Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Published: 20 March 2008

Hyundai debuted its new Genesis Coupe in the Banqueting hall of the Javits Conference Centre, and had a pair of cars do a series of doughnuts to celebrate the world debut. The two cars were different: one a 306bhp 3.8-litre V6; the other a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre delivering 212bhp. Both have rear-wheel-drive and independent suspension all round; both undercut their competition on price.

‘We think our 2.0t, with rear-wheel drive, four-cylinder turbo and independent suspension will draw people to the brand,’ said John Krafcik, VP, product development and strategic planning, Hyundai Motor America. ‘This car is about value, and most important, what it can do.’ He promises the V6 will keep up with an Infiniti G37: ‘We benchmarked that car.’

The Coupe’s styling was well received at the reveal, but it’s fussy as well as aggressive. The small grille floats between the front lamps and there are endless swoops and creases. The two sweeps down the flank apparently reference a pouncing puma. ‘If we’d done one, it would look too common, the two give more muscular tension,’ says Joel T Piaskowski, chief designer at Hyundai’s North American design centre.

The Genesis Coupe will go on sale in America, Korea, Asia and the Middle East, but the front may not meet European pedestrian safety regulations. Tony Whitehorn, managing director of Hyundai UK said: ‘the Genesis Coupe is further proof that Hyundai’s engineers are capable of producing cars which can match or better anything produced in Japan, Europe or America. We would love to be able to bring this amazing car to the UK, and are keeping a close eye on public reaction to see if there is demand from British driving enthusiasts.’ If there is, under Single Vehicle Approval laws, a limited number of cars could be imported.