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New York show: Hyundai hatches Genesis Coupe

New Tiburon: Rear-drive Genesis coupe emerged in production guise at NY.

New Hyundai coupe misses V8 engine and is at least two years from Australia

20 Mar 2008

FIRST there was the sketch and then, last November in Los Angeles, the concept car that also appeared at the Melbourne motor show earlier this month – now we have the final production version of the long-awaited Hyundai Genesis, revealed last night at the New York motor show.

A more specialist, high-performance halo car than the current front-drive Tiburon - which is due to be replaced in the next 18 months by a two-door built on the Hyundai i30 platform and based on the Veloster concept and shown in Seoul last year - the rear-wheel drive Geness coupe will go into production in the US in the first half of 2009.

However, potential Australiarear-wheel drive Genesis Coupe was But potential Australian buyers will have to be patient because Hyundai Australia sales and marketing chief Kevin McCann says that “if we were to launch it in Australia, it would be post-2010”. That is at least a year later than we had expected.

More bad news is that there was no mention in New York of the rumoured V8 engine, which will appear in the sleek Genesis sedan that debuted at the Detroit show in January but which has not yet been scheduled for an Australian release.

The so-called ‘Tau’ quad-cam 4.6-litre V8, which will produce an estimated 275kW (about the same as Holden’s 6.0-litre V8) and 439Nm of torque (against 530Nm) will not be available in the sedan until later in the year and may therefore be added to the Coupe at a later date.

1 center imageFrom launch, the top models of the front-engined Genesis Coupe range will be powered by an all-aluminium 3.8-litre DOHC V6 with variable valve timing, offering around 230kW of power and 340Nm of torque compared with the current Tiburon’s more modest 2.7-litre V6, which produces 123kW and 245Nm.

The V6-engined Genesis Coupe will accelerate to 96km/h in less than six seconds.

Entry-level models will also receive a boost in power, with the Genesis Coupe getting a new turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with constantly variable intake and exhaust valves.

The all-alloy turbo engine will produce an estimated 158kW (166kW on premium petrol) and 295Nm, which compares favourably with the Tiburon V6 and easily exceeds the 102kW and 181Nm of the previous non-turbo four-cylinder that was discontinued in Australia four years ago.

With both engines, the standard transmission will be a six-speed manual gearbox but, while the turbo-four will make do with a five-speed automatic option, the V6 will come with a beefier ZF six-speed to handle the extra torque. Both will have sequential manual shifting and all cars come with a limited-slip differential.

The Genesis Coupe was unveiled in New York by the head of Hyundai’s California Design Centre, Joel Piaskowski, who also presented the concept car at the Melbourne motor show.

Mr Piaskowski said that the transformation from concept to production reveals that its signature design features have emerged intact.

“The mission for Genesis Coupe was to create a pure performance car with a design that would capture the imagination of hardcore automotive enthusiasts,” said Mr Piaskowski.

“With its aggressive look from just about any angle, I think we have been able to do that.” He said that the Genesis Coupe is unmistakably linked to several Hyundai concept cars, including the HCD9 Talus (side glass and ‘Z’ bodyside lines) and the HCD8 sport coupe concepts (overall design direction).

“The arching roofline and tapering greenhouse highlight the exterior profile and emphasise the car’s broad shoulders and wide stance. The rocker panels are drawn close to the ground, making the bodysides extra thick and the daylight opening thin, allowing the wheels to be slammed up into bulging fenders.

“To complete the aggressive sports car look, the depth between the fenders and the greenhouse has been maximised.

“Large openings in the front fascia allow for better engine breathing and the dual exhaust tips integrated into the rear fascia with surrounding blackout repeat the design theme of the front fascia graphic.” Standard wheels are 18-inch alloys while optional 19-inch alloys will also be available.

Having designed a car to push Hyundai’s performance credentials, the cockpit is suitably driver-oriented, with a large analogue speedo and tacho in the centre of the instrument cluster, a push-button starter and sports seats designed to provide strong lateral support.

The seats come in a range of fabric and leather combinations while the interior also comes with the expected central information console.

Hyundai makes big claims for the rear-wheel drive platform’s construction, which it says employs a large percentage of ultra-high-tensile steel.

It claims the Genesis Coupe is lighter than the rival Infiniti G37 and is 24 per cent stiffer in bending rigidity than the (previous-generation) E46 BMW M3.

The front-engined chassis has a front-biased 55:45 weight distribution and employs a MacPherson strut dual-link front suspension with a 23mm-diameter stabiliser bar and a five-link rear suspension with an 18mm stabiliser bar.

The high-performance Genesis Coupe SE model’s ‘track-tuned’ suspension features a stiffer front spring rate, stiffer rear springs and unique shock valving, providing better roll control over the GS model.

Braking power is also increased on the SE, with fixed monobloc four-piston Brembo brake callipers clamping 340mm rotors at the front and 330mm rotors at the rear, while the GS and GT models make do with 320mm and 315mm rotors clamped by floating single-piston callipers.

Steering is by a quick-ratio hydraulic rack-and-pinion system with engine-speed-sensing power assistance.

Electronic stability control is standard in the US, along with high-intensity discharge headlights, front, side and curtain airbags, active head restraints, ABS with EBD and brake assist, a tyre pressure monitor and a fully integrated auxiliary input jack for using and charging your iPod.

Read more:

Melbourne show: Hyundai gets coupe (and diesel) crazy

First look: Hyundai sports Genesis

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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