Orlando Sentinel's view

Hyundai is billing the 2010 Genesis Coupe as the “evil twin” of the Genesis sedan, which was named the North American Car of the Year for 2009 by a panel of 50 automotive journalists that included me.

But the Coupe, while it does share a lot of components with the sedan, barely looks and feels like a member of the same family, much less a sibling, evil or not.

While the smaller Tiburon was certainly sports-minded, the Genesis Coupe is the company’s first legitimate sports coupe, targeting the American pony-car trio of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger.

Those three have standard V-6 engines and optional V-8s. The Genesis Coupe has a standard 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine, with 210 horsepower. The optional engine, which came in the test car, is a slightly modified 3.8-liter V-6 from the Genesis sedan. It has 306 horsepower, just nine fewer than the Mustang’s V-8.

Mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, the Genesis Coupe’s V-6 has all the power you need. That said, though, keep in mind that the Genesis sedan has an optional 4.6-liter, 375-horsepower V-8, which could find its way into the Genesis Coupe in a year or two.

The test car came with the “Track” package, which has a beefier suspension, front and rear Brembo disc brakes and bigger 19-inch tires and wheels.

On the road, especially with the Track package, the ride is a little jarring on rough pavement, and there’s moderate road noise, but nothing unacceptable given the performance. Weighing in at about 3,400 pounds, the Genesis Coupe with the V-6 isn’t a featherweight, but it drives like a lighter car. Handling is crisp and precise, though the steering feel still needs some fine-tuning.

Inside, the Genesis Coupe is roomy and well-appointed up front, but like most sports coupes, rear seat room is tight for adults.

All models of the Genesis Coupe, come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, with optional automatics – five-speed for the four-cylinder, six-speed for the V-6. The base four-cylinder starts at $22,750 including freight, a lot of car for the money. The test car with the Sport package started at $29,500, and with shipping and floor mats, totaled $30,365.

Is it worthy competition for the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger? On paper, sure, but I just don’t see many Genesis Coupe customers cross-shopping those three.

They are old school, the Genesis Coupe isn’t: Its angular styling is Japanese video-game, conjured up by a Korean company that, more and more each year, understands its target market.

Sentinel Automotive Editor Steven Cole Smithcan be reached at 407-420-5699, or through his blog at

2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Base price: $29,500

Price as tested: $30,345

EPA rating: 17 miles per gallon city driving, 26 mph highway.

Details: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe with a 3.8-liter, 396-horsepower V-6 engine and a six-speed manual transmission.

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