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The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 hits a sweet spot in the marketplace, combining clean and contemporary styling with rear-wheel-drive performance at a very attractive price point. Until now, if your taste in motorized fun has been of the V6 rear-wheel-drive sports coupe variety, your options have been pretty limited. You've either had to choose from retro-styled behemoths from Detroit like the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger or Chevrolet Camaro, all of which feature suspension tuning designed for weekend cruisers rather than weekend warriors, or you've had to step up into the $40,000+ bracket for true sports car performance and modern-day styling in the form of a BMW 335i or Infiniti G37. But all that's changed with the arrival of Hyundai's sub-$30,000 Genesis Coupe 3.8, equipped with a 306-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine linked to the rear tires via a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission (or optional six-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission).

The basic goodness of the Genesis 3.8 is impossible to deny. Based on its engine output, drivetrain configuration, suspension design and curb weight, it should be a serious performer on the street or around a race track. Although this test drive did not include a race track, the country roads and highways near Hyundai America's Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan proved secluded enough, twisty enough, and rough enough to fully evaluate the Genesis Coupe's performance capabilities without too much risk of ending up in handcuffs.

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