Buyers after an affordable rear-wheel drive sports car with brilliant handling and a powerful engine have never had so many worthy options to choose from. With their current crop of entry-level sports cars, it’s as though all the major automakers have suddenly turned their designs up a notch, offering plenty of style with handling and dynamics to match.
The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a newcomer in this group, which includes other notable mentions such as the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Mazda RX-8 and Nissan 370Z, but it’s easily one of the best.
Customers can select from a punchy turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a powerful 3.8-liter V-6. Both are worth options though our pick would have to be the V-6 due to its beautiful torque curve. Note, if modifying cars is your thing, the turbo four has loads of potential and could easily be tuned for more power.
In standard trim, the base four-cylinder engine offers 210 horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque. At a starting price of just $22,250, we think this car is a bargain, though it's American competition all offers V-6 engines at this level. One of the key benefits of this option is the lighter mass sitting up front. The difference between it and the V-6 can really be felt if you drive the cars back to back on a twisty course.
Opt for the V-6 model, however, and you get a much healthier 306 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. This is enough to send the Genesis Coupe from 0-60 mph in just 6.0 seconds and see it easily reach its electronically limited top speed of 149 mph.
The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe offers predictable rear-wheel drive handling and is a joy to drive. It has a solid feel at speeds that you only get with much more expensive cars and its brakes feel powerful too.
Six different trim levels are offered on the car but for performance buffs there’s only one choice: the R Spec
. Both the turbo four and the V-6 in R Spec trim are available with a six-speed manual transmission only, and they also weigh some 68 pounds less than the rest of the line thanks to some weight saving mods.
For a more detailed look at the styling, performance, quality and safety of the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, head over to TheCarConnection
now. Note, a facelifted version of the car is being introduced for the 2012 model year. You can see spy shots of a prototype for it by clicking here