Where are the visuals?
Even more so than the mechanical changes, the R-Spec's visual differentiators amount to pretty thin gruel. Special nineteen-inch wheels replace the standard seventeens and the headlamps (with LED accents for 2012) have darker reflectors. That's it, unless you count the R-Spec badges. Inside, it's the same story. Don't look for new seats to replace the soft standard units, or any special trim. There's just a leather-wrapped steering wheel (in place of the standard wood rim) -- oh, and R-Spec floor mats.
With no visual pop and only the subtlest of changes in driving dynamics, the R-Spec ends up being just an engine upgrade. At $47,350 ($2000 over the Genesis 4.6), the R-Spec may be a good deal, but no more so than any other Genesis. And whereas value-for-money may have made the regular Genesis a success, a true sport sedan needs to try harder than this.
2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec
Base price: $47,350
Price as tested: $47,385
On sale: Now
Powertrain: 5.0-liter, 32-valve V-8
Horsepower: 429 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 376 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
L x W x H: 196.3 x 74.4 x 58.3 in
Wheelbase: 115.6 in
Cargo capacity: 15.9 cu ft
Curb weight: 4046 lbs
EPA rating (city/highway): 16/25 mpg