First ride: Pre-Production Hyundai Genesis Coupe

On Thursday we had the chance to ride in the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Buttonwillow, California. The exterior of the pre-production model appears fairly complete -- save for the odd trim piece here or the yet-to-be finalized grille there -- and the overall feel was solid and refined.

The interior features color schemes that were also on display in the production versions of the 2009 Genesis Sedan, which we spent the day test driving from Santa Barbara to Buttonwillow and back.

The coupe was clearly unfinished, as evident by the stickers throughout the interior stating that certain panels should not be considered final production items.' 

The center console was mostly complete in brushed aluminum and included an Infinity Fosgate audio system with XM Radio. ' 

The engine was a version of the Lambda 3.8-liter V6, tweaked to provide more than the 290-horsepower on tap in the Genesis Sedan. It was displayed in an unvarnished manner, since the engine cover that will no doubt show up underhood, has not been finalized yet. Like a tiger cub, the V6 has a throaty growl that defies expectations, without being over the top.

Driving the roadcourse at Buttonwillow displayed great handling characteristics, begging for even harder corners. The suspension development is well on its way as displayed on the elevation changes that require hard braking and then a sharp turn left on the back stretch of the mile-long roadcourse.' 

Braking displayed great stopping power, and this was not even the high end Brembo kit that will show up on the GT model!

We can't wait to get into the production model of the Genesis Coupe for a complete review.

Words and photos by Mark Elias.