2008 is shaping up to be a great year for enthusiasts, with the Nissan GT-R, Mitsubishi Evolution X and Subaru Impreza STI all coming to market. But drivers bent on rear-wheel drive performance on a budget have been left out in the cold, assuming that they're looking for something with an independent suspension and a small displacement, turbocharged motor.
In 2009, that's all going to change when Hyundai unleashes its RWD Genesis coupe to the masses. The new two-door model from Hyundai will feature a direct-injection 2.0-liter turbo'd motor (co-developed by Hyundai, Chrysler and Mitsubishi), sending power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual, supposedly with an optional LSD and the possibility of more factory-produced go-fast bits on the way.
In an interview with Automotive News, John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America's veep of product development said that the Genesis coupe won't be the only model sporting forced induction in the automaker's future. Plans to install turbos in other models are underway, as Hyundai has no intentions of offering a diesel or hybrid in the near future, and strapping a snail to a small motor can return benefits both in performance and fuel economy.
The coupe will also have a V6 option (a 3.8-liter making upwards of 300 hp), but for the enthusiast set, the blown four will be more desirable since the plumbing necessary for upgrades is already in place. Despite this, Hyundai plans on taking the V6 Mustang to task on the tarmac, and with rumors swirling (Automotive News - Sub. Req.) that FoMoCo will drop the 4.0-liter V6 in favor of either the new 3.5- or 3.7-liter V6s in 2009, things are looking good for budget racers in North America.
[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]