Hyundai has announced that 2016 will be the last year for its Genesis coupe.
While it’s sad that the rear-wheel-drive coupe and Hyundai’s only sports car will no longer be available, you can put your grieving on hold because it’s very likely that a successor to this car is coming from the Korean automaker, although under a different name.
See, Hyundai has launched a new luxury brand called Genesis. Currently offered within the brand is the G80 executive sedan and G90 flagship sedan. Both sound like solid, if a little sterile, players on a small roster. Adding a rear-wheel-drive sports coupe would help spice things up in the lineup and make the brand a bit sexier and enticing for new customers.
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Trying to compete against the likes of German sports coupes and American muscle cars alike, this Korean brand has to not only keep up with the established norms in the segment, but also bring its own killer features to stand out from the crowd. In terms of styling, expect a new Genesis coupe to take cues from the Vision G concept we saw during Monterey Car Week about a year ago. We have a few photos of it in this post for reference.
So Genesis, if you’re listening, here’s our wishlist for what we want to see on the next sports coupe.
An Awesome Transmission
Lets not kid ourselves – the transmission in the Genesis Coupe was a bit of a dud, especially the manual one, which was vague and way too easy to slip into the wrong gear. While it’s unlikely that the new luxury coupe will be available with a manual (only the BMW 4 Series offers a six-speed manual), we can hope that the Korean brand turns to or benchmarks an established transmission supplier like ZF to provide a solid shifter for its luxury two-door. Responsive and engaging feeling paddle shifters are a must, but if it really wants to wow enthusiasts, Genesis should offer a slick manual as well.
The cars in this segment all have awesome turbocharged engines that make more than 300 horsepower. We imagine that having 350 ponies at a whim would be on par with the segment, while even more horsepower (closer to 400) would help the car stand out to power junkies. This shouldn’t be an issue, considering the old 3.8-liter V6 made nearly 350 hp without the help of turbochargers. That V6 also sounded pretty good and we hope a new Genesis coupe sounds just as serious.
Despite this vehicle not really being classified as a sports car, owners probably don’t treat it like a lifeless appliance. Performance metrics would go a long way to boost the car’s status as a sporty offering, and things like G-force meters, boost gauges and power meters would really look cool and help drivers better understand their car and performance. The old Genesis had three gauges in the center stack, but they were more ornamental and were placed too far down on the center console to be useful to a driver. We hope the new Genesis has useful data displayed right in the gauge cluster where a driver can see it easily.
And that kind of information would look silly in simple dials or an old school LCD screen. Genesis has to deliver a vibrant, unique and gorgeous digital display, kind of like Audi’s Digital Dashboard. This is an all-new coupe and the automaker might as well make it look fresh with unique technology, and not just recycled stuff from the other cars in the stable. A digital display will also help the car’s interior look more luxurious and modern.
Optional All-Wheel Drive
Something that’s rear-wheel biased will really appeal to the enthusiast driver, but extra power being able to hit the front wheels would be very beneficial in inclement weather and offer a bit of extra confidence. The system found in the Genesis G90 could likely be used effectively in the new coupe, if it could scale nicely to a smaller car.
Adaptable Suspension and Driver Settings
Another must-have in this segment is selectable driver modes. In most cars, these kinds of driver modes will adjust the weight of the steering, throttle response and transmission shift points. However, we think this car should also include adjustable suspension, and one that can really give a driver an engaging sport mode or a comfortable cruising setup at the press of a button.
Of course, almost every car in this segment has a high-performance version in the stable. Genesis had better be planning to drop some crazy car to compete with the likes of AMG or BMW’s M, or else this coupe may be left behind. Considering Hyundai is looking to make a performance brand named N, this coupe could get some help from that division. Besides an upgraded engine (maybe even a V8!) a high-performance model would also look much more aggressive.
And while the high-performance model would have more power, more carbon fiber, more grip and more everything, we think that an option on the regular Genesis should include high-performance brakes. Carbon ceramics may be the way to go here if Genesis really want to look like a serious contender to the established brands in the segment, but even stoppers from Brembo, like in the outgoing Hyundai Genesis Coupe, may be enough to catch the eyes of enthusiasts looking for a new coupe. Carbon ceramics are expensive, and they might have to be reserved for the high-po model to keep the price of the regular coupe competitive.
Hyundai has experimented with flat paint finishes in the past with the Veloster. Maybe to make this new luxury car stand out, it could also be offered with unique matte paint that would also receive the proper care and attention from its owners. We’re pretty partial to that matte blue that the Veloster Rallye is sporting. That would look perfect on a coupe.
Is there anything cooler than active aerodynamics? Not just shutter grilles that could improve efficiency, but front and rear spoilers that can be deployed at a certain speeds to increase downforce or improve air flow would be an eye-catching feature.
A Slick Steering Wheel
The steering wheel is the car’s main touchpoint for a driver, so Genesis has to make sure its coupe has a solid steering wheel. It has to be nice and thick, and made with good materials. Steering feel should be nicely weighted, and if there’s some feedback to be returned, that would be an appreciated bonus. A grippy, flat-bottom wheel covered in Alcantara would be perfect.
Speaking of the interior and materials, Alacantara is a must-have. In fact, the upcoming coupe from Genesis needs to be able to compete with the Mercedes C-Class in terms of interior design and quality. How can that be possible? It needs to have a visually interesting and cohesive theme that isn’t confusing, too dark or bland and has the right mix of sport and luxury. Seats should be luxurious and supportive, but also sporty so they could grip the driver during enthusiastic driving.
Carbon fiber accents transforms a car from poseur status to legit. Even if the car isn’t a sports car, having these trim parts helps it feel like a higher end product and will give buyers that extra good feeling that their purchase can stand up to the scrutiny of other luxury car buyers.
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