish materials of the cabin are first class and easily match any of Genesis’s competitors. The feel of real wood, smell of real leather and look of hand stitching contribute to a sense of luxury and quality.

With a base price of $33,000, the Genesis 3.8 with the premium package is $8,000 less than a comparably equipped Infiniti M and $22,000 less than a BMW 535i. With a starting price of $38,000 a Genesis 4.6 is $17,000 less than a comparably equipped Lexus GS 460 and $26,000 less than a Mercedes E 550.

Given just a little time, Hyundai could very well dominate the luxury scene, and if you think that’s impossible, consider this: It took the Japanese 25 years to dominate the luxury car segment with Lexus. The Koreans are planning to do it in half the time starting with Genesis.


First Drive Of Hyundai Genesis Coupe Published By Car Middle East Magazine

We’ve given you manufacturer-supplied details about the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but now Car Middle East has taken it upon themselves to publish the first drive review of the upcoming Mustang-fighter. Thanks to Car’s question-and-answer session with themselves we can tell you that, thanks to the Hyundai-built 3.8-liter V6, and combined with a limited-slip rear, the testers were able to engage in “some top quality rear-wheel slidey fun accompanied by a thoroughly enjoyable sound track from the dual exhausts.” The package is good enough to get four stars from the buff book, but is there anything they didn’t like?

The Koreans have moved their game on considerably in recent years. The dash is soft touch, the gear knob is a handsome beast and the chunky sports seats grip you around the bends just as they should. There are also some very fetching aluminium pedals and door sills to spruce up an otherwise fairly standard interior, and there’s full iPod and USB stick compatibility. The instrument binnacle and some of the switchgear still feels a little on the plasticky side though – Volkswagen and Toyota won’t be worrying about the Korean’s quality levels yet. But this is a car that isn’t just about functionality. It has soul to it, emotion – something we haven’t really seen from Korea before.

With the high rating and lack of real complaints other than switchgear, Car Middle East basically claims the Genesis Coupe marks the ascension of the Koreans to a new level. If Hyundai goes the way of Nissan, in ten years perhaps we’ll have a Hyundai-built GT-R competitor for Porsche to attempt to discredit. Or, if they go the way of Ford, in ten years perhaps we’ll have a Hyundai-built Mustang-killer in every possible variant under the sun.

Source: Car Middle East

The Hyundai Genesis: High fidelity on a budget

When we’re sitting in traffic, top speed and quarter-mile times tend not to mean that much. What’s really important is how comfortable are the seats and how good is the stereo? With regard to the new Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan, the first question must remain unanswered until Dan Neil puts his tush on the case. But the other question can be answered now.

To call this system a stereo is to do it a grave disservice. Like Jaguar has its Harmon/Kardon and Lexus has its Mark Levinson, Hyundai has gone to Lexicon. This may not be a familiar name to many people, but almost everyone will have heard the fruits of Lexicon’s labor. The company’s products abound in every serious music recording studio and in many cinema sound facilities. Lexicon processing is heard on more than 80% of all professional audio recordings.

The only other car manufacturer that offers a Lexicon sound system is Rolls-Royce. So nothing too shabby. The mission is to reproduce sound as neutrally as possible, with the minimum of coloration and distortion, to be the most faithful of high-fidelity systems.

Mission accomplished. It surrounds the listener — no matter where he or she is sitting — with clear, detailed sound. It’s meaty enough to cope with heavy bass, even explosions on a DVD soundtrack, and sufficiently delicate to handle light cymbal touches. Door speakers are set into the metal to provide a vibration-free response, while the front screen and passenger windows are double-laminated to help insulate the cabin from exterior noise.

The system comes in two forms, the Premium Package Plus is the least expensive. For $3,000, it adds 18-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers and a few other bit and bobs. The most significant being a 528-watt, 14-speaker setup with a six-CD changer in the dash and a compact 11-channel digital amplifier in the trunk. This system has the ability to take a conventional two-channel (stereo) recording and open it out so the listener feels more enveloped by the sound.

