Vehicle Profile: The 2012 Hyundai Genesis The premium luxury rebel aims for the crown and pours on the power.
Want to see the manufacturers of German and Japanese luxury sedans sweat? Mention the Hyundai Genesis. The competition knows that the Genesis consistently offers comfort, style and performance that rivals segment heavyweights – and does the job at a level of value they simply can’t match. This year, the newly refined 2012 Genesis cranks up the pressure on class leaders with a freshening that includes advanced powertrain technology, a broader swath of standard equipment and personalization options and a high performance variant packing 429 hp: The mighty Genesis 5.0 R-Spec.
Within just a few months of its debut, the Genesis won “North American Car of the Year” honors with the judges citing design, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar as pivotal factors in their decision. The new Genesis amps up all those award-winning traits and dials in a higher dose of power with high-tech engine modifications throughout the model range. As one reviewer at Motor Trend magazine put it, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis is a premium luxury sedan that “will continue to give engineers and product planners at Mercedes-Benz and Lexus fits.”
The pinnacle of the new Genesis’ revolutionary revamp can be found under the hood. The modern, all-aluminum 3.8-liter V6 found in the Genesis 3.8 now makes 333 hp, a 15 percent improvement over the output from last year’s V6 with no bump in displacement. Credit goes in part to the application of direct injection technology and an increase in compression ratio. Even more impressive, the revised, more powerful V6 delivers a seven percent increase in gas mileage – returning 29 mpg on the highway.
Also contributing to increased fuel efficiency is an all-new, Hyundai-developed eight-speed automatic transmission equipped with SHIFTRONIC manual shift mode. The new eight-speed gains two gears over last year’s automatic, and serves as the standard transmission throughout the Genesis model line.
The 4.6-liter V8 powering the Genesis 4.6 model also sees a rise in fuel economy to 26 highway mpg, thanks largely to the application of the eight-speed transmission. Making 385 hp, the 4.6-liter mill boasts a slate of cutting-edge technology including a variable intake system, multi-port fuel injection and iridium-tipped sparkplugs.
For those who seek absolute power, the new 5.0-liter V8 in the awesome Genesis 5.0 R-Spec aims to please. Sporting direct injection and dual continuously variable valve timing (D-CVVT), this blockbuster cranks out 429 hp and 376 lb/ft of torque. That’s a higher specific output (85.8 hp per liter of displacement) than any normally aspirated V8 in this segment, which includes the Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E550. The 5.0-liter in the R-Spec is also the most powerful production engine Hyundai has ever built. Not bad for a luxury sedan that delivers 25 mpg on the highway.
Model-specific steering and suspension calibrations mean you’ll experience the perfect blend of comfort and precision, regardless of which power level you choose. Helping you put the abundance of power found in all three engines to good use is a host of standard driver-assistance technology. The lineup includes Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control (TCS) and large, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). On-road safety is served with eight airbags, active head restraints and a new Lane Departure Warning System (optional on the Genesis 3.8).
Starting at the skin, the new Genesis exudes world-class sophistication. From its newly designed grille and sculpted headlights with LED accents to its brushed aluminum side-window surrounds, reshaped taillights and new dual asymmetrical exhaust tips, this sedan’s message is one of uncompromising craftsmanship.
The theme carries onto the interior where the array of standard equipment on the Genesis 3.8 reads like a luxury-sedan buyer’s wish list. The bounty includes leather seating surfaces, a seven-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with XM Satellite Radio, two 12-volt outlets, an eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support (four-way power for the passenger’s seat), as well as heat for the front seats and available cooling for the driver’s seat. You also get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shiftknob, leather door pulls and Pushbutton Start.
The available Premium Packages delivers amenities that include a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, tailored leather-wrapped dash and door trim inserts, a power rear sunshade, a rearview camera, a DVD navigation system with seven-inch touchscreen display and a Lexicon 14-speaker surround-sound system with speed-sensing volume control.
Adding the optional Technology Package to the Premium Package nets such intuitive-technology highlights as Bluetooth® connectivity, smart cruise control, a 17-speaker 7.1 Lexicon discreet audio system with HD Radio, a six-disc in-dash DVD changer, front and rear parking sensors, a Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) LCD gauge cluster display and an upgraded navigation system with eight-inch display.
The Genesis 4.6 gathers all the standards found on the 3.8 model, as well as the contents of the Premium and Technology Packages. The Genesis 5.0 R-Spec model does the same and adds these exclusives: A black leather interior, an all-black leather-wrapped steering wheel, black “R-Spec” embroidered floor mats, dark chrome headlight inserts, an “R-Spec” trim designation badge mounted on the rear deck and premium machine-finished 19-inch alloy wheels with optional Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 summer performance tires. Exterior colors on the R-Spec are Titanium Gray, Black Noir and Platinum Metallic.
When it comes to premium luxury sedans, there is only one that delivers all the refinement, amenities and power you’d expect from the hallowed marquees of Europe and Japan, yet does the job for thousands less. That’s the new 2012 Hyundai Genesis. See for yourself with a test drive.