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Ace of Base: 2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8

2016 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that — all things considered — might just be the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.

No one talks about this car anymore. When it was introduced a scant seven model years ago, many noises were made about Hyundai’s newfound ability to compete with the Camaro, Mustang, and G37 of the day. Since then, marketeers at Hyundai carved Genesis into its own brand, leaving the Hyundai-badged Genesis Coupe an outlier on the Korean automaker’s showroom floor. Headed for the chopping block at the end of this year, dealers are likely eager to shift these two-door coupes off their lot and out of their floorplan.

That’s great news for bargain hunters seeking performance.

Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe bangs out a not insignificant 348 horsepower from its 3.8-liter direct-injected V6, all of which is shuttled to the rear wheels. Buff books report a 0-60 mph time in the low five seconds. That’s a heady dose of powertrain performance for $26,950. A six-speed manual transmission is standard; buyers who find the stick a bit notchy can take the money they saved and install an aftermarket shifter.

Just because they’re killing it at the end of the year doesn’t mean the overlords at Hyundai have stopped development on the Genesis Coupe. For 2016 they’ve seen fit to replace the old infotainment screen (which made a dot-matrix printer look like the last word in image quality) with a new six-inch color display. The base model is fitted with 18-inch hoops, shod with 45-series tires of 225 mm in the front and 245 mm in the rear. Cloth seating surfaces (leather bolsters appear as a no-charge option with certain exterior colors) hold the driver and passenger in place during spirited driving, and a six-speaker stereo is equipped with satellite service.

Economies of scale ensure the base model is fitted with upscale niceties such as automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel that adjusts for reach and rake. Sure, the R-Spec trim offers up Brembo brakes, but a trip to your friendly neighborhood speed shop will likely net you a set of performance stoppers for less than the $3,000 walk from the Base to R-Spec trim. Simply put it on your tab at Harry’s.

Hyundai has seen fit to equip all Genesis Coupes with fog lights; I mention this because few things look more tragic than a flat-black plastic plate blocking off a portion of the front fascia where there should obviously be fog lights. Colors of all shades are gratis to Genesis Coupe buyers and it’s worth mentioning that this thing actually looks fine in Casablanca White — one of the shades in which buyers can choose the leather seat bolsters. I selected the bold Tsukuba Red, natch.

Nearly 350 hp, rear-wheel drive, ten-year warranty … considering its price of $26,950, and the potential for extra discounts given its dead-brand-walking status, the Genesis Coupe sounds like a good Ace of Base candidate to us.

Not every base model has aced it. The ones that have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, BB? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. Hyundai is discontinuing this thing after the 2016 model year, so deals are likely to be had. As always, do your research and bargain hard.

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