2010 marked the official revival of the lightweight, rear-drive affordable foreign sportscar; the Hyundai Genesis. It was quirky, it was fun and it looked good. Damn good. Since 2012 has come and went, and a much unneeded facelift was dished out, the Genesis has seemed to fall off the radar, overshadowed by the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ. How did Hyundai miss the boat on this?
This was the Korean automaker’s comeback; the Genesis had cemented the brand abroad, with more merit and more dignity than ever before. If we’re being honest, there are three main reasons the Genesis fell so hard come 2013.
Too Much Power: The idea that Hyundai could pull 74 more ponies from the same 200-hp 2.0L 4-cylinder engine of previous, was nothing short of witchcraft. Powerful? Very yes. More drivable? Not so much. It seemed that the winning formula of the first example was nudged with more power and less thrill for a more stock and stale new generation.
Dat Mouth: Where there is doing, there is overdoing. When introduced in 2009, the sole issue many journalists and buyers couldn’t overcome was the small “parts bin” grille, which in reality was a good thing. With some minor critiques on the funny face, Hyundai went out and totally overdid it. The newest Genesis bears a fish-faced open-mouth grille to mimic the newest design language. This new grille has driven many from just sort of flustered to completely appalled. Us included.
Pricey McPricerson: In 2009, when the Genesis made its world debut, pricing was set at base near $22K. This was a godsend for most enthusiasts. Cheap, fun, handsome and foreign; where do I sign up? But the newest Genesis, along with more power and more mouth, also slapped on an extra $2,000 price tag with it. And digging deeper into features, it gets even pricier than before.
So where does the Genesis go from here? For one, it actually needs less power. 274 pretty ponies is nice and all, but in a car that just can’t manage, you might as well strap all that extra giddy-up to a toaster. Second, that mouth needs to be burned in a fire somewhere, seriously. And finally, keep it cheap.
There’s not much else to it. The sportscar game is getting even hotter, and if Hyundai wants to prove it still knows what it’s doing, it better t-up the next Genesis as a purer, sexy sportscar, or there will be consequences.