Hyundai joins the 4 door horsepower race with 2012 Genesis R-spec

2011 Chicago Auto Show

When it comes to full size sedans, horsepower wars are nothing new. The Detroit 3 have been back and forth at each other on and off for decades, while the German 3 have had a similar battle. The Japanese manufacturers have been known to stuff a killer V8 beneath the hood on occasion too, but Hyundai? Truth be told, Hyundai has been taking the lead in other segments so perhaps it makes sense that they should go down this road.

At the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai showed the world that they were serious about performance, both on the racetrack and on the way to the boardroom. If the Genesis sedan was a revelation when it hit the market a couple of years ago, the 2012 Genesis 5.0 R-spec makes it crystal clear that Hyundai is in the luxury car market to win.

Already a world-class platform, the most significant news with the introduction of the R-spec is the new drivetrain. The new direct injected Tau V8 is a 5.0-liter unit that generates a whopping 429 horsepower and is mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission that Hyundai has also developed in house. This combination is said to match the fuel economy of Hyundai’s less powerful 4.6L V8.

All Genesis sedans will receive revised cosmetics along with new LED headlight accents and folding mirrors. 19 inch machined alloy wheels, R-spec badging and dark chrome headlamp inserts set the R-spec apart from other Genesis models visually, while suspension, transmission and steering have all been calibrated to make the most of the increased power from the 5.0.

About Gary Grant

Gary Grant Gary knows cars. He attributes his love of all things automotive to his early life in the 1960s and 1970s. Gary’s father was a road racer in Ontario, Canada and thus, Gary went along for the ride. No, we don’t mean he was literally along for the ride during his father’s races. He just went to them all. We think the smell of hot Castrol R burned into his brain and left quite the impression. Gary spent the majority of his childhood turning wrenches on race karts and traveling to kart tracks all across Canada. He’s also followed in his father’s tire tracks, having built his own autocross cars, and competed professionally. In the 1980s and 1990s, Gary and his wife served as crew for a few teams in the Firehawk series, not to mention competing as a pair in their Swift GTi rally car. While he may not be competing professionally today, Gary is still on the ride. When he isn’t coaching his kids in kart races, he is traveling near and far to cover the world’s leading auto shows, special events and auctions for us here at

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