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

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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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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.

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