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2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe was new.


Performance: 7.2

Test drivers report that the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is fast, powerful and sure-footed. For 2011, Hyundai adds a performance-tuned Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec trim to its lineup.

Acceleration and Power

The base Genesis Coupe 2.0T features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 210 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 223 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm. However, the more powerful Genesis Coupe 3.8 comes equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that generates 306 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 266 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. According to Hyundai, the Genesis Coupe 3.8 can blast from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all models and trims, though a five-speed electronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters is optional for the 2.0T; and a ZF six-speed electronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters is optional for the Coupe 3.8.

According to the EPA, the 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T nets a city/highway fuel economy as high as 21/30 mpg. Meanwhile, the Genesis Coupe 3.8 nets 17/27 mpg. 

  • "Where the coupe gains the most fans, other than its looks, is from the 3.8-liter, 306-horsepower V-6 with a 6-speed automatic and manual mode shifting. The V-6 is very alert and quickly responds to pedal pressure. The zero-to-60 claim is 5.7 seconds, fast enough to lead rather than follow" -- Chicago Tribune
  • "The 2.0T is tuned for lots of muscle in the low-rpm, daily-driving range, but it runs out of thrust quickly as the tach climbs past 4000 rpm. Worse, without balance shafts, the engine practically begs you to short-shift it, due to deafening boominess and vibrations severe enough to rattle the dashboard." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "This is a quick coupe, for sure -- a Jag XK needs 5.8 seconds to reach 60 and to 14.3 at 98.3 to nab the quarter -- but not as brisk as several others in its class. The 370Z, 135i, and Mustang GT all put up better numbers. Maybe the onus falls on the engine. The so-called 'RS 3800' V-6 (for Rear-drive Sport), which does emit a pleasing growl as it revs effortlessly to the 6500-rpm redline, is no-doubt a refined engine -- arguably more refined than Nissan's VQ -- but it doesn't seem 306 horsepower strong." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

The rear-wheel drive Hyundai Genesis earns praise for its handling prowess -- which instills confidence even when pushed to the limits. New for 2011 is the Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec (the 2.0 is also offered as a performance-tuned R-Spec). According to Car and Driver, "The new 3.8 R-Spec trim mirrors the existing 2.0T R-Spec trim, but for models equipped with the 3.8-liter V-6 engine. The R-Spec treatment is essentially a de-contented version of the 3.8 Track model, allowing buyers to get upgraded suspension and brake components with fewer interior toys and gadgets, meaning a lower entry price for a track-focused Genesis V-6."

  • "When the pace quickens, the Hyundai displays modest roll and understeer, but its instinct to stay flat inspires confidence when exploring the limits. Speaking of limits, the Genesis Coupe's standard stability and traction control can be turned completely off. But unless you're impersonating drift champ Rhys Millen, it's probably best to leave that button untouched, as the Track's Torsen LSD can't cheat the laws of physics." -- Motor Trend
  • "Usually ride is sacrificed for handling, but this coupe provided jostle-free motoring even over a series of exaggerated tar marks left by highway workers who obviously didn't want to come back and fill the cracks again next year. The coupe keeps teeth from rattling, but the sedan is smoother." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "The Track model's suspension, which adds an ever-so-slight amount of chop to the coupe's otherwise supple ride, helps the Genesis turn in more crisply and reduces understeer. Unfortunately, even the Track chassis plows resolutely, a situation not helped by the staggered wheels and tires." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "All things considered, the coupe threatens to fumble the whole mission with la-di-da handling. But it doesn't. Hyundai aces one of the critical tests: steering feel. Cornering forces load the wheel naturally, bumps twitch it, and a ratio tuned for snap-to quickness sharpens your aim." -- Car and Driver

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