You finally made it! You’re 6 years out of school, and all the roommates, and 60 hour work weeks, and paying cash for all your cars, and ramen noodles WAY past college, well, it served you well. You’ve finally gathered $50,000 worth of pocket change, deferred 401(k) contributions, and sketchy financing to get yourself a REAL god damn car. A NEW car, complete with smell and a warranty and the chance to wash and wax it every freggin Sunday. Congrats! 50 large is a lot of money and buys a lot of car.
But you have some standards. The first is a leftover taste in your mouth from your older brother’s V6 ‘Stang, which you bought after high school and drove for 3 months before the head gasket blew. (Which led you to give your great aunt $600 for an old Grand Am, which then proceeded to blow the slushbox some 10 weeks after that.) So, no domestics for you, right or wrong. And no BMW’s or Mercedes, if for nothing else because you haven’t hit 30 yet. 3 pedal is a must, and needs to seat 4. You’ve got a whole fifty thousand smackeroos to spend. Pretty basic stuff here.
LET’S SEE WHAT WE GOT! We’ll start the bidding at $35,000! Here’s your coupes and sedans:
That’s it. Your 4 choices:
- One with no chance of sniffing a 6-second 0-60
- A prisoner walking the green mile
- A WRX
- A nicer WRX.
Fine. Suppose you can swing a 2 seater. You’ll add to the fray: the 370z, which looks pretty damn close to the same “this was worth the wait?” car as 14 years ago; the Fiat 124 Spider, a non-existant, more expensive, and worse Miata; and the Miata, which is a Miata.
OK this isn’t going great. Let’s toss in hatchbacks and ditch the price floor. Some more illuminating options for you:
- A car that calls itself “Mini” despite weighing more than a ‘95 Buick Regal.
- An “actual” Mini, where the nicest thing Car and Driver could say was “The JCW tends to crash its way through bumps, evocative of a brick on casters.”
- The ol’ Scion tC Release Series 10.0 Coupe [has anureism], the name of a Real Car.
- A GTI, which topping out at some-$34k risks depreciating the full MSRP of a Scion tC Release Series 10.0 the moment it’s driven off the lot (thanks Dieselgate), AND
- FR-S/BRZ, which, fine.
(Don’t forget you can always scoop up a Kia Forte, Nissan Versa, or Mazda3 in a 6MT, because nothing says “I’m not getting there anymore! I’VE ALREADY ARRIVED!” like a fucking Nissan Versa.)
Again, this is what’s out there with fifty thousand fucking dollars at your disposal. Your BMW offerings are a 328i. END OF LIST. Your Benz offerings are WHOOPS MERCEDES WONT SELL YOU A MANUAL YOU PLEBE. Aside from the obvious Challenger/Camaro/Mustang, your only other RWD/MT option is, oddly, a Cadillac ATS which comes with a 2.0 Turbo. Huh. Didn’t see that coming.
The point of all of this, is as cynical as you want to be about Hyundai’s outlook and prospects and #BRANDING, they killed off one of arguably four “true” sports cars left on the market under Fifty Thousand Fucking Dollars, leaving the 370Z, the FR-S and the Miata. That’s it, folks. The Genesis Coupe, you could argue, was the FR-S with the missing 100 horsepower, the 2 more “seats” than the Z and Miata, and $20,000 cheaper than the tip-tier-but-not-quite-M-series BMW’s. I mean, I get that “Hyundai Sports Car” writes its own jokes, but it’s got a lot more in common with the old 300Z, RX-7/RX-8, G35, Supra, IS300, etc., then literally anything else still on the market.
So for all the WE NEED MOER HORESPOWER people and the SAVE THE MANUELS people and the RWD purists and even those betwixt just lamenting the end of driver-centric product offerings, the Genesis Coupe should have checked all the boxes. Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. But it doesn’t matter, because a few months from now, it’s gone. And that sucks.
Here’s to the Genesis Coupe. Let’s pour one out.
notsomethingstructural (aka @nss_ds) is an amateur listicle purveyor and the author of “The 25 Best Hip Hop Albums of All Time”. He co-authored the record-setting #WorstSongBracket and is terrible at Twitter.