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In the Beginning

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I’m probably the only journalist left in the country who’s still reviewing the ‘unfacelifted’ version of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 V6 at this late date. (Especially since China Business first featured it back in 2010!) But I personally drove the 2011 Genesis Coupe for over a week nearly half a year ago, and the feel, sound, smell of it still lingers—like an ex you can’t get over.

In a vain attempt at moving on, I tried to distract myself with eye candy. I tempted my eyes with the facelifted version (let’s call it the 2013 GenCoupe) during the Lateral Drift Championship at Quirino Grandstand in early September 2012. Well, I looked at the photos and videos of it weeks later having been buried in editor duties during the event. Nah, too macho. I was still in love with my baby.

From the front, the 2013 Genesis Coupe looks like it’s snarling. The 2011 version gives a more gentle smile. Inviting. But safe. Yet handsome enough to turn heads and elicit a lot of pointing.

How it feels beneath your hands...
Hyundai’s trademark superior handling goes into mind boggling territory with this car. It helps that it’s wicked fast. If my foot even twitched on the accelerator, I’d find myself on third base—I mean, I surprisingly found myself to have zoomed a hundred meters ahead.

And the sound it makes. Wow. Now, I’ve driven cars that were all bark and no bite. This baby’s bark and bite are so in sync that I became addicted to both its speed and the vroom that heralds it.

The 2011 model doesn’t look very different from the first version that came out four years ago. But the current mutation of the Genesis Coupe actually began in 2009 as a 2L inline 4-cylinder that gave 212 HP. In 2011, it turned into a 3.8L V6 that gives 303 HP.

And all that power felt feather-light with whatever Hyundai technology its engineers concocted (which I suspect is 98% fairy dust) that I hardly felt the 1,940-kg coupe beneath me. I got what I call the passenger experience—driving a car that handles so smoothly that you feel more like a passenger than a driver. Oh, I felt the weight of the car in the steering wheel but it responded so easily I soon forgot it. Very unexpected for the price tag, even in a flashy yellow coupe.

How it feels on the road...
I’ve heard complaints about the 303 HP given the 3.8L engine. Personally, with the horrendous parking lot that is Metro Manila, I couldn’t care less if Hyundai doesn’t give the Philippine market 340 HP. Too many people drive crazy fast anyway. I’m one of them.

What I care about is the 3.8L engine. Me and my gas card really felt the fuel consumption. But I couldn’t help driving fast and threading in and out of what appeared to be vehicles at a standstill. (They were probably doing 50.)

Most of the time, bikes and cars cleared the way when they heard the portentous vroom of the Genesis Coupe. I even made it from Katipunan to Sta Mesa via Aurora and back in 30 minutes, including a 10-minute shopping spree and waiting for slow- moving passenger jeeps on V. Mapa to make room enough for me to vroom by. Of course, it was 8AM on a Sunday, but it was still pretty good time. I got everything from long looks to leers and it became uncomfortable after a while. As I disembarked, at one point, I even heard one guy tell another that the car was Bumblebee from Transformers. Gee. I hope he meant the car not me since I’ve been carrying excess holiday weight for three years now.

The best feeling I got though was the warm breeze that wafted through the sunroof during my early morning drives. I felt like I was on holiday even when I was just zooming past White Plains on the way to the office.

The facelifted Genesis Coupe may be more of a man’s car, but the virgin version is the best girl’s car I’ve ever driven.

Print ed: 04/13

 

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