With the Technology Package, there’s a 17-speaker, 7.1 surround sound system (same wattage); that’s seven separate channels. This option costs $4,000, but it also includes such toys as a reversing camera, parking sensors, auto-cornering and -leveling headlights, and a cooled driver’s seat. And in a way, it’s still a bargain; to get something sounding this good for a home system could easily cost twice as much.

It’s a more ingenious arrangement that can read DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 recordings and play them back through seven separate channels. Genesis owners probably will be tempted to go out to the garage, sit in the car and watch a DVD just for kicks.

Lexicon’s engineers have been working with Hyundai since the car’s design stages, which has given a far better result than just trying to install an audio system as an afterthought. If Hyundai is to pull off this luxury-on-a-budget ploy with the Genesis, then it needs to be convincing in every relevant area. Audio-wise, it’s already there.

— Colin Ryan

"Autobytel Inc. Announces 2009 Autobytel / Editors’ Choice Awards"

The editors and analysts of Autobytel Inc.’s automotive information sites and today announced their sixth annual Editors’ Choice Awards, revealing the vehicles on the current market that they’d most recommend to car buyers.

“With a shrinking economy, radically changing buyer tastes, the green and the powerful on a collision course, and more choices than ever before, the industry is in total flux, which made choosing our 10 picks more difficult but ultimately more significant than ever,” said Autobytel/ Road Test Editor Keith Buglewicz. “Buyers really need help navigating this market – and we’re happy to provide it.”

And the Winners Are…

Best Kept Secret: 2009 Kia Borrego

The 2009 Kia Borrego is a V-8 powered, four-wheel drive SUV that’s capable, comfortable, roomy, and a worthy competitor to any other mid-sized SUV. Sure, the market for trucks like this is shrinking, but even in contracting markets, there’s money to be made and customers to be won, and seeing such a winning formula from Kia was a pleasant, but definite, surprise.

Car of the Year: 2009 Hyundai Genesis

When Autobytel/ editors first drove the 2009 Hyundai Genesis, they opined that they were on the verge of a sea change in the automotive landscape on par with the introduction of the Lexus luxury brand in 1990. After more time with the Genesis, they stand by this claim, and award Hyundai the Editors’ Choice Car of the Year award.


Autobytel’s editors compiled a list of every new or substantially revised vehicle, assigned them to their respective categories based on factors such as segment and price, and deleted vehicles not driven by at least one editor prior to voting on Oct 28, 2008, with the exception of the Dream Car category. To be considered, a vehicle must be available for sale during the 2008 calendar year. Each editor voted for the vehicle they’d most often recommend, with winners determined by a simple majority.

For more information, or to speak with an Autobytel editor about this year’s selections, please contact: Melanie Webber at 949-862-3023 or

About Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL) is an Internet automotive marketing services company that helps dealers and manufacturers sell cars and related products and services. The company owns and operates consumer-facing automotive websites, including its flagship site,, which is designed to help consumers find, see, buy and learn anything related to automobiles. The company’s other websites are:,,,,, and

By providing a convenient and comprehensive automotive consumer experience across the purchase and ownership lifecycle, Autobytel seeks to provide dealerships with opportunities to connect with a steady, diverse stream of motivated, serious shoppers, while providing manufacturers with precision-targeted brand and product advertising opportunities. In addition to its websites, the company generates leads and advertising opportunities for dealers and automakers through its marketing network, which includes the AutoReachsm ad network, co-brands, such as, and marketing affiliates such as AOL, Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book.

Hyundai Showcases Genesis, Its Rear-Wheel Drive Performance Platform, at SEMA Show 2008

LAS VEGAS, 11/04/2008 The seven custom Genesis Coupes and sedans to be unveiled at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show demonstrate Hyundai’s commitment to its rear-wheel drive performance platform. From the Genesis sedan’s more luxurious take on performance, to the more overtly athletic nature of the Genesis Coupe, Hyundai has a wide range of performance and capability covered with the Genesis platform. The seven Genesis SEMA cars highlight this wide-ranging capability, from Rhys Millen’s 2.0T Genesis Coupe, inspired by the Japanese Super GT series, to the Euro-inspired RKSport Genesis sedan, with its Hyundai-engineered 460-horsepower supercharged 4.6-liter V8 engine concept. Hyundai’s custom concepts will be displayed at its SEMA booth (#24387) at the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 4-7, 2008.

