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First Drive: 2012 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec


Sure, there's a refined 5.0-liter gas direct-injection V-8 under the hood, coupled to an impressive new house-designed eight-speed automatic transmission. And yes, it makes 429 horsepower and can propel the car from zero to 60 mph in a smidge over five seconds, according to the manufacturer's own tests.

We've long known Hyundai's Tau V-8 could be bored and stroked well past its initial 4.6 liters to as much as 5.4. Hyundai has coaxed enough horsepower out of 5.0 liters, and there are fuel prices and new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to consider, so 5038cc ought to suffice for some time to come.

 The Seat of the pants indicates it accelerates as advertised, and does so smoothly, with seamless upshifts and downshifts from the Hyundai-designed, ZF-built eight-speed. "R-Spec" doesn't equate to the kind of rocket-powered edginess of a Mercedes AMG or Cadillac v. The exhaust system, represented by new, "dual asymmetrical" pipes, doesn't sound any more burbly than the 4.6. This is not a hot-rodded luxury sedan; it's an engine upgrade that adds a mere $2000 to the bottom line of the 4.6 V-8's sticker, and, excepting a 1-mpg city and highway fuel-efficiency loss, it's worth it.

The R-Spec name is a North American-only marketing technique. Five-liter HYUNDAI GENESIS sedans sold elsewhere won't get the moniker. So what does R-Spec really mean?

First impression is that it's more about the chassis and steering tuning. That's a first impression because Hyundai's press drive near Las Vegas didn't offer the tightly twisted roads necessary to sort things out, though the drive did prove that the brand's air conditioning is equal or superior to that of anything else on the road.

(Source)


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