The Genesis Coupe is the pinnacle of Hyundai’s performance vehicles. The Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track, then, is the best Hyundai has to offer in the performance marketplace. We already tested the Genesis Coupe 2.0T Premium all the way up to 6,288 feet. Since then, we’ve wanted to sample the Genesis Coupe with a V6 underhood. The 3.8 Track pairs the larger engine with a host of performance upgrades. Competition from the likes of the V6-powered Camaro and Mustang is stiff, but Hyundai is hoping that its more performance-oriented offering stands out for enthusiasts.
For 2013, the Genesis Coupe sports new front and rear fascia along with a much-enhanced grille and new faux hood vents. They’re aggressive in style, but we wish they were functional. The reshaped headlights and taillights are more modern in their design. Unlike the 4-cylinder Genesis Coupe we drove, 3.8 Track gets a number of additions outside, many of them performance oriented. The wheels grow to 19 inches and come wearing sticky summer tires. There’s also a rear spoiler for added aggression. All 3.8 models also gets fog lights with LED running lights in the lower fascia.
Inside the 3.8 Track comes with all the same creature comforts we found in the 2.0T Premium. Heated seats and navigation are both standard, lending the interior a more upscale feel in comparison to its competitors. Three circular gauges are mounted in the center of the dashboard displaying torque, fuel consumption, and oil temperature. We appreciate that these dials are more informative than those found on the top of the dash in the Nissan 370Z. However, they aren’t easily readable from the driver seat without taking your eyes off the road for longer than feels comfortable. The leather seats were comfortable and offered great lateral support in corners. However, longer rides will make question the seating position, as if the seats are too low to the floor. When you do manage to get yourself set, the telescoping multi-function steering wheel adjusts right to where you want it, with all the controls easily in reach.
The Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track certainly looks the part of an aggressive sports coupe, but does it drive like one? The answer to that question is both yes and no. Lets focus on the positives first, starting with the brakes. The massive four piston Brembo units, standard on the 3.8 Track, stop the 3600 pound coupe with absolute perfect pedal feel and, thankfully, very little brake dust. Another great benefit of the Track trim is the standard Torsen limited slip differential (something we can get behind). Where the 2.0T Premium Genesis Coupe would only squeak one tire, the 3.8 Track is capable of much more impressive feats. The most important of those is utilizing all 348 horsepower and 295 ft-lb of twisting force. The eight-speed automatic transmission was optioned in our tester, but for lovers of the third pedal, a six-speed manual is also an option. As we found with the 2.0T Premium, the transmission is best left in manual mode. It obeys commands, but not with the deftness and authority of the ZF sourced box from the BMW 4 Series that we recently tested. If you’re going to have some fun with the Genesis Coupe, you’d best be able to find the traction control button. The traction and stability control have such low limits of slip that any amount of spirited driving will kill the throttle. This was a bit puzzling for a performance car. Only by turning off the traction control were we able to exploit the full traction of the tires and the power of the engine. Once all this happened, the Genesis Coupe really turned into a gem.
That is, until you attempt to use the car as a daily driver. The 3.8 Track’s re-tuned suspension communicates every bump in the road with a thud. One of our contributors found the dampening and overall ride to be “a little too stiff for everyday driving, but great for backroad fun.” I concur with this sentiment, often arriving at my destination remembering that the roads didn’t used to be that bumpy. With that said, the Genesis Coupe leaves you less rattled than the Mazdaspeed 3 or Mitsubishi Evo MR, so it could be worse. I’m sure driving the 3.8 Track on its namesake, the track, is an excellent experience. After all, Skip Barber thinks they’re good enough to use at his driving schools. But as a road-goer and everyday driver, I find myself with something left to be desired. Especially when you arrive to take your parents out for a nice dinner.
Overall, the 3.8 Track is the best Genesis Coupe that your money can buy. It’s combination of power, handling, and fun-to-drive factor will put it on the short list of V6 coupes for enthusiast. It certainly gives the Americans a run for their money by offering similar performance with a more upscale feel. Hyundai should be commend for producing such a performance-oriented car with so much built-in the value. There’s no need for upgraded tires, brakes or suspension components as they all come straight from the factory. With a few more refinements, its possible that the Hyundai may even be able to compete well above its price point. Maybe even at 6,288 feet.
|2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track
|Carpeted Floor Mats||$110|
|As Tested MSRP||$35,290|