Hyundai SEMA Custom Concepts:

Tuner Vehicle Engine Features
Rhys Millen Racing 2010 Genesis Coupe Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder Full-functioning race car is track- ready with a Turbonetics turbocharger, custom roll cage and all body panels replaced by carbon fiber
Street Concepts 2010 Genesis Coupe 3.8-liter V6 Stealth Fighter-inspired design includes black camouflage paint
HKS 2010 Genesis Coupe Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder Modeled after HKS Time Attack racecars, the vehicle features HKS GT2835R Turbo, HKS Hipermax III fully adjustable suspension and other HKS performance parts
RKSport Sedan Supercharged 4.6-liter V8 (concept) 460-horsepower (est.), 27-mpg supercharged Tau 4.6-liter V8 engineered by RKSport and Hyundai America Technical Center (HATCI)
RIDES Magazine 2009 Genesis Sedan 4.6-liter Tau V8 Technology center on wheels features Wi-Fi, 2 Mac Mini computers, MacBook Air laptop, iPod Touch and iPhone 3G
DUB Magazine 2009 Genesis Sedan (2) 4.6-liter Tau V8 DUB Edition makeovers accentuate the original styling and lines of the Genesis design, adding signature 22-inch TIS wheels

“The Genesis rear-wheel-drive architecture matched with Hyundai’s state-of-the-art engine technology offers a scalable and attractive package for the aftermarket,” said John Krafcik, vice president, Product Development and Strategic Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Genesis is short-hand for rear-wheel-drive performance at Hyundai, and SEMA is the prefect place to highlight these vehicles.”


Rhys Millen Racing (RMR), one of the industry’s most respected tuners, designed the “Art of Speed” Genesis Coupe 2.0T with the visual impact to turn heads at the 2008 SEMA Show and the performance necessary to put the driver in the winner’s circle the following weekend.

The RMR Genesis Coupe is powered by a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine enhanced by a Turbonetics turbocharger, wastegate and blow-off valve to provide extra horsepower and torque. It is equipped with a heavy-duty HKS sequential transmission and a KW coilover suspension to put that additional power to the ground.

The RMR Genesis Coupe sports a silver and blue paint scheme and a RMR dry carbon fiber wide body kit, functional hood scoop and an APR GTC-500 carbon-fiber wing. RMR added SSR Type-F competition lightweight wheels and Bridgestone Potenza racing slicks, which partner well with the race-ready factory Brembo brake system. Inside, the vehicle interior has transformed into a racing cockpit with a Sparco steering wheel and seat, eight-point roll cage and a RMR carbon fiber dash.


A long-time Hyundai tuner, Shawn Williams from Street Concepts delivered a modified Genesis Coupe outfitted with a black camouflage, Stealth Fighter-inspired paint design that compliments its aggressive styling. The exterior also features a custom grille design, tinted taillights and an APR rear wing.

The Street Concepts Genesis Coupe showcases Volk 19-inch racing wheels, Pirelli performance tires, a modified suspension and Brembo brakes. A Magnaflow cat-back exhaust and K&N cold air intake system enhance the performance of the 3.8-liter V6 engine. Interior modifications include a custom Infinity audio system, Recaro Sportster Topline seats and black suede accents designed to fit the Stealth Fighter theme.


HKS, known for its premium performance parts, designed a customized Genesis Coupe that maximizes the driving performance capabilities for the serious driving enthusiast. The HKS Genesis Coupe includes a HKS GT2835R Turbo upgrade to maximize horsepower and torque, HKS stainless tubular manifold, HKS intercooler upgrade, HKS super sequential blow-off valve, HKS performance stainless cat-back exhaust, HKS carbon fiber air box and intake duct, HKS Super Fire spark plugs and HKS Hipermax III fully-adjustable suspension.

The HKS Genesis Coupe also showcases functional ground effects designed by Ken Style, HKS Time-Attack cars’ aerodynamic partner. The interior emphasizes driver comfort and control, with HKS electronics including CAMP2 that monitors up to 24 data signals from the Genesis OBD2 and programmable calculations for fuel costs, average fuel consumption and fuel efficiency in real time.


