Oh, how mighty the fallen have become! The Hyundai estate of the 90s has quickly become the “Try to keep up with us” in this century.
The company has had one success after another and it is not slowing down. Even with a new product in the works, you’ve had time to review and refine offerings that are just in the middle of their life.
Yes, the Genesis, a luxury sedan that competes with much more expensive cars, has been modified. A new model, the R-Spec, was also added, adding revs and speed to a sleek sedan.
There are now three Genesis Sedan models. There’s the entry-level 3.8-liter V6 that has three trim levels. There are two V8 engines: a 4.6-liter that’s a carry-over from last year and the 5.0-liter, which has 429 horsepower and a revised suspension for a sportier feel.
All Genesis sedans get a slight facelift. The front grille and bumper are revised and the bumper receives a new chrome treatment. The headlights are more squint with daytime running lights and LED accents. The exterior mirrors are more elegant and have a motorized folding function.
The rear is more square and elegant, with a very typical BMW look. The taillights are combination units and the rear bumper is more robust with integrated dual exhaust tips. The 17-inch and 19-inch wheels are also new.
It’s the R-Spec that caught my eye. Hyundai has designed a 5.0-liter engine that is smooth and responsive, but can return 16 in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway. That’s impressive for a 429-horsepower engine with 376 pound-feet of torque. Hyundai achieves this in part through direct injection that it uses in all of its engines. This beauty can reach 60 in 5.1 seconds, according to Hyundai.
I do not doubt that statement. Strolling through Charleston, South Carolina, over hills and valleys (and many bridges) was exciting. A light touch of the gas and the car starts without much drama. The transmission cuts its eight (8) gears with precision and authority. The Shiftronic function allows you to choose your own gears. Kick downs seemed drama-free and the cabin was devoid of all noise.
The R-Spec’s handling is much more aggressive than the 4.6 I also drove. You get a lightweight 19mm hollow-type rear stabilizer bar and higher front and rear spring rates. The shocks have been upgraded to Sachs ASD which provide a 25 to 30 percent higher damping rate. This reduces body roll, increases stability, improves front and rear balance, and allows for faster turns.
Does all of that make this a sports car? It depends on who the sport is because you compare it. I don’t think it is an Audi or a BMW, but it is more aggressive than some older competing models. It is certainly sporty on challenging roads. Steering, braking, and handling never seem to fall apart.
What this car has about all of that is that it has close enough performance, but nowhere near the price. The R-Spec cost $ 47,350. That includes destiny and everything else. There is no optional equipment. If the company has forgotten something important, I did not realize it.
People who buy the Genesis may look for it first for what a bargain it is, but they will quickly realize that Hyundai got it right. It’s not just the price, it’s the performance. The Genesis sedan deserves its own second channel away from Hyundai, but the cost would be high for the company and likely erase the price advantage it has over the competition.
With that said, get one of these before the business realizes you can raise the price by thousands and still sell a lot.