Historically, Hyundai has never been known for offering anything performance related. The Tiburon was mostly a failure at attracting any kind of enthusiasts. The rear-wheel drive Genesis Coupe started to change things though, and recently Hyundai upped the ante with the 5.0 R-Spec Genesis Sedan. The company still has a long way to go through, and via Car and Driver Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik has shed some lights on plans to boost power for its two “performance” models.
We say “performance” with quotations because, while Hyundai categorizes its front-wheel drive Veloster as a sporty entrant, its hard to call it one. While being lightweight, the 138 horsepower four-cylinder doesn’t move it all that quickly. To offer something for those looking for a more involving drive, Hyundai has announced a turbocharged version. The turbo Veloster will get a 1.6-liter four-cylinder making 204 hp. Now that’s more like it! A boost of 66 ponies will be the shot in the arm that the Veloster needs.
Hopefully, along with the added power will come some suspension and other tweaks. Hyundai is hoping its new Veloster will find a foothold younger buyers wanting to stand out. Small cars have been getting increasingly more competitive and stylish lately, as buyers are looking for more fuel-efficient options. More stylish options is a welcome change. Remember econoboxes from a few years back? On second thought, don’t. They don’t bring back great memories. Hyundai is pitching the Veloster as a sporty offering, slotting in (very much so in our opinion) the Genesis Coupe.
Given that Hyundai considers the Veloster part of its “performance” portfolio, the Genesis Coupe will be getting upgraded to provide more of a separation in power between the two. We doubt the Veloster will prove much of a threat, but it’s good to see the Genesis Coupe getting some improvements regardless. Given Hyundai’s consistent updates to the Genesis sedan, it has been overdue for some tweaking.
Tweaks will include boosting the base Genesis Coupe’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four, as well the updated six-cylinder from the sedan. That means the refreshed Genesis should offer 333 hp from its top-end naturally-aspirated 3.8-liter. No word on where the 2.0-liter turbo will come in as far as power.
The Genesis Coupe will also be getting a styling refresh; Hyundai will update it with a front-end design similar to the Veloster. We can’t say we like the sounds of that. We were hoping the Genesis Coupe would go down a bit different route, adding a touch of class and maturity similar to the sedan. Cartoonish is the way they are going through apparently. Hopefully, it turns out better looking than it sounds. The updated Genesis Coupe and Veloster Turbo will be debuting at the North American International Auto Show in January.