The supercharged Tau V8 engine in the RKSport/Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) Genesis Sedan is sure to be one of the main attractions at Hyundai’s SEMA display. The supercharged Genesis is powered by Hyundai’s state-of-the-art 4.6-liter Tau engine, which produces an estimated 460-horsepower with the help of an IHI screw-type supercharger and 11 pounds of boost for performance driving. It also boasts advanced cylinder deactivation technology, which further improves efficiency and fuel savings at cruising speeds, delivering an estimated 18 miles per gallon in city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.

The exterior of the RKSport/HATCI Genesis is designed with a European look and feel. The Platinum Silver color scheme highlights the body kit, exterior components, clean lines and contours of the vehicle. Styling modifications to the RKSport/HATCI Genesis include a composite hood, polyurethane front lower fascia, rear lower fascia, left and right side skirts, plus a composite rear roof spoiler and trunk spoiler. RKSport partnered with well-known aftermarket companies to add Enkei Performance LS-5 wheels, a Baer performance brake package, K&N performance air intake, Eibach lowering springs and a Magnaflow performance exhaust.


RIDES magazine and Hyundai developed a technology center on wheels containing the latest technology both inside and out. As an added incentive to visit the Hyundai display, 5,000 RIDES Digital Genesis iTunes cards will be distributed from the car’s Wi-Fi network during the show.

Inside, the RIDES Genesis features the latest in digital accessories including two Mac Mini computers, a MacBook Air, iPod Touch, iPhone 3G, high-speed Wi-Fi Internet connection and movie theater-quality surround sound. The trunk houses its own Mac mini computer, a 20-inch Apple Cinema Display and a motorized tray containing the mouse and keyboard for the rear computer. Within the center console are the iPhone 3G, MacBook Air laptop and wireless keyboard and mouse for the Mac Mini mounted on the rear deck. Each passenger in the back seat has an individual computer with Internet connectivity. The 8.4-inch VGA headrest monitors are wrapped in the original leather to maintain the OE look and feel, while the seats contain suede accents.

Clean, purposeful exterior modifications compliment the high-tech interior. Changes include 22-inch custom-made, staggered fitment MHT three-piece wheels, Pirelli tires, custom-molded front body kit and side skirts, lowered suspension and smoked headlights. Custom dual-tip stacked exhausts and a custom-molded rear bumper accentuate the metallic silver and blue paint job.


DUB magazine took two Hyundai Genesis sedans to the next level by enhancing their appearance with a DUB Edition makeover – one in white, the other in black. Upgrades include color-matched exterior pieces, custom lowering kits, an elaborate audio and video system, DUB emblems and tinted windows.


The Genesis sedan is built on Hyundai’s all-new, performance-driven rear-wheel-drive architecture. It offers two powertrains, including a 3.8-liter V6 engine and Hyundai’s all-new 4.6-liter Tau V8. Tau produces 375 horsepower, leading all its competitors in specific output with 80 horsepower per liter while delivering 25 mile per gallon. With technology rivaling more expensive luxury sedans, Genesis showcases features such as XM NavTraffic, ZF six-speed transmission, Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFLS), Smart Cruise Control, Lexicon® audio systems and electronic active head restraints. Additionally, all Hyundai Genesis have standard iPod connectivity.

– Hyundai’s first rear-wheel drive sports coupe
– Estimated 310-horsepower from enhanced 3.8-liter V6 from Genesis sedan
– Standard 220-horsepower (estimated) intercooled, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder
– Genesis Coupe production model arrives in spring of 2009


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of South Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 800 dealerships nationwide.

Hyundai Genesis aims for the stars

In the automobile business, success comes in a variety of ways: deliver a new and exciting product, offer value for the money, or catch the public fancy with a different concept.

You also can benefit from surprise. If you manage to combine low expectations with the other elements, you almost certainly will wind up with a winner.

That is where Hyundai, the South Korean vehicle manufacturer, finds itself with the introduction of the all-new 2009 Genesis sedan, its first foray into the upscale full-size, V8 powered, rear-drive realm currently ruled by a select few manufacturers.

Hyundai has come a long way in a little more than two decades in the United States. It started in the mid-1980s with the Excel:, a subcompact hatchback with a low price and good fuel economy.

