Since its launch in 2008, the Hyundai Genesis sedan has captured honors from just about every automotive association in the country — including the Miami-based Southern Automotive Media Association — and it continues to draw rave reviews with the 2012 model.
Hyundai engineers keep improving the beautifully styled car, this year adding new direct injection technology to the standard Lambda V-6 engine, a new eight-speed automatic transmission and enhanced chassis tuning. They have even added a new power option, a 5.0-liter direct injection Tau V-8 engine available on the 5.0 R-Spec model.
The new Tau V-8 is the most powerful Hyundai engine ever, producing 429 hp at 6,400 rpm and 376 pounds-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm, and the cylinder bore was increased for a total displacement of 5.0 liters. At the same time, direct injection technology has been added to dramatically increase power and torque, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Compression ratio has been increased from 10.4 to 11.5:1 for greater efficiency and output.
The Tau also has a revised bedplate for improved block rigidity and less noise, as well as camshaft carriers and a roller timing chain to improve valvetrain stability. This new V-8 still offers all of the premium engine technology from the 4.6-liter V-8, including Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), a tuned variable induction system, and low-friction diamond- like coatings (DLC) on piston skirts, rings and tappets.
Even with these power increases, fuel economy is 16/25 mpg, almost matching the 4.6- liter engine (17/26 mpg).
The Tau 5.0-liter V-8 is mated to a new eight-speed transmission. This new Hyundaideveloped transmission adds two more ratios for better acceleration, shifting smoothness and efficiency over the old six-speed gearbox. All eight-speed transmissions include SHIFTRONIC manual shift capability and this new eight-speed transmission is the first offered by a non-luxury branded manufacturer.
Hyundai engineers have made further refinements to the 3.8 and 4.6 model suspension damping calibrations. These precise adjustments minimize the compromises between handling precision and ride comfort. In addition, body roll control for the 3.8 model is enhanced with a larger rear stabilizer bar, while diameter increasing from 17 mm to 18 mm.
Braking also is improved with rotor size on the 3.8 model increasing from 12.6 inches to 13 inches and the addition of higher performance four-piston brake calipers, and the 4.6 model front brake rotors increasing from 13 inches to 13.6 inches for better fade resistance.
There is little change to the exterior; the grille has been enhanced and the headlights have been redesigned with the addition of LED accents and daytime running lights, while the taillights have been redesigned and new dual asymmetrical exhaust tips are more cleanly integrated with the new bumper fascia.
Pricing on the 2012 Hyundai Genesis ranges from $34,200 to $46,500.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.