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2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 R-Spec [REVIEW]

The 2015 Genesis Coupe deserves more attention than it actually gets and here’s why…

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It’s been decades since we had rear-wheel-drive coupes, like the Toyota Supra, Nissan 240SX and Mazda RX-7 and even though today we do have the Scion FR-S and BR-Z twins, the rear-wheel-drive coupe market is now largely dominated by the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger, but what about the Hyundai Genesis? Six years ago Hyundai decided to add more spirited models to its lineup with the introduction of the rear-wheel-drive Genesis sedan and coupe and while the Genesis sedan had aspirations to take on the best from Germany, the Genesis Coupe sought to take on models like the Mustang and Camaro, in addition to somewhat filling the gap that Japanese automakers once held.

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When Hyundai delivered a Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec for me to try out for a week, I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect. The last time I drove the Genesis Coupe was back in 2008 before the coupe had even been released to the public. Since then I’d largely forgotten about the Genesis Coupe since most of Hyundai’s marketing efforts have been focused on its bread and butter models like, the Sonata, Elantra and Genesis sedan. It’s a disappointment that Hyundai doesn’t highlight its performance models more, since the Genesis Coupe is quite good and a worthy alternative to the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger.

When the Genesis was released it was offered with two engines, a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.8L V6. What’s interesting is that Hyundai has decided to discontinue the four-cylinder model at a time when its competition, like the Mustang and Camaro are introducing four-cylinder turbocharged engines to the mix.

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Related: 2016 Chevy Camaro is 200 lbs lighter, gets 2.0L turbo and most powerful SS yet

My tester was the 3.8 R-Spec, which is the mid-level model, between the base Genesis Coupe 3.8 and the Genesis Coupe 3.8 Ultimate. The 3.8 R-Spec adds 19-inch aluminum wheels, a track tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, a limited-slip rear differential and sport seats.

The 3.8L V6 generates 348 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the R-Spec model, but the other trims are available with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Genesis 3.8 R-Spec is rated at 16/24 mpg, but I averaged 19 mpg.

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How does it drive? Compared to the posh Genesis Sedan the Coupe has a more raw personality that shows that Hyundai does have the ability to make a sporty model. Shifting the six-speed manual is easy with precise throws and the steering is nice and tight – probably since it uses an old school hydraulic system compared to a more modern electric system. It’s suspension is impressive and the Brembo brakes keep everything under control.

Rev the 3.8L V6 and you’ll probably forget about the fact that there once was a 2.0L option. It sounds impressive and loves to rev. With 348 horsepower on tap the engine has a great amount of power to make any drive fun.

2015 Hyundai Genesis Coupe - Interior

Now for a few negatives. While the Genesis Coupe is a joy to drive, it would be great if the interior had some upgrades and felt a little more luxurious like the Genesis sedan. The Genesis Coupe is one of the oldest models in Hyundai’s lineup and it shows. Opening the door feels a bit cheap and once inside there’s a bit more hard plastic than I expected. While the dash layout is clean and easy to use, it does feel a bit old especially when you notice the fact that there isn’t a touchscreen sitting in the center stack, well at least on the R-Spec model. The Ultimate trim level comes with a 7-inch touchscreen. Lastly, like most coupes, the rear seat isn’t entirely spacious, but I did manage to fit two passengers back there for a short period.

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Although the Genesis Coupe may not have the retro appeal of the Mustang or Camaro, it does deserve more attention than it currently gets. It’s a fun to drive rear-wheel-drive coupe that enthusiasts consistently ask for, but some reason probably don’t know even exists. Let’s hope that Hyundai does introduce a new Genesis soon and wedging in the 5.0L V8 from the Genesis Sedan would probably help get it a bit more attention on the street. Pricing for the Genesis Coupe starts at $26,750 the $895 destination, while the 3.8 R-Spec starts at $29,500.