Unfortunately, the little car suffered from chronic bouts of self-destruction and Hyundai did not establish itself as a desirable brand. The record over the years has been spotty until recently, when the company expanded its lineup and markedly improved its quality.

Hyundai’s luxurious Genesis offers upscale performance and convenience at a bargain price.

Although it still offers economy cars, it also challenged the best of the family sedans — the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry — and succeeded with the latest iteration of the Sonata, which now is fully competitive with the two Japanese icons, as well as with the new Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion.

Hyundai even crafted a near-luxury sedan, the Azera, which was designed to compete against the likes of the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima and Buick Lacrosse.

But from an advertising standpoint, the company draped a tarp over the Azera, so sales have been mediocre.

That’s not likely with the new flagship Genesis. This large luxury sedan is so unexpectedly refined that it should create a buzz regardless of whether Hyundai does much to publicize it.

The main question is whether its size and powerful V8 will turn off customers sensitive to high gas prices.

Nevertheless, the company knows it has a good thing and is looking to sell 50,000 copies a year.

Executives also figure that once they get the word out, the Genesis could kick-start sales of the Azera as customers wander through showrooms.

Based on interior volume, the Azera and the Genesis qualify as large cars under the government’s definition.

But the front-drive Azera, which offers only V6 power, likely will be perceived as a mid-size near-luxury car, while the Genesis, with V6 or V8 engines, will not be viewed as anything but a full-size luxury cruiser.

How otherwise to classify the Genesis?

It performs as well, and is as luxurious and loaded with safety and high-tech features as quite a few imported luxury cars that cost many thousands of dollars more.

There’s an audiophile’s Lexicon audio system, big-screen navigation with a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, XM satellite radio and heated and cooled front seats, among others.

The styling is classy conservative, with a stylized grille that would not look out of place on a Mercedes-Benz, and in fact likely will be mistakenly identified as one. In the simple and elegant interior, there’s an abundance of carefully-crafted, high-quality materials, including leather-covered door panels, seats and dash.

Because it has rear drive, the Genesis suffers somewhat in interior accommodations. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the outboard rear seats will elicit few complaints.

But the center-rear position offers only a hard cushion and a big floor hump.

The Hyundai hawkers unabashedly compare the Genesis, on features and performance, with an array of models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Infiniti and Lexus, while undercutting them on price. Among U.S. models, it compares favorably with the Cadillac STS, Buick Lucerne, Chrysler 300 and the new Lincoln MKS, although the Lincoln comes with front-drive or all-wheel drive and does not offer a V8.

The Genesis certainly has the bones, but it does not have the cachet of some of its big-bucks competitors. So another question is whether buyers will associate the Hyundai name with high-performance luxury.

There are two Genesis models: the 3.8 with a 290-horsepower V6 engine, which has a base price of $33,000, and the 4.6, with a V8 and an opening price of $38,000.

There are two V8 horsepower ratings.

You get 268 running with regular gasoline and 275 with premium fuel. The transmission is a six-speed automatic with a manual-shift mode.

Standard equipment is extensive and options are limited to a few packages.

The tested Genesis 4.6 had the $4,000 technology package, which brought its as-delivered price up to $42,000. The fully-optioned 3.8 model has a $40,000 sticker.

Hyundai expects about eight of ten buyers will order the 3.8, which has an EPA city/highway fuel economy rating of 18/27 miles per gallon compared to the 4.6, rated at 17/26.

The surprising thing about either Genesis is how well they handle and perform.

It’s no great trick in modern automobile design to produce a cushy straight-line freeway luxury barge.

But Hyundai has put together a package that is so well balanced it can be flogged merrily around a race track.


Hyundai Genesis marks entry into luxury market

It was a bold claim Hyundai honchos made in April – Genesis, Hyundai’s all-new luxury sedan, they said, would deliver a smackdown to those tried-and-true jewels Mercedes, BMW and other swank rides people of means usually reward themselves with, and would run over Chrysler’s 300 and Pontiac G8 in the process.

