Test Drive: 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

?Refined Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec: An Enthusiast’s Dream”?


Hyundai Motor America, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea managed to create a significant rival for other premier sport sedans in the marketplace, offering a high-output V8 engine and rear-wheel drive in a package that comfortably seated five, which at first glance may easily be mistaken for a Lexus or Mercedes sedan.

The all-new Genesis sport sedan was first introduced in 2008 to reign as Hyundai?s flagship and came with features and capabilities that ranked right up there with other premium global sports sedans. A 3.8 R-Spec Coupe model a year later, offering a choice between two performance engines ? a 2.0-liter turbocharged, 210 horsepower four-cylinder, or a 3.8-liter DOHC 306 horsepower V6. The Coupe was Hyundai?s second rear wheel drive performance vehicle, which could well be thought of as the sedan?s evil twin, providing a proper tool to the increasingly popular sport of drifting.

The 2009 Genesis sedan was built on Hyundai?s all new, performance oriented, rear-wheel drive platform ? the first for a U.S. model Hyundai. Two powertrains were offered: Hyundai?s Lambda 3.8-liter 290 horsepower V6 engine; and an all-new Hyundai Tau 4.6-liter V8, which cranked out 375 horsepower on premium fuel, or 368 when fueled by regular unleaded gas. That generated 79.5 to 81.0 horsepower per liter, ranking it above its competitors. The Genesis V6 mated to an Aisen 6-speed SHIFTRONIC automatic transmission that featured an overdrive lock-up torque converter, while the V8 powered Genesis was coupled with an enhanced high-output ZF 6-speed automatic, which also came with SHIFTRONIC manual shift capability. The front to rear weight distribution was nearly perfect at 52/48, delivering a balanced ride and control.

Interior styling was executed to enhance one?s driving experience. Analog gauges included a large speedometer and tachometer positioned directly ahead of the driver for easy reference, and the entire instrument cluster was illuminated by Hyundai?s signature ?Blue Glow?.

Sport-tuned suspension, with a MacPherson strut dual-link up front and a five-link set-up aft came with stabilizer bars fitted both front and rear. Steering was?hydraulic rack-and-pinion featuring quick ratio gears for improved linearity and agility ? it is also senses engine rpms.

Transmission choices included a standard six-speed manual for both engine variants, and an optional five-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC for the 2.0T four-banger, and a ZF six-speed with SHIFTRONIC for the 3.8-liter V6 to deal with the additional torque. Both automatic transmissions feature steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.


Enter the 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec luxury sport sedan, which draws its motive force from a 5.0-liter Dual DOHC 32-valve V8 with CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing) and Gasoline Direct Injection which makes 429 ponies at 6,400 rpm along with 376 pound feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Power from the longitudinally mounted front engine is geared to the rear wheels through a unique?8-speed electronic automatic SHIFTRONIC? transmission with a manual shift mode. This new Tau V8 represents the most powerful Hyundai engine ever, with a higher specific output (85.8 hp/liter) than its normally aspirated premium luxury competitors.

The R-Spec sedan rides on specific 19-inch alloy wheels with a premium machined finish, shod with Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position rubber and features specially tuned suspension componentry and steering calibrations. All 2012 Genesis models feature more aggressive styling cues, while the R-Spec will additionally offer unique headlights with dark chrome inserts for a more distinctive front appearance. An R-Spec trim designation badge appears on the rear deck, and black R-Spec embroidered floor mats serve as a reminder of the performance awaiting behind the wheel. Genesis R-Spec will only be offered in three sport-oriented exterior colors: Black Noir, Titanium Gray, and Platinum Metallic, each with Black leather interior and an all-black leather steering wheel for a differentiated sport appearance from the 4.6 model. In addition, side mirrors now incorporate power-folding and puddle lamp functions, while the side window surround trim now displays a sportier, brushed aluminum finish. From the rear view, taillights have been redesigned and new dual asymmetrical exhaust tips are integrated into a new bumper fascia.

The design of the Genesis may best be described as a progressive interpretation of today?s modern rear wheel drive sports sedan with its athletic sculpted form and bold character lines forming one graceful package. In essence, it looks to be much more expensive than it really is. It is loaded with technology as well ? such features as XM NavTraffic, Adaptive Front Lighting System, Lexicon? audio packages and electronic active head restraints. Electronic Stability Control is included as standard equipment as well.

The Hyundai Genesis delivers a host of standard features and equipment that grace European and Asian marques, but at a considerably lower price point,?beginning with its Lexicon? audio system featuring LOGIC 7? technology. A soft-touch instrument panel with woodgrain accents, Bluetooth? hands-free mobile phone interface, and USB/iPod? auxiliary inputs are all standard fare. A state-of-the-art navigation system with an eight-inch display is available. The navigation unit is accessed by a user-friendly multi-media controller that also controls the radio. A backup camera using an eight-inch display provides the driver a clear view immediately behind the car.

The driver is surrounded by a leather-wrapped dash, door panels and console lid in a pleasant environment, with a heated and cooled driver?s seat maximizing driving comfort. An automatic windshield defogger with humidity sensor and rain-sensing wipers allow crystal clear sight lines. Genesis also offers the conveniences of a power rear sunshade, standard proximity key and push-button starter.

My test 2012 Genesis 5.0 R-Spec sedan came with the Black Noir Pearl exterior finish complemented by a Black interior. The base price was set at $46,500. Which rose to $46,535 after adding the Inland Freight and Handling charge and iPod cable. All other equipment and features were included as standard fare.

SUMMARY:? The new Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec sedan is a finely crafted, premium sport vehicle that, considering its content, is reasonably priced. It delivers a level of luxury and comfort, coupled with pleasing performance capability and satisfying handling characteristics without adding any options.

The ride quality provided by the 2012 R-Spec Genesis sedan unquestionably leans to the very firm side of the equation, which is to be expected considering the outstanding handling characteristics demonstrated on the road during spirited driving maneuvers.


As if the new Genesis weren?t already attractive enough, with all things considered, it comes with the Hyundai Advantage, America’s Best Warranty?. Coverage includes five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and a seven-year/unlimited mileage anti-perforation coverage. ], Genesis buyers receive 24-hour roadside assistance coverage at no extra charge for five years with no mileage limit. There is no deductible for any of the coverages. It is indeed a worthy flagship sedan.














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