CLINTON — Hyundai makes two very different cars that share one name: Genesis.
At one extreme, the Genesis Sedan can feel soft, smooth and surprisingly Mercedes-like with its marshmallow suspension and silent cabin.
At the other extreme is a sinister version of the Genesis Coupe: a low-slung, two-door car with a turbocharged engine and rock-hard R-Spec suspension package that makes it drive like a rabid cannibal.
While driving the coupe, I couldn't help but notice how removed it was from the Hyundai sedan, even though Hyundai insists on slapping a "Genesis" label onto both of these cars that look and drive so differently.
In other words, if you're shopping for a Genesis, be very careful which one you pick.
Personally, while I like both versions of this car, it's the sports couple that really tugs at my heartstrings. While the milder Genesis is aimed at luxury buyers, the hard-edged Genesis Coupe appeals to people who might be cross-shopping Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers —- all cars that feel younger and more exciting than the sedate Genesis.
The coupe drives with the excitement of a modern American muscle car, too. It has the throaty exhaust, sleek body and outrageous personality that make them so enjoyable, but it also comes with more panache.
The steering and suspension are more precise than muscle cars typically feel, for example. The cabin construction is more solid and luxurious, and the body shows more sophistication than the throwback, retro styling of its American competitors.
Of course, a lot of that depends on the color you pick. The last coupe I drove came in yellow, which totally overshadowed how pretty it can be.
This time, my coupe came dressed in black, which seems more fitting for its lethal personality and shows off its gorgeous shape better than the look-at-me yellow ever could.
It also came with a red interior.
If you take a step back from this car, you'll see it doesn't quite fit into the same mold as anything else on the market. All the American muscle cars are best known for their gigantic V8 engines; the Hyundai tops out with a 3.8-liter V6.
It doesn't quite fit in with the sporty coupes from import brands, either. It seems to have some of the same zippy, high-strung, knife's edge performance of compact cars like the Honda Civic Si, but it's significantly bigger and heavier.
As a whole, I like nearly everything about this car except for its name.
Derek Price is an automotive columnist for CNHI News Service. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.