The Hyundai Genesis Coupe ought to be the replacement for the Hyundai Coupe, the budget-priced, sporty two-door that has done much to give the Korean marque a thin sheen of glamour where there was previously none at all. Trouble is, this bigger, more potent machine, Hyundai Europe reckons, will find too small a market to justify bringing here, and that’s a pity.
In fact, after half an hour at the wheel of the 306bhp 3.8-litre V6, plenty of enthusiasts might even feel downright frustrated at this news, as will owners of the existing Coupe, because this is a fun car. It can peel twin black lines and fire off 6.3sec sprints to 62mph with nonchalant ease but, more than that, it handles with the kind of tight athleticism that has you stabbing the ESP button to ‘off’, and trying for a drift.
Which turns out to be a bit of Genesis speciality. The quick steering, limited-slip diff, minimal roll, slop-free body control and solid gouts of torque make that exhilaratingly angled attack easy to achieve.
This car is fast and fun, despite steering that feels weirdly inconsistent at high speeds (though not enough to alarm, happily) and an engine that sounds better outside than it does from the cabin. It stops well too, with standard-fit Brembo brakes.
The sophisticated alloy V6 – it features continuously variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust cams – can be had with manual or auto six-speed transmissions, while a 207bhp 2.0 turbo is also offered, and capable of propelling this handsome fastback to 62mph in 8.3sec. In the US, where the Genesis is mainly aimed, prices start at a tempting $22,000 (£14,800) for the base four cylinder, while the least expensive V6 costs just $3000 (£2000) more. In reality, though, an officially imported V6 version would cost at least £25k.
At this price point, the slightly cheap-looking interior trim would start to undermine the Genesis’s case against Audi TTs, Mazda RX-8s and Nissan 370Zs - although the V6 is more fun than any TT. And there’s also the expense of engineering it for right-hand drive. So the chances of the Genesis Coupe making it here look slim. Which is our loss. And Hyundai UK’s too, with no other racy models to brighten its showrooms.