The 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is due a facelift, a bigger and more powerful V-8, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. For technology and performance, those changes should elevate this already-laudable luxury four-door into the upper echelon of the premium-sedan segment. It’s already a fierce competitor on price. Whether freshened styling, availability of more than 400 horsepower, and a state-of-the-art transmission are enough to pull buyers out of a Mercedes E-Class instead of merely over from a Buick Lucerne is another matter. Meanwhile, the 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe (essentially a shortened, sportier version of the better-selling sedan) is also in line for some styling and powertrain updates.
Both the 4-cylinder and V6 engines are slated to get upgrades, although exactly how extensive they will be is not yet clear. It’s not hard to speculate that the 2.0T model could gain the Sonata Turbo’s new engine, prompting a significant increase in power from 210-hp to 274-hp. That would come very close to the 3.8-liter V6′s 306-hp number, suggesting it would also have to receive a major update, be it through naturally aspirated means, forced induction, or a switch to a V8. Past reports have already indicated the company’s new 5.0-liter V8 will replace the current 3.8L V6, producing a rather significant 429-hp.
Hyundai’s most powerful engine ever
The heart of the new Genesis 5.0 R-Spec model is a 5.0-liter ‘Tau’ V-8 engine with direct injection technology producing 429 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 376 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Even with its extra displacement and performance, the 5.0-liter mill nearly matches the current 4.6 V-8 in fuel economy, returning an estimated 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway versus the 4.6’s 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
Sending drive to the rear wheels is Hyundai’s new in-house developed eight-speed automatic transmission. The two additional ratios help to enhance acceleration, shifting smoothness, and transmission efficiency by 6.0 percent over the former six-speed. The advanced transmission also gets paddle-shifters for pseudo manual control and is standard across the 2012 Hyundai Genesis range.