By Staff Contributor and edited by Christina Selter.
Performance coupes are a hot commodity these days, and that’s a wonderful thing. It’s not just the battle of the muscle cars either, as there’s fresh competition from both Japan and Korea. Most of the battle is taking place at either the four-cylinder or eight-cylinder level. Ignoring both of those for a moment, let’s focus on the six-cylinder two doors.
Two in particular have my attention. The 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track and the 2013 Ford Mustang V6. Each is powered by a V6 engine, sends power to the rear wheels, and can be had with an automatic or manual gearbox.
Ford Mustang has a lot of history with its popular Pony car, but most of that history saw a fairly bland V6 version when compared to the fare more fun V8 GT. Not to mention the various hi-po variants offered further up the family tree. Now, however, the V6 is a truly entertaining option that’s just as fun on the street as it is on an actual racetrack.
Under the hood of the Mustang sits a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 305 horsepower and 280 pound feet of torque. It’s a sweet little mill that pulls hard and sounds great when it’s being worked out. Still, the V6 Mustang is no rocket ship, and it requires 5.9 seconds to run from 0-60 miles per hour. Not slow, but nothing to get overly excited about either.
The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a bit of a newcomer in this rear-wheel-drive coupe space. Yes, we’ve entered the second generation of the cool looking car, but it’s not that old and it’s playing on the Mustang’s playground. Still, it should have the Ford quivering a bit thanks to the 348-horsepower 3.8-liter V6, which is also good for 295 pound-feet of torque. That is enough grunt to push the Genesis Coupe from 0-60 miles per hour a full second faster than the Mustang with a time of 4.9 seconds.
Of course, the Hyundai Genesis also costs quite a bit more as well. You’ll need to spend almost ten thousand more for a comparably equipped Genesis Coupe. That’s a nearly shocking margin. Yes, the interior of the Genesis Coupe is very well put together, especially compared to the Mustang. However, opt for the optional Recaro seats on the ‘Stang if you’re truly ready to focus on sporty driving.
After all, it’s the Mustang that delivers a better driving experience from an overall standpoint. The steering has far more direct feel, the brakes don’t work as hard as they’d have to on the GT thanks to the reduced weight up front, and the entire package feels very composed. On the other side of the fence, the Genesis Coupe needs a serious steering upgrade and the Brembo brakes fade surprisingly early when pushed hard.
In the end, it comes down to a few factors when choosing a winner. The Ford Mustang offers up a better sports car driving experience for less money. The Hyundai boasts a better interior, however, and that’s where you’ll spend most of your time. If you want a sporty daily driver, get the Genesis Coupe. If, instead, you want to spend your days ripping down canyon roads or heading to the track, you’ll be happier with the Mustang.