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First Drive: 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Affordable? Yes. Cheap and cheerful? Not anymore.

by on Apr.01, 2009

Turning heads and leaving tire tracks, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe should redefine the Korean brand.

Turning heads and leaving tire tracks, the Genesis Coupe should help redefine the Korean brand.

If you’re a comedian, there are some things that automatically ensure a laugh.  You can slip on a banana peel or take a pie in the face.  You usually only have to mention New Jersey – and before you Joisey boys write me hate letters, know that I grew up off Exit 117 – or you can say the word “Hyundai.”

Since its American debut, two decades ago, the Korean carmaker has been the butt of Leno’s late night jokes, and not taken very seriously by automotive aficionados.  That was well-deserved in the days of the original Hyundai Pony, but not anymore.  If you hadn’t heard, the automaker’s first luxury car, the Genesis sedan, was named North American Car of the Year by a panel of 50 U.S. and Canadian autowriters, early this year.  (I’m one of those judges.)

Now comes the second car to bear the Genesis badge, in this case a striking blend of styling, power and sporty handling dubbed the Genesis Coupe.  Its debut should have the competition seriously concerned.  And that’s no joke. (more…)