Track Tested: 2011 Ford Mustang V6 vs. 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8

2011 Ford Mustang V6 vs. 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test-drivers. Enjoy.

Oh, perhaps you've heard there's a new 305-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 in the 2011 Ford Mustang. We're not quite sold on its performance in the real world, but there's no doubt this V6 transforms the character of the base Mustang for the better. It also sets the stage for an interesting new rivalry: 2011 Ford Mustang V6 versus Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8.

Hyundai's rear-drive coupe is more fun to drive than anyone could have predicted, and it matches up nicely with the Mustang V6 in both power and pricing. The Hyundai's 3.8-liter V6 is rated at 306 horsepower, though it gives up some torque to the Mustang (266 pound-feet at 4,700 rpm versus 280 at 4,250 in the Ford).

In addition, the last Genesis Coupe 3.8 we tested (and the one whose numbers we're comparing here) cost $30,375. Our 2011 Mustang V6 comes in at $30,600.

Note that our V6 Mustang tester has the Performance package option, which includes stiffer spring rates off the Mustang GT, a slightly fatter front stabilizer bar, a 3.31 rear axle ratio, a Panhard rod off a Shelby GT500 to help locate the live rear axle, bigger brakes off the GT with performance friction pads, a strut tower brace for increased body rigidity and unique stability control calibration with a sport mode for performance driving. 

Read on to see how close the rivalry is when we take the coupes to our test track. Bear in mind of course that this is a bit of a "bench racer" comparison, as the coupes were tested on different days in different conditions.

                                                Mustang V6            Genesis Coupe 3.8
0-30 (sec):                                      2.2                               2.4
0-45 (sec):                                      3.8                               4.1
0-60 (sec):                                      5.6                               5.9
0-75 (sec):                                      8.1                               8.7
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph):              13.9 @ 101.2                14.2 @ 98.2
0-60 With 1-ft Rollout (sec):             5.3                               5.5
30-0 (ft):                                          26                                28
60-0 (ft):                                         103                              114
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g):    0.91                             0.89
Slalom                                             68.6                             67.2

Vehicle: 2011 Ford Mustang V6
Odometer: 2,811
Date: 3/31/2010
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $30,600

Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, port-injected V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,731cc (228 cu-in)
Valvetrain: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake and exhaust-valve timing
Compression Ratio (x:1): 10.5
Redline, Indicated (rpm): 6,850
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 305 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 280 @ 4,250
Rear Axle Ratio (x:1): 3.31
Suspension (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension (rear): Non-independent solid-axle, coil springs, trailing links, panhard rod, stabilizer bar
Steering Type: Electric speed-proportional power steering
Steering Ratio (x:1): 15.7
Tire Make and Model: Pirelli P Zero
Tire Type: Summer performance
Tire Size (front): 255/40ZR19
Tire Size (rear): 255/40ZR19
Wheel Size: 19-by-8.5 inches
Wheel Material: Cast aluminum
Brakes (front): 12.4-inch ventilated cast-iron discs with 2-piston sliding calipers
Brakes (rear): 11.8-inch ventilated cast-iron discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Curb Weight As Tested (lb): 3,508

Test Results:
0-30 mph (sec): 2.2
0-45 mph (sec): 3.8
0-60 mph (sec): 5.6
0-75 mph (sec): 8.1
1/4-mile (sec @ mph): 13.9 @ 101.2
0-60 With 1 Foot of Rollout (sec): 5.3
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft): 26
60-0 mph (ft): 103
Braking Rating: Excellent
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft (mph): 68.6
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft (mph) ESC ON: 65.8
Skid Pad, 200-ft diameter (lateral g): 0.91
Skid Pad, 200-ft diameter (lateral g) ESC ON: 0.90
Handling Rating: Very Good
Sound Level @ Idle (dB): 45
@ Full Throttle (dB): 82.4
@ 70 mph Cruise (dB): 71.8
Engine Speed @ 70 mph (rpm): 2,000

Acceleration Comments: Holy crap, this is a hard-running V6. More than enough power to overwhelm its tires leaving the line. Managing wheelspin is a serious issue in this car to get good acceleration times. Also, good rubber from the 2-3 shift. Tranny doesn't like to rush that shift, however. We missed 3rd gear several times. Otherwise, though, this is a powerful, free-revving, nice-sounding V6.

Braking Comments: 103 feet? From a Mustang? Wow. Pedal feel isn't anything special, but there's no sign of fade and the short distance is outstanding.

Handling Comments: Truly impressive manners from a live-axle car. Balance is good as is typical with recent Mustangs, but there's more than that. There's a true sense of what's happening at the wheels with this Mustang, which provides ample driver confidence. Ford is doing something right.

Vehicle: 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8
Odometer: 5,578
Date: 8/28/2009
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $30,375

Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, port-injected V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,778cc (231 cu-in)
Valvetrain: Double overhead camshaft, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake and exhaust valve timing
Compression Ratio (x:1): 10.4
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 306 @ 6,300
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 266 @ 4,700
Rear Axle Ratio (x:1): 3.54
Suspension (front): Independent MacPherson strut, 25mm antiroll bar, front strut tower brace
Suspension (rear): Independent five-link, 22mm antiroll bar
Steering Type: Engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering
Steering Ratio (x:1): 14.9:1
Tire Brand: Bridgestone
Tire Model: Potenza RE050A
Tire Type: Summer performance
Tire Size (front): 245/40R19 89Y
Tire Size (rear): 245/40R19 94Y
Wheel Size: 19-by-8 inches front -- 19-by-8.5 inches rear
Wheel Material: Cast aluminum
Brakes (front) : 13.4-inch ventilated disc, 4-piston fixed caliper
Brakes (rear): 13.0-inch ventilated disc, 4-piston fixed caliper
Curb Weight As Tested (lb): 3,469

Test Results:
0-30 mph (sec): 2.4
0-45 mph (sec): 4.1
0-60 mph (sec): 5.9
0-75 mph (sec): 8.7
1/4-mile (sec @ mph): 14.2 @ 98.2
0-60 With 1 Foot of Rollout (sec.): 5.5
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft): 28
60-0 mph (ft): 114
Braking Rating: Very Good
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft (mph): 67.2
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft (mph) ESC ON: 66.5
Skid Pad, 200-ft diameter (lateral g): 0.89
Skid Pad, 200-ft diameter (lateral g) ESC ON: 0.83
Handling Rating: Good
Sound Level @ Idle (dB): 40
@ Full Throttle (dB): 74.5
@ 70 mph Cruise (dB): 63.3
Engine Speed @ 70 mph (rpm): 2,600

Acceleration Comments: Best acceleration yet from a Genesis Coupe. This car has 4,000 miles on the clock and appears to have been driven and maintained adequately. Feels faster than the 3.8 coupe we tested earlier, too. No special launch technique. Dialing up 3,500 rpm or so and keeping wheelspin down to a few axle-hopping chirps seems to work best. Shift smoothing/drivetrain protection intervention (read: engine power cut) still apparent if shifts are too aggressive.

Braking Comments: Solid pedal lacks the immediacy of a sports car but still offers confidence. Brake performance a little inconsistent but no fade.

Handling Comments: Again, handling numbers aren't identical to past tests. Slalom isn't as good and skid pad is better. Car still feels solid with no obvious deficiencies. Different car, different numbers.

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