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Hyundai Genesis: coupe's conundrum Words by: Mike Torch    

Usually test-driving a car gives us the answers to the questions we have. How does it handle? Are the brakes adequate? What about pull-away potential? Which cars would we rather buy than this one?

But driving the Genesis coupe just seems to add to the conundrum. Why is this car so easy to drive at nine-tenths? How does a seemingly simple sportscar come off being so capable? Why does its straight-forward bodyshell and overall underwhelming design leave such a lasting impression? Is this car really this good or is it an illusion?

Maybe it's because the car hails from South Korea and there is an aura of mystique. Unlikely. Might be the fact that this newcomer laughs in the face of the established makes and we have a 'rebel-factor'. Maybe. Or, quite possibly, it could simply be that this car really is this good.

And while clearly such musings are purely academic, some things that are closer to facts arise. This is a car that makes you press hard. It makes you think. It makes you feel. It makes you draw comparisons and it makes you happy. But probably most important of all (for Hyundai), it makes you really, really want to buy one.

At the heart of our test car is Hyundai's own 24-valve V-6. The all-aluminum, twin-cam engine pulls smoothly and quickly throughout the rev-range. There are no awkward vibrations or other objections if taken all the way to redline. Just silky-smooth, willing power always ready for your next command. It's said to make 308 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 263 pound-feet of torque at 4700, and after spending a full week with the car we certainly would have no reason to think otherwise. The overall MPG is rated at 21.

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