The new Spec R version of the Hyundai Genesis adds a bigger V8 of five litre capacity and ups the power to 429 horsepower up 44 from the previous smaller displacement V8. The new eight-speed automatic transmission is also impressive and is one up on its much more expensive competition that makes do with six or seven speed units.
The Spec R also looks the part with expensive looking 19- inch alloys wheels and low-profile sport radials. Performance is the game here as the Spec R adds larger stabilizer bars and 25% stiffer Sachs shock absorbers for better handling.
In fact those familiar with snobby prestige brands may see a pattern repeating here. The European brands such as Mercedes have its AMG performance models, BMW has its ‘M’ cars, Audi has its “S-line” and even Cadillac offers its “V’ series. For Hyundai the Spec-R versions of the Genesis are perhaps the start of its own line of hi performance vehicle offshoots.
With its Teutonic lines, bold grille and solid hewn from granite appearance you would be hard pressed to define the Genesis origins if you take off the badge. Interior wise, the illuminated “Genesis” logo on the kick plates entices you into a plush, comfortable, leather- lined cocoon of a cabin with a big list of as standard luxury equipment.
The generous seats offer a good driving position and the interior is well thought out and has all the power option one would need. Xenon headlamps, power, mirrors, tilt/telescoping wheel, heads up display, radar cruise control, heated rear seats, HD radio, and keyless start are standard on the R-Spec.
Notably impressive is the superlative engine. Now bulked up to 5.0 litres from the previous V-8’s 4.6 and with sophisticated direct injection, it offers a huge amount of torque even at low and mid- range. On the road the engine is a silky smooth delightful powerhouses and comparable to anything on offer from Germanys finest. With impressive power and torque the car accelerates strong and cruises quietly. The eight speed transmission developed in house by Hyundai offers butter -smooth shifts with no lag. The steering is also commendable with direct quick reflexes and good feel.
Not a lot to complain about really for the price which undercuts the established luxury brand by a huge margin. Some minor refinement could be done in the interior materials to match the high end German brands, but that is all. This is a smart, powerful luxury sedan with a world class powertrain. I would go as far as to say the Genesis R-Spec offers BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class driving dynamics at a much lower price. Very quick and very impressive.
The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Spec-R is priced at $53,499.