Chicago Show 2011 Highlights: 2012 Hyundai Genesis V8 5.0 R-Spec

Hyundai used the 2011 Chicago auto show to drop a thoroughly revised Genesis sedan, but has the car really been on the market long enough for a refresh? Well, maybe not—it first landed at dealerships in the summer of 2008—but in light of the powertrain upgrades and cosmetic tweaks for the 2012 Genesis, we’re sure nobody will complain about the early face lift.

A more powerful member of Hyundai’s Tau V-8 family had been a foregone conclusion for some time. Now it’s here, in the engine bay of the new Genesis 5.0 R-Spec. The R-Spec badge was introduced on harder-core, lighter-optioned Genesis coupes, but the Genesis sedan version is more about adding performance than stripping out luxuries. First, the engine.

Rather than replace the existing 4.6-liter V-8 with the new 5.0, Hyundai will keep both in the Genesis line, with the big-boy V-8 being an R-Spec exclusive. We obtained preliminary specs for the 5.0-liter on a trip to Korea last June, and now those specs have been confirmed. The engine will produce a meaty 429 hp at 6400 rpm and 376 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm. (To read more about how Hyundai cranked up the heat in its V-8, check out our rundown.) The power will be routed through Hyundai’s new, in-house-developed eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Genesis 5.0 R-Spec also gets what Hyundai is calling “more aggressive chassis tuning,” although, based on our experience with the overly flinty ride in our long-term Genesis 4.6 sedan, this initially strikes us as a little like Old Country Buffet promising to have more food in the future. Luckily, it sounds like firmer suspenders aren’t part of the menu—in fact, the lower models are receiving recalibrated suspensions to fix the ride problem. Instead, the Genesis 5.0 R-Spec promises to up the 4.6’s sportiness quotient by packing larger front and rear stabilizer bars and 13.6-inch front brake rotors, larger than those on any model last year. It also gets unique 19-inch wheels.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


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