Hyundai’s got reason enough to boast. After Toyota and Honda, their vehicles offer the best average mileage in America, and the company continues to keep offer cheap, quality vehicles. If the new ride was anything like the Elantra, Santa Fe or Sonata, it promised to be something special. Five months later came the unveiling of Hyundai’s new baby at a gathering in Tarrytown, where a dozen or so Geneses were lined up for inspection, tire-kicking and test driving.

A fine sight they were, too, gleaming, handsome, solid and sturdy-looking on the outside and plush and luxurious on the inside, like luxe sedans ought to be. I opened the door, got into the driver’s seat and inhaled the new-car bouquet, beheld the leather-wrapped dash and door panels and felt reasonably — not overwhelmingly — swaddled in comfort.

I took two half-hour rides, one driving and one as a passenger in the back seat. The quick verdict? Benz, Lexus, Cadillac and Chrysler needn’t tremble. Hyundai has its staunch fans, and this car is for them. It is not so much a complete redesign of the brand as it is an extensive upping of quality on every aspect from body to engine to suspension and quality of materials.

The car comes in two trims. One is a 3.8-liter, 240-hp V-6 model starting at $33,000. There also is a more powerful, and expensive, 4.6-liter, 375-hp V-8 at $38,000 (both prices include delivery charges). The 3.8-liter model offers three option packages costing $2,000, $3,000 and $4,000, with the base package offering items like a leather-wrapped dash, power sunroof, a 14-speaker sound system and more. For another grand, you’ll get 18-inch silver alloy wheels added to the package. For $4,000, a backup warning system, nav system, multimedia controller and satellite radio with a year’s subscription, along with other accoutrements, are provided.

The 4.6-liter model has just one $4,000 package offered, which includes all you get in the 3.6-liter’s most expensive package.

It’s got a few challenges ahead, the big one being the car’s entry into the marketplace at a time of crises for the economy and high gas prices. Mileage, as can be expected in a sedan, isn’t great at 18 mpg city, 27 highway for the V-6, 17/25 for the V-8. But Hyundai fans wanting to upgrade now have another reason to buy and to take pride in their ride.


Surprise: Hyundai proves it’s a master of luxury with Genesis

If you’d have done such a thing back in school, your teacher would have rapped your knuckles with a ruler and pronounced you impertinent.

But here comes South Korean automaker Hyundai with a big, rear-drive premium sedan that the car company brazenly compares to Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus…

Where’s that ruler?

Easy on the knuckles, though. Is the 2009 Hyundai Genesis a Lexus, BMW or M-B? Probably not. Does it matter much? Probably not.

Genesis is better than most people need, and easily good enough for most of the rest of us.

Genesis’ excellence is surprising, because usually a car company’s first crack at a new segment is wanting.

For instance, Toyota’s 1993 T100 pickup, first try at an American-style pickup, was too small and lacked a V-8.

Only now, a decade-and-a-half and two generations of truck later, has Toyota hit the mark with its ultra-beefy Tundra (just when the bad economy dried up pickup sales, alas).

Genesis is Hyundai’s first big sedan and its only U.S. rear-drive model, and it offers the automaker’s first V-8. You can quibble with the timing — small cars and small engines are hot right now — but you can’t argue much against the execution.

Two Genesis test cars, a well-furnished V-8 and a lower-level V-6, were so right that it’s hard to find gripes. Hard, not impossible — though some beefs are pretty minor.

– Front seat didn’t go back far enough for some taller drivers.

– Ride felt bouncy on undulating pavement.

– Console-mounted joy-knob controller on the V-8 tester (like BMW’s iDrive) was simpler to use than most — so only mildly annoying. You still had to go through up to half-a-dozen motions just to assign a preset button to a radio station, for instance.

– The wood section on the steering wheel in the V-8, while handsome, was a reminder that wood is for decks and boats, not cars. Wood steering wheels are cold in winter, sweaty in summer, hard and slippery always. Leather, please.

– The V-8 was jerky on deceleration. To improve mileage, the fuel flow to the engine immediately shuts off when you coast. Nice idea, but a little too abrupt and obvious. Didn’t happen on the V-6, which is tuned differently.

– Mirror-mounted turn signals were annoyingly bright in the driver’s periphery. Move the signals half an inch to solve that. The driver doesn’t need to see them — they’re for the fool in your blind spot who can’t see your rear turn signal.

