Sunday, March 22, 2009

Deuce Little Coupes
Chevrolet Camaro & Hyundai Genesis Coupe Come Out Fighting

Within a matter of days or weeks, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe will both hit the showrooms. These are two similar, yet different takes on the traditional rear-wheel-drive muscle car. These cars will be joining a still-fresh Dodge Challenger, a revived 2010 Ford Mustang, and other performance cars such as the Nissan 370z and Pontiac G8, all going for a piece of the lower end of the market for cars with 300+ horsepower.

Both the Camaro and the Genesis Coupe start at $22k and change, but naturally they can go up sharply from there. I did a quick price comparison at Michael Karesh's site,, and comparably equipped V6 versions of the two cars price out within $100 of each other (advantage Camaro). They may be similarly priced and going after the same market, but they attack the performance coupe market segment from two different directions. The Camaro is a good hearty steak, whereas the Genesis is more like a brazed lemon chicken fillet.

The Camaro comes back after being on hiatus since 2002. The 2010 base model leads with a 300 horsepower 3.6. liter V6 that is almost as powerful as the 5.7 liter V8 in the 2002 SS model. Chevrolet surprised its critics by posting a better than expected 29 MPG highway rating for the V6. If a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds isn't good enough for you, you can upgrade from the V6 base model to the 6.2 liter V8 of the SS model, and its 425 ponies will whisk you from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. Needless to say, you'll pay more to the bank and at the pump for that adrenalin rush

The Genesis Coupe is a very different beast than the Genesis Sedan that was introduced a few months ago. At under 3,300 lbs. the base Genesis is about 500 lbs. lighter than the base Camaro. The base Genesis is powered by a 210 horsepower turbocharged 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine. A 3.8 liter V6 is the more powerful engine, yielding 306 horsepower, and sending the car from 0-60 in about five and half seconds. Though pulling a lighter car, neither engine can match the base Camaro's MPG. On the other hand, the Genesis features a sophisticated multilink rear suspension, that the Chevy can't match.

The Camaro and the Genesis join a crowded field of new muscle cars. The Dodge Challenger was new for 2009, and the Ford Mustang receives a major facelift for an early 2010 introduction. I prepared a quick comparison through the car comparison feature here. The bottom line is that you are a performance junky and you must have rear wheel drive, the choice now is as good as it ever has been, and is better than it will likely be. Now go out there and stimulate the economy.

(Pictures courtesy

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