Special Coverage

New York Int’l Auto Show

Hyundai Motor America today unveils the production version of its ’10 Genesis Coupe at the New York International Auto Show, following the concept’s debut at last November’s Los Angeles show.

The Genesis lineup now represents Hyundai’s flagship models in the U.S. The coupe version is set to debut in spring 2009, following this summer’s launch of the sedan shown in production form at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

“We think our entry-level Genesis Coupe 2.0t, with its unique combination of rear-wheel drive and 4-cyl. turbo power, offers an intriguing alternative to existing front-wheel-drive sports coupes,” John Krafcik, vice president-product development and strategic planning for HMA, says in a statement.

Krafcik told Ward’s in January the Genesis Coupe essentially replaces the departing and smaller Tiburon 2-door. An even smaller coupe based on the auto maker’s Veloster concept also is due in the future and will fit below the Tiburon’s slot in the auto maker’s U.S. lineup.

The Genesis Coupe offers two engine choices: a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cyl. with dual continuously variable valve timing, a Hyundai first in the U.S., and the auto maker’s 3.8L V-6, already available in the Azera large sedan and Veracruz large cross/utility vehicle.

Horsepower for the 2.0t mill in the Genesis Coupe is rated at 212, while the V-6 kicks out 306 hp, Hyundai says.

Krafcik says the V-6 equipped Genesis Coupe rivals the performance of more premium coupes such as the Infiniti G37, whose 3.7L V-6 makes 330 hp.

The Genesis Coupe bests the BMW 335i coupe, which makes 300 hp, as well as non-premium nameplates such as the Ford Mustang GT, Mazda RX-8 and Mitsubishi Eclipse GT, Hyundai says.

The smaller 2.0t engine puts the Genesis Coupe beats the 162-hp Mitsubishi Eclipse GS and 210-hp Ford Mustang.

Both Genesis Coupe engines are mated to a standard 6-speed manual transmission, with a 5-speed automatic gearbox optional with the turbo mill. A 6-speed automatic supplied by Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen AG is optional on the V-6.

The design cues of the concept version of the Genesis Coupe have remained largely intact in the production model, Hyundai says. “Z” body side lines are reminiscent of those seen on other concepts, such as the HCD9 Talus and HCD8 sports coupe.

The coupe’s interior “boasts a cockpit designed to enhance the driving experience,” Hyundai claims, noting features such as an oversized analog speedometer and tachometer that are positioned where they easily can be seen by the driver.

An information-display screen informs passengers of the outside temperature and includes audio, and heating and cooling settings.

Auxiliary jacks for MP3 players are standard, while optional equipment includes an Infinity audio system, sport bucket seats and 2-stage, front-seat warmers.

Standard safety features include Hyundai’s electronic stability control system, seat-mounted side and side-curtain airbags and front active head restraints.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com