– Horizontal chrome strips across the dashboard and doors were designed not to mate where those panels adjoin, instead to leave a gap. The strips line up perfectly, but don’t run all the way to the edge of the dash or door. Odd.

To appreciate Genesis, you first have to like rear-wheel drive. Though the BMW and Mercedes-Benz models Hyundai wants to evoke are rear drive, many cars are front drive and have a different driving feel. Rear-drive cars feel more balanced in corners. On the other hand, weight isn’t concentrated over the driving wheels, as with front drive. That suggests worse slick-weather behavior. In the rain during testing, the back wheels spun briefly, but were well-reined-in by the traction-control systems — without abruptly cutting the engine power.

OK, you like rear drive. Now, what’s so special about Genesis? Glad you asked:

– Seats. Leather’s standard; so’s comfort. Back’s angled just so and leg and knee room are plentiful.

– Power. Base V-6 scoots nicely. New V-8 has that kind of always-increasing, never-ending power delivery that Infiniti favors.

– Ambiance. Trim, controls, gauges — elegantly done. Simple lines and curves. Nothing tortured.

– Styling. Smooth, well proportioned, not forced or wannabe. It’ll be as easy on the eye when the loan’s paid off as it is the day you drive it home.

– Safety features. A long list, including standard side-impact bags in the rear seat. Most automakers don’t offer those, and the ones that do charge extra.

– Brakes. Reassuringly firm, but not touchy. Others should copy.

– XM radio. One mode lists all the channels, handy for a satellite system that offers some 200. Makes it easy to find and try something different. No-brainer? Then why’s it rare?

– Persona. Genteel eagerness, backed up by a drivetrain and suspension that deliver.

No, it’s not cheap at $33,000 to $42,000, but neither is it outrageous by today’s standards.

Ignoring price, it’s a credible contender. Considering price, there might not be another car that’s such an all-around satisfier.

What stands out

-Smooth: Everything from the ride to the turn-signal lever.

– Swift: Hyundai’s first V-8 shouldn’t be its last.

-Seductive: Don’t drive unless you intend to buy.


– What? Full-size, four-door, rear-drive, premium sedan, V-6 or V-8. New to Hyundai lineup.

– When? On sale since late June.

– Where? Made at Ulsan, South Korea.

– Why? Premium car = premium image= premium profits.

– How much? V-6 starts at $33,000, including $750 shipping. V-8, $38,000. Loaded, $42,150.

– How powerful? 3.8-liter V-6 rated 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, 264 pounds-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. 4.6-liter V-8 rated 375 hp at 6,500 rpm, 333 lbs.-ft. at 3,500. V-6 mated to Aisin six-speed automatic transmission; V-8 to ZF six-speed auto. Both have manual mode.

– How lavish? Pretty darned. Standard features include: stability control; anti-lock brakes with brake assist and brake-force distribution; front-impact, head-curtain and side-impact air bags in front and rear; automatic climate control; AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio with input jack; leather upholstery; heated front seats; power steering, brakes, windows, mirrors, seats, locks; rear-window and outside mirror defrosters; cruise control; auto-on headlights; fog lights.

– How big? Small end of the full-size segment. A little shorter, wider than Toyota Avalon. Genesis is 195.9 inches long, 74.4 inches wide, 58.1 inches tall; 109.4 cubic feet passenger space, 15.9 cu. ft. trunk. V-6 weighs 3,748 pounds; V-8, 4,012 pounds. Rated to carry about 1,100 pounds of people, cargo. Turning circle listed as 36 feet.

– How thirsty? V-6 rated 18 mpg gallon city, 27 highway, 21 combined. V-8, 17/25/19. V-6 tester did 16.9 mpg in suburbs. V-8 showed 14.3 in suburb-city mix, 27 in 63 mph cruise-control highway driving, 16.9 in suburban, freeway mix. Tank holds 19.3 (V-6) or 20.3 (V-8) gallons. V-6 takes regular. V-8 needs premium for rated power; regular OK, cuts 7 hp, 9 lbs.-ft.

– Overall: Uncommonly good.

USA Today