What is this, WFLBC is reviewing cars now? Let’s be honest, most guys love cars and I’m no different. Strap me into a high horsepower machine and set me free!! The Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R Spec is Hyundai’s first crack at a sports sedan and they hit a lot of the right notes. A 5 litre V8 pumping out 429 horsepower/376 foot pounds of torque mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission with bigger front brakes, retuned steering and a stiffer anti roll bar out back. It’s a nice jump from the 333 horsepower V6 model. So is the Genesis on par with the V8 powered German sports sedans from which it’s modelled after?
The exterior styling of the Genesis is beautiful. Great proportions, nice lines from every angle and a low, aggressive stance. The ride is a little choppy over uneven surfaces which would lead you to believe that it was tuned for handling. It is not. This car feels heavy (it is heavy) and has a lot more body roll than expected for a “sports sedan”. The seats don’t offer much lateral support either so if you want to throw this thing around in the twistys you better hold on to something.
The V8 heart of this car is where it really shines. The 429 hp are ready and willing at any rpm and with the traction control turned off this thing is a first class tire shredder. I heard from a pretty good source that this very car thoroughly embarrassed a new Camaro on its way out to Surrey. Imagine the feeling of watching a 4 door Hyundai leave you in the dust in your shiny new muscle car. Ouch. 0-60 MPH takes a scant 5.2 seconds and a quarter mile flies by in 13.7 seconds at 103 MPH.
The interior is very high quality with stitched leather panels on the dash and doors, full leather seats that are heated all around and cooled for the driver. The surfaces that aren’t leather are nice soft touch materials but there are still a few cheap plasticy bits here and there. The main issue with the interior is the lack of style, it’s very plain and looks like it belongs in a 10 year old Toyota Avalon. The centre touch screen is a nice size but the angle it’s mounted at makes glare an issue. The 17 speaker 528 watt audio system is fantastic, the rear seats are very spacious and the trunk is absolutely massive.
This Korean rocket ship will lighten your wallet to the tune of just under $55,000 which makes it much more affordable than the German sports sedans it so desperately wants to be. That being said a new Chrysler 300 SRT costs under $47,000, has 470 horsepower, crushes 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and has a much nicer interior (seriously, it’s nicer than you think).
The verdict? The 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R Spec is a solid first effort at a sports sedan from an auto maker that has improved it’s quality (both actual and perceived) a great deal over the last decade. It’s great bang for your buck and a hoot to drive in a straight line however there are faster, cheaper, nicer cars out there.
Thanks to Dennis Pang for making the “dangerous” trip out to Bridgeview in Surrey so I could check this car out.