First Look: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

We're always up for more power, especially under the hood of a rear-drive sports car like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. And with the newly updated 2013 Genesis Coupe spinning on its 2012 Detroit show stand, Hyundai has delivered it -- big time.

Under the hood, the 2013 Genesis Coupe's engines have been heavily revised to deliver significantly more horsepower and torque and - you guessed it - improved fuel efficiency to boot. The 2.0-liter turbocharged mill was fitted with a new twin-scroll turbocharger and larger, more efficient intercooler that helps boost output to 274 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque -- up 64 and 52 respectively over the outgoing engine. The turbo retains port fuel injection instead of the direct-injection system on the Sonata turbo in an effort to make the model more "tuner-friendly," although Hyundai representatives point out that tuning may void the warranty. So tune at your own risk.

The biggest news for the 3.8-liter V-6 is the addition of direct injection, which helps increase power by 42 horsepower and 29 lb-ft of torque to new peaks of 348 and 295 respectively on premium fuel. Thanks to knock sensors, both engines are able to run on regular unleaded, albeit with a small power deficit.

Hyundai claims the increased power will help the Genesis Coupe 3.8 reach 60 mph in the low 5-second range on to a top speed of 149 mph, with a power-to-weight ratio of 10 pounds per horsepower -- better than the pricier Infiniti G37 Coupe and BMW 335i Coupe. The Genesis Coupe 2.0T's power surge lowers its power-to-ratio to 12.3 pounds per horsepower, besting the Honda Civic Si Coupe and upcoming Scion FR-S. Although no 0-60 mph estimates were given, thanks to its generous 30 percent increase in power, it's safe to assume it will easily best the outgoing car's mid-to-high-6-second times.

R-Spec and Track models come with a Torsen limited-slip differential, and all models come with dual exhaust. V-6 powered Coupes have a 56:44 front-to-rear weight balance, while the turbo four-cylinder cars have a slightly better 55:45 ratio.

Both engines can be mated to either a carryover six-speed manual or Hyundai's all-new eight-speed automatic, which has been spidering its way through the automaker's lineup. The new automatic comes with Hyundai's Shiftronic manual-shifting capability, controlled by steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Hyundai didn't forget about the shift-it-yourself crowd, either. It says the manual transmission has been refined for a more rewarding driving experience through better shift gating and balanced shifter weighting designed to improve clutch take-up, feel, and engagement.

While the power gains are big, the MPG jumps are small. The new eight-speed helps improve the 2.0-liter's highway fuel mileage by 1 mpg to 31 mpg. The 3.8-liter-equipped cars are up 1 mpg in the city to 18 mpg regardless of transmission, with highway mileage also up 1 mpg for the automatic at 28 mpg and the manual at 27 mpg.

Underpinning it all is a body shell that uses generous amounts of ultra-high-tensile steel and a retuned suspension designed to better harness the 2013 Genesis Coupe's newfound power. The front MacPherson strut dual-link suspension is mounted to the body via a solid subframe Hyundai says is lighter and stronger than a comparable multi-piece unit. Rear suspension is a five-link setup. Hyundai chassis engineers retuned spring, damper, and bushing ratings to, as they put it, "match the new powertrains with better road feel, more precise body motion control, and improved ride comfort." The stiffer body shell and retuned suspension allow the standard Genesis Coupe to use a 1-mm smaller front stabilizer bar, now at 23 mm in diameter. The rear stabilizer bar remains at 19 mm diameter.

Genesis Coupe R-Spec and Track models continue to offer a more driver-focused handling experience. In addition to the Torsen limited-slip differential, both models feature firmer spring rates of 7 percent for the front and 11 percent for the rear. Damper rates have been matched to the springs. Larger stabilizer bars at 24 mm front and 20 mm rear were added to help keep the car flatter in the corners. The front bar for the 2013 model is also 1 mm smaller than that of the current car. All R-Spec and Track models come with front strut camber adjustment bolts, previously a $30 port-installed option on all but the 2.0T R-Spec.

Braking systems are carryover from the current car, with base models using 12.6-inch front and 12.4-inch rear rotors with floating single-piston calipers. R-Spec and Track models get Brembo four-piston calipers that clamp down on larger 13.4-inch front and 13-inch rear ventilated rotors. Four-channel ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist are standard across the board.

The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe also comes with a heaping helping of automaker's safety technologies. Most notably, 2013 models get a new three-stage driver-selectable Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Upon startup, ESC is on in force. The intermediate setting gives the driver control over the powertrain, but the computer retains control of ESC and TCS braking function. The full-off setting doesn't intrude on driver inputs for track day fun. ABS systems are not affected.

In the sheetmetal department, the 2013 Genesis Coupe's exterior gains several of the polarizing love-it-or-hate-it design cues of its Veloster and Elantra stablemates. The more aggressive front clip includes a new bumper, grille, hood, headlights, and foglights. The larger, more aggressive bumper is said to increase engine breathing. Hyundai says the hood features heat extractor cues, and when we see the car in person, we'll know if those cues are functional or purely cosmetic, like the similar ones on the base Veloster. LED daytime running lights are also new and HID headlights are available. Around back, LED taillights are new and dual exhaust tips peek out of the blacked-out rear diffuser panel. The car's signature Z-shaped bodyside character line remains and flows quite well into the new front end. Wheel styles are more aggressive but remain in 18- and 19-inch sizes.

Hyundai has added seven new exterior colors, all named for world-famous racing circuits or their most challenging track segments. They are Parabolica Blue, Catalunya Copper, Monaco White, Becketts Black, Circuit Silver, Gran Premio Gray, and Shoreline Drive Blue.

The upgraded interior gains new interior color choices including tan leather, a red leather bolstered/red cloth insert, and a gray leather bolstered/gray cloth insert. Current interior colors and materials are still available. There's stitched-seam detailing on the dash, and leather-equipped cars come with a leather-wrapped parking brake lever. Interior surfaces have been upgraded with soft-touch materials.

Electroluminescent gauges are new and easier to read, and the new center stack gauge cluster has three gauges: instant mpg, oil temperature, and torque level for 3.8 models, or boost pressure for 2.0T models. Hyundai says access to the rear seat from the driver's side is now easier. Driver's seat power lumbar is now available, and both front seats can be had with dual-stage seat heaters. A mini jack and USB port are standard, and an Infinity premium audio system is available. Steering wheel controls can operate an iPod connected to the USB port. Hyundai Blue Link is available on 3.8 Grand Touring, 3.8 Track, and 2.0T Premium models, and is free for 90 days.

The updates to the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe promise even more performance and refinement from an already capable car, and we're eager to get our hands on one soon for a full evaluation to see how the changes translate from paper to the pavement.

KMROD
Granted the front end of this car was far from perfect before but this redesign is a disaster. They took what was starting to look upscale and made it look cheap. I hope this isn't a prelude to Hyundai's new design language, because up until this they were on a roll.

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