Hyundai Deep-Sixes The Genesis Turbo
As part of its efforts to move the Genesis Coupe [s]out of the lineup in the least noticeable manner possible[/s] upscale, Hyundai has canceled the turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder that accounted for approximately half of its sales.
Automotive News reports that the 3.8-liter V-6 will be the sole engine available in the Coupe for the 2015 model year. Doing so will “allow us to reposition the coupe with a more premium performance buyer” according to company spokesperson Derek Joyce. However, a V-6 coupe with “adjusted” equipment will be made available to offer a cheaper GenCoupe to buyers who might have taken the 2.0 in the past.
It’s difficult to interpret this as anything other than the beginning of the end for Hyundai’s Mustang competitor. The Coupe has always been an oddball product, sharing a name with a mostly unrelated sedan in true Cutlass Calais fashion, and it’s never done much volume. Presumably the company is sick of warranty hassles from young buyers turning up the boost on the turbo, but that’s the price you pay to recruit those kids into your brand for a lifetime. Ask Subaru. It’s also hard to see how it’s an “upscale” move to settle on a single engine then cut equipment to make the car nearly as cheap as it was before, but that’s how marketing people earn money; by marketing ideas like that to the automotive press.
You know what would be a truly brilliant upscale move? Dropping that five-liter from the R-Spec sedan into the Genesis Coupe. And by “upscale” I mean “redneck”, and by “redneck”, I mean “brilliant”.
Didn't a certain luxury performance car maker named BMW drop four-bangers from the US lineup in the late 90s? I believe that they changed their minds recently.
They marketed it all wrong, playing to their weaknesses rather than their strengths. They can't do handling or refinement, but they tried to market it as an Infiniti/BMW competitor. They can do engines and cheapness. They should have stuck the V8 in the coupe, marketed it straight up against the Mustang and Camaro (blockier styling, more machismo, cheaper price), and called it a day.
Nothing about the styling or construction of the Genesis says to me that Hyundai was ever trying to compete with the Mustang and Camaro...especially since those cars surely have much higher profit margins. I think the Genesis Coupe was always poised as a budget G37 coupe/Q60. And if that fact were just a *little* more obvious, Hyundai would have an easier time selling its coupe wares...which *again* aren't likely to deter someone looking for a "muscle car".
As a longtime import fanboi I really wanted the GenCoupe to be in consideration when I bought my last car. I could.not.find a V6 with a stick in dealer inventory to test drive. That, and the user forums were leading me to believe that $500 off sticker was a great deal and $350 was more typical -- at a time when Ford dealers were begging to sell Mustangs at invoice minus $4K factory cash. Not a great value proposition and not a lot of sales support. Too bad, I'd like to see more cars like this on the market.