In the Hyundai Genesis sedan's search to define itself, the 2012 refresh may be a success. First off, the 2012 Genesis has a new front fascia with reworked chrome accents, a new grille, LED daytime running headlights, and no branding.
We got to test out the new R-Spec on a hot afternoon drive last week through the Valley of Fire, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
We stayed cool in the 111-degree weather as the R-Spec, boasting a 429-horsepower engine with 376 pound-feet of torque, carried us through the incredible red rock valley.
The interior of the new R-Spec has new wood trims, new interior colors, and heated rear seats. The 2012 offering also comes with a Lexicon Logic 7 Discrete Sound System (7.1 channel) with 17 speakers, AM/FM radio, a six-DVD changer, MP3 capability, iPod connectivity, and USB and auxiliary jacks as well as Bluetooth hands-free calling. There's also a 7-inch touch screen (8-inch with premium package), fairly easy-to-use navigation system.
But, the biggest news for 2012 is what's new under the hood. Hyundai has outfitted the latest Genesis R-Spec with a Tau 5.0-liter V-8, coupled with an eight-speed transmission.
The 5.0 R-Spec trim also adds 19-inch wheels, dark-trimmed headlights, and new taillamps.
The new R-Spec can go from 0 to 60 in 5.1 seconds, but we didn't need that feature in the desert. The R-Spec did have plenty of get-up-and-go when it came time to pass large RVs. With an estimated 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, it comes quite close to the 4.6-liter V-8 with 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
The R-Spec also offers a unique sport transmission, suspension, and steering calibrations, according to Hyundai.
Exterior revisions on the new R-Spec include revised rocker panels and new matte chrome window trim. And the rear of the car features new taillamps and a redesigned rear fascia with integrated dual asymmetrical exhaust tips.
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec will have a starting price of $46,500. The less aggressive 3.8L, eight-speed Genesis will start at $34,200. The model with the middle-range 4.6-liter V-8 is priced to start at $44,500.