Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fit and Finish Hyundai

Hyundai is a surprise. Say what you will about it's history, name or country of origin. To me it is becoming clear that there are reasons for its recent success. Some may say it's due to a slick marketing campaign but I say that it is because they are making quality cars and designing "American" looking cars better then Americans. I realize that this is part of Hyundai mission... just to rip design and power queues from larger companies... but they are doing it well.

This years auto show showed that both its marketing and its design are on the top of the heap. The Genesis Coupe is a near perfect American Pony Car. It is what the Camaro should be (save for the front end). Part of that statement makes me sad.

Looking around I see that one could pick up a Genesis for around $20k base, 2.0 L 4 cylinder that will give you 210 HP. Great car for the price of a Honda Civic. But the Genesis isn't done there. For an extra $6k you can take this puppy up to Camaro levels with a 306 HP 3.8 L, V6. 0-60 in under six seconds. A comparable Camaro starts at $27k. In a way this shows the dexterity of Hyundai. One car model can go from competing with an industry leader (Civic) directly to competing with an American icon in the Camaro.

I'm not stating that this car is better or worse then either the Civic or the Camaro. What I am saying is that Hyundai can just about custom a car into two strikingly different car classes. To me this is the future of mass manufactured automobiles. The days of a car fitting nicely into one certain class are dwindling. It's too expensive.

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