Motive power comes courtesy of an all-aluminum, 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 mounted just aft of the front axle. The engine produces 210 hp and 223 lb-ft at 2000 rpm. A Hyundai-developed six-speed manual transmission is standard, and the automatic option is an Aisin five-speed rather than the ZF six-speed in the six-cylinder Genesis Coupe 3.8.
The turbo-four provides a fair amount of power, but delivers it in a very sedate manner. Acceleration lags until the turbo spools, but even then, you're not thrown into your seats by a wall of torque. Speed gradually accumulates until you reach the upper echelons of the tachometer, where the little engine that could runs out of steam. You'll want to avoid those areas of the tach, as the engine grows buzzy and slightly coarse (our tester's shift knob vibrated incessantly) as it nears redline.
Sadly, power doesn't increase if you opt for the 2.0T Track model, but the ride stiffness does. Hyundai cranks up the front and rear spring rates by seven and eighteen percent, respectively, and adds a Torsen limited-slip differential. The only visible elements of the Track package are 19-inch aluminum wheels (with summer compound tires) in lieu of the standard 18-inch units; a rear-deck spoiler; and large, red, Brembo brake calipers.
All that hardcore equipment suggests the base car isn't a handler, but that isn't the case. The car remains sharp and taut through corners, although there's little, if any, feedback given through the steering wheel. The ride is generally compliant over most broken road surfaces, but the car feels slightly harsh over expansion joints. Little wind noise permeates the Coupe's cabin, although there is a surprising amount of road noise transmitted.
Still, we're thinking additional sound insulation won't be the first modification most buyers spring for. In fact, Hyundai's offering a "tuner-ready" R-Spec model this summer that offers even less content. R-Spec cars will come with all the go-fast goodies offered on the Track, but won't include things like fog lamps, Bluetooth, cruise control, and the trip computer. The R-spec's $23,750 sticker is $3000 less than a 2.0T Track, leaving more room within a buyer's budget for upgrades.
Regardless of which flavor you choose or modifications you install, there's plenty about the Genesis Coupe to like. It's an affordable, attractive sports coupe, with the unique appeal of rear-wheel drive. Only time will tell, but we imagine this Hyundai could someday be revered by the tuner crowd, much like the AE86.