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Hyundai's new Genesis Coupe de Thrill

HOWARD WALKER, special section correspondent Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM

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Kermit the Frog was never this green. This is the color of radioactive Jell-O. This is Regions Bank green lit up with a flash of 1,000-watt neon.

See Hyundai's new Genesis Coupe thrill-ride on the street, with its searing Lime Rock Green paintwork, and you'd better start reaching for your Ray-Bans.

You can't fault Hyundai's reasoning: if you're the new kid on the block, muscling-in on the Mustang, challenging the Challenger, and contesting the Camaro, you need to make a lot of noise.

That's exactly what the new Genesis Coupe has done. It's captured the hearts of enthusiasts with its nimble-handling rear-drive chassis, its precise steering and punchy V6 and turbo four-cylinder motors.
And being a Hyundai, it offers better value than cold cuts at the Wal-Mart deli.

Prices kick-off at just $22,750 for 2.0T with a 6-speed stick. Even the top-of-the-line 3.8-liter Track will give you change from $31,000.

Look beyond the acid-green paint, and this is one cool-looking ride. It's low and wide with the rock-solid stance of Warren Sapp on all fours.

Inside, the cabin is sports-car-efficient, with body-hugging seats, easy-to-read instruments and excellent visibility. It's practical too, with two small rear seats and decent luggage space.

Our test car is the 3.8 Track with a sewing-machine-smooth V6 that packs a muscled 300-horsepower -- enough to scoot it from standstill to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Yet it can average 26 miles to the gallon on the highway.

This is a blast to drive, carving curves like it's running on rails, gripping the blacktop like Velcro on velvet.

OK, the ride from the sports-tuned suspension will jiggle your eyeballs, but you can always opt for the softer Grand Touring set-up.

For me, the big clincher is that 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. With a hard-driving sportscar, that's real peace of mind.

That alone probably makes the Ford, Dodge and Chevy guys "green" with envy.

Tampa-based auto writer Howard Walker can be reached at walkweb@verizon.net.

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