2010 Camaro V6 vs 2010 Genesis V6
Too bad the Mustang wasn't in the same league, maybe they should have used the GT
We expect your palms are all clammy in anticipation of the predictable Detroit Three muscle-car comparo, in which belching V-8s reduce tires to a gray haze that hangs on the horizon like a thousand dirty sweat pants. We’ll produce the gray haze in due course.
But first, let’s be responsible by looking at where most pony-car transactions transpire—that is, in the V-6 trenches, accounting for 65 percent of sales—and then let’s be irresponsible by celebrating this: The 2010 Camaro V-6 is 0.7 second quicker to 60 mph than, say, a Camaro SS 396 we tested in 1968. Heck, it’s quicker and faster through the quarter-mile than a BMW 328i. No chicken coupe, this.
So we sent out invitations, but Ford and Dodge didn’t RSVP, choosing silence instead. Here’s why: The Camaro LT and the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 are both spanking-new four-valve twin-cammers with independent multilink rear suspensions, and their outputs are on top of each other: 306 horsepower for the Genesis, 304 for the Camaro. Neither Ford nor Dodge can make like claims. It’s more than a little frustrating that the V-6 in Ford’s latest Mustang produces a pitiful 210 horses from greater displacement than either Chevrolet or Hyundai requires. Unless Ford equips the Mustang with, say, an EcoBoost V-6, Dearborn simply won’t have a horse in this race. Dodge’s V-6 Challenger—automatic only—isn’t much better off, producing 250 horsepower from 3.5 liters. A V-6 Challenger we tested achieved 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, leaving it embarrassingly in the wake of the two cars gathered here, in part because the Dodge is one big lunker—more than 15 inches longer than a Genesis coupe. Which left us with this unlikely but toothsome twosome: a 3.6-liter V-6 Camaro versus a 3.8-liter Genesis coupe. America versus Korea. Except the Camaro is built in Oshawa, Ontario. So let’s call it Oshawa versus Ulsan.
If you squint at this new Genesis—and if you’ve had a shot or two of tequila—you can make out some of the pugnacious lines that emboldened the little front-drive Tiburon, which this coupe replaces. The new car rides on the rear-drive Genesis sedan’s platform, minus 4.6 inches of wheelbase, and feels nothing like the Tib. It feels far more confident, more substantial, and more aggressive in all its moves. What the Genesis coupe is, in fact, is a pony car.
Our version arrived with the Track pack, including 19-inch Bridgestones; Brembo brakes; beefier springs, shocks, and bars; a brace between the front shock towers; a limited-slip differential; and a vaguely tacky rear spoiler that fortunately was 90-percent invisible in the rearview mirror.
The Track pack certainly tracks. Body motions are rigidly disciplined, and this Hyundai’s 0.88 g of skidpad grip felt more like a full g in the hills, where the car took a confident, firm set and exhibited excellent path control. Like the Camaro, a steady throttle through a turn induced mild understeer, but a sudden wallop of horsepower could rotate the tail, especially when the overly aggressive stability control was disabled. And when matters got too exuberant, the Brembos brought the action to a halt, like, yesterday. The brake pedal doesn’t offer the greatest feel, but 70 mph is dissipated in 161 feet—sports-car territory.
The Genesis proved 0.4 second quicker to 60 mph than the Camaro and 0.3 second quicker through the quarter-mile. You can spin the rear tires right to redline in first gear and provoke a satisfying bark while slamming into second. Those straight-line bona fides are likely the upshot of a Slim-Fast engineering diet. This coupe is 315 pounds lighter than the Camaro. Nice detail: Regular unleaded works fine in both engines.
Although the steering is a little heavy, it’s quick. Turn-in is sharper than the Camaro’s, and freeway tracking is superb. Too bad there’s an odd engine drone at interstate speeds. Any throttle dithering lends that drone a persistent on/off quality, drawing even more aural attention. Otherwise, the V-6 is mechanically thrashy only near redline, where it is largely drowned out by a booming exhaust snarl.
Fourteen-thousand folks have already laid down earnest money to secure a Camaro, but we hope none of them is taller than five-ten. That’s because the roof has been seriously slammed. If you’ve got anything resembling Dog the Bounty Hunter’s pompadour, prepare to leave an oily spot on the headliner. Sunroof? Just say no.
Once again an auto magazine fails. I am 6' even and had to move the drivers seat UP to be comfortable and my head was not touching the headliner in a sunroof car.