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2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec Review – High Performance Luxury at a Reasonable Price

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Filed under Automotive, Featured, Hyundai, Test Drives

Hyundai introduced their first full-size luxury sedan, the Genesis, in 2011.   After many test drives and reviews from several auto magazines, the end result was a great looking luxury sedan but that it lacked the industry’s signature 7 or 8-speed automatic transmission and 400+ horsepower available now at ‘flagship’ vehicles from Mercedes, Infiniti, Cadillac, BMW, and Jaguar.

Well, Hyundai has been listening and shows its expertise by releasing the special edition R-Spec Genesis with a new Tau 5.0 Direct Injected, dual CVVT that features a tuned variable induction system with low-friction diamond-like coated piston skirts, rings and tappets.  This normally aspirated V8 engine generates a whopping 429 horsepower at 6,400rpm and 376lb.ft. of torque at 5,000rpm.  This powerful engine is mated to an all-new, smooth-shifting, Hyundai designed and manufactured 8-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC sequential shifting.  Pinned to the seatback acceleration from a standstill to 60mph comes in just 4.7sec.

Keeping you in control during you high-performance driving is a new, sport-tuned, fully independent suspension featuring a unique 5-link design with race-bred SACHS ASD active gas-charged shock absorbers, coil springs and hollow 25mm stabilizer bar up front.  The unique rear features a 5-link design also with SACHS ASK gas-charged shocks, coil springs and a hollow 18mm stabilizer bar.

I really like the sensation of control when challenging steep curving roads at high speeds as body roll was minimized and oversteer/understeer was non-existent.  The electro-hydraulic power-assisted steering system gets a performance gear to give you an even higher sense feel from the road with great on-center feel.  Reaction to my inputs when turning the leather wrapped and power tilt-telescoping wheel was instant and spot-on.

Quickly and safely slowing the new R-Spec down from speed are larger brake rotors, 13.6 inch vented rotors up front clamped with four-piston calipers while 12.4 inch solid rotors are clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.  Keeping you in control during severe braking times or when braking on slick or wet pavement are standard ABS, Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control.

Hyundai didn’t stop there as the R-Spec also features unique 19X8 inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels with a premium machined finish that are wrapped with optional Bridgestone 245/45R19 inch Potenza S-04 Pole Position Summer tires, dark chrome headlamp inserts including a more aggressive front grille, front fascia design with a new headlight design with LED accents and daytime running lights.  Also part of the R-Spec package on the exterior are deeper lower side extensions, and flared fenders with just 1 inch tire to wheel-well gaps.  New brushed aluminum finished window surround is an industry first replacing the flashier chrome strip.  The rear features new redesigned LED taillights and a redesigned rear fascia with wide, integrated, dual asymmetrical exhaust tips.  The high mounted trunk lid also acts as a spoiler enhancing high-speed stability.   Finally, on the lower right-side of the trunk lid is a specially designed R-Spec 5.0 liter badge letting vehicles behind you know that they might not be able to easily pass you on the road.  That’s up to you.  The all-new Genesis R-Spec cuts through the air with an extremely low 0.27 coefficient of drag enhancing high-speed stability and lessoning wind noise.

Adding a touch of luxury ‘bling’ to the R-Spec Genesis are chrome strips around the lower front grille, below the ‘cat’s-eye’ headlamp clusters, below the doors, and in the rear around the rear bumper and center trunk.  Of course, the big door handle pulls are also finished in chrome.

On the inside are 10-way power adjustable leather-trimmed sport bucket seats with excellent side bolstering to keep you snug in place when turning.  The leather-wrapped shifter is perfectly placed for ease of use and the beautifully detailed TFT LCD instrument cluster is easy to see and understand.  The entire interior is covered in soft leather trim and highlighted with soft touch material and thin pieces of chrome on the dashboard, doors and steering wheel.  The easy to use center stack is finished in metallic to contrast with the black interior.

The center console is covered in dark wood and features a dual-tiered storage box with dual cupholders.  I would have liked to see paddle shifters to make manual gear changes even quicker and easier, plus aluminum or stainless steel foot pedals to give the interior an even sportier look.

Standard equipment not mentioned above includes dual automatic climate control, heated front seats with cooled driver’s seat, heated rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, heated auto-dimming sideview mirrors, memory system for two drivers, power tilt and slide sunroof, Lexicon 17-speaker 7.1 discrete audio system with 6-disc CD changer, Hyundai Navigation system with 8 inch color display, driver information-trip computer, proximity key entry with push button start/stop, Bluetooth, electronic parking brake,  map pockets behind the front seats, cargo net in the trunk, HID Xenon adaptive cornering headlights with LED accents, Smart Cruise Control with sonar pre-braking, front/rear parking sensors with rearview camera, illuminated door sill plates, R-Spec carpeted floor mats, HD radio/XM satellite radio/Nav Traffic, power windows with front express up/down, power door locks, grab handles above each door, cargo net, rear pull-down armrest with dual cupholders, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors, large, lockable glove box with storage slots in each door.

Standard safety features include dual front and rear side impact and side curtain airbags, electronic front headrests, 3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, Lane Departure and Blind Spot warning, front/rear crush zones, and side impact beams in each door.

The new R-Spec special edition Genesis from Hyundai brings the Korean automaker up to speed with the competition from Europe and Asia and it now competes in the prime luxury performance segment and by the fun and enjoyment that I derived from my seven-day test drive, they will be successful, just like the tremendous success found with their other segment vehicles.



  • Price: Genesis 5.0 R-Spec Sedan MSRP $46,500.00
  • Engine: 5.0-liter DOHC 32-Valves V8 429 horsepower @ 6400 rpm / 376 ft-lbs. torque @ 5000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 115.6in.
  • Total length: 196.3in.
  • Total width: 74.4in.
  • Total height: 58.3in.
  • Track: f/r-63.1/63.8in.
  • Headroom: f/r-40.4/37.7in.
  • Legroom: f/r-44.3/38.6in.
  • EPA passenger volume: 109.4cu.ft.
  • Cargo volume: 15.9cu.ft.
  • Turning circle: 36ft.
  • Fuel tank: 20.3 gallons
  • Curb weight: 4,154lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.7 seconds
  • EPA fuel economy: 16mpg/city, 25mpg/highway

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