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1.1.13 - On the Prescience of Gravity

The advent of this Foul Year of Our Lord 2013 brings with it the permeating societal yearning for one thing - a global decrease in population stupidity per capita.

To that end, what you've got here is yer two-way, fully adjustable and dump-able blog and build guide tailored specifically both to fill my seemingly unending unemployment, and also to aid you - dear reader - as you steer yourself towards the gates of Hell, through which you will no doubt stride with confidence one day, behind the wheel of your beloved Korean fart can on wheels.

With the dawn of yet another new calendar year, as I await the arrival of der Frühling, and with it, the return of my own homo-blue motorcoach - a number of emotions well up inside of me as I ponder the foundations of what it means to sit on one's ass for hours on a daily basis and furiously bicker with unseen fruitcakes across the internet about Hyundais. Surely, verbal warfare within the confines of our illustrious community occasionally derails into violent death threats and pissing contests over the literary contributions of Honey Boo-Boo, but in truth the reason we engage in discourse is clear: we actually like our Hyundais.

There comes a point at which the pride we take in our motor vehicle's unique standing amongst the crowded and hazy horde of tuner cars is misplaced, unfounded, and a nail in our own coffin. Therefore ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for a deep philosophical discussion.

1. Reality - What it is a-good for? ABSOLUTELY NUFFIN! HA! GOOD GAHD!

In 2009, the US market eagerly received the Genesis Coupe with all the pent-up glee of a pedophile fresh off a nickel in Joliet. From vendors to developers to end-consumers, the hopes and dreams were palpable - this is it. The return of the cheap, tweakable, affordable, everyman's rear-wheel tuner turbo car! Everyone was certain it would be nothing short of a miracle, money would fall from the heavens upon the heads of aftermarket parts resellers, tuners would be sliding sideways for days with huge smiles painted on their face - all the while, their monthly payments not much more than the payment was on the Sentra or the Tiburon they just traded away.

Flash forward to January 1st, 2013, otherwise known as today. Vendors, parts developers, and hardcore enthusiasts have come to grips with the fact that the BK cars were actually difficult/expensive to handle with regards to critical bottlenecks, like an ECU nobody could tune because baldface liars from Korea peddled not only barely-working software packages, but then after charging premium prices for them - bailed when it came time to support them. Entire forum-loads of Genesis Coupe owners have verily lost the will to live once they discovered the BK car could not simply be tweaked, torqued and flash-tuned by any average meat head like their buddy's Evo X could. They discovered that (like any $25,000 four-cylinder import) they were going to need to write out some four-digit checks to engine builders to ensure their motor avoided rapid disassembly. They learned that you can't just join a forum one day, post up your one-line intro thread where you exclaimed to the world you were a badass and you were going to make 400whp by summer's end, and magically become a badass with 600 thread views overnight.

Nay, the throng of first-generation buyers ultimately had much of their hopes and dreams shattered over the last three years, as did so many of the aftermarket developers who saw the revival of the Nissan 240SX lifestyle in the car's future.

Who - they ask - is to blame for this? Is it Hyundai? Did they con us into buying an un-tunable machine, weak in every respect, a mechanical engineering failure of lackluster components all bandaged together by meth addicts? Is it the aftermarket? Did they simply not jump on the bandwagon hard enough, have they left us to rot because of the badge on our trunk?

The question nobody ever asked though - is it the community's fault? Did they jump headlong into the car, with wildly unrealistic expectations, and little to no knowledge beforehand in the common ins-and-outs of building and tuning economy-priced and built tuner cars? Did they sell themselves on hype, and the mythical & legendary fiction of the tuner greats of years past, which they tacked onto the image of this Hyundai they could afford? Did they throw themselves at a car hoping the software would magically just fall out from under the hood, and open source itself without any application of effort on the part of a qualified team of professionals?

The answer to that last one, folks, is unequivocally, yes.

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is developing a reputation among owners and throughout the worldwide tuning community - wrongly - for being an un-tunable, weakly and poorly built car that isn't worth anyone's time.

Lets look at the facts; a reality check always does a colon (and liver) good.

- Your twenty thousand dollar base price turbo (or NA) car is engineered for mass-production and reliability, not Porsche-tight tolerances and power output. The reason your car is so affordable is because every nook and cranny of material that is unnecessary has been designed-out before castings are ever made or anything is ever machined - to save Hyundai money during manufacture. This means your engine and every other stress-bearing component is only as strong as it needs to be. For the price paid, the fact that the 2.0T and 3.8 motors are both known to sustain over 400whp maximums with properly-written tunes is industry standard and completely normal and common for an aftermarket tuner car. The legends of the tuner cars of the past have been blown out of proportion with time and bad movies; you have grown up with the false notion that an Asian import four cylinder motor is a God Box and can sustain a nuclear detonation inside without coming apart. Older motors were made with less-precise computer aided design; over-building load bearing components with a safety factor on paper was the only acceptable method back then. Due to this, many older motors could simply sustain slightly higher margins of abuse in stock configurations for longer periods of time because the designers hadn't known exactly where or what would break - therefore they added two or three times as much load-bearing material wherever necessary so they could sleep at night knowing their engines would never fail even if pushed above stock load levels. Old tuning greats would explode too when you made them produce twice as much torque as their designers intended them to make. Some sooner than others, but the fact is you get what you paid for. Unless you spend almost twice what you paid for your Hyundai - or much more - for any competing off-the-lot new tuner car today - every other platform will stifle you with the exact same roadblock.

The engine computer in your car was purpose-built to be shared across multiple vehicles; it's ROM is both large and complex. Hyundai designed every aspect of this car to last 100,000 miles and 10 years because their underwriters aren't going to fund their warranties if their cars fall apart and blow up. Therefore, knowing that when you bought the car, did you really think the engine computer was going to be dumb as a box of rocks and easy to deal with compared to a 10yr old Honda with a 50,000 mile warranty (if any) or a Mitsubishi or Subaru WRC homologation-built street-legal rally car they build and sell so they can keep racing it? No. Not only that, but think about why nobody has made this car's ECU open-source for the car yet/ever - it's not for lack of trying - the fact of the matter is that hacking a massively complex ECU for a Hyundai is not nearly as sexy to a programmer/hacker as it is for a nuts-out rally car whose ECU is simpler than some Texas Instruments calculators. V6 people, nobody is ever going to open-source an ECU on a naturally aspirated motor unless it's used by everyone and their grandmother like a General Motors LS V8 - But for why, you exclaim bitterly? Because it's a ton of work for no cash return, and on top of that, do you really think all that time and effort for a 9whp gain out of a flash tune was really worth it?

I constantly hear people whining about how hard this car is to work on and how expensive the parts are. Trade your car in for a 370Z and call me back on the too expensive part, or the too hard to work on part. Or better yet get an EJ25 Subaru, let me know how that goes. The grass is not greener on the other side, it's all the same shit-brown color. Building up econobox import cars is expensive, hard work.

The take-away here is that the buying community for this car was A.) largely composed of inexperienced folks who had no idea what they were getting into - but they themselves were very certain they did, and B.) the typical buyer had unrealistic expectations and wild notions of what their car was capable of and how easy it would be. This is because people did not educate themselves before jumping into their project. Granted this is a very human thing to do - by nature we tend to really enjoy (repeatedly, throughout our history) sticking our dick in a blender, flipping the switch and then sobbing all the way to the emergency room and insisting, between deep, heaving sobs - we had no idea that massive blood loss would be a result.

Hyundai is potentially ending production of the Genesis Coupe in the near future; the car has the potential to fade away as some kind weaksauce sideshow joke - it's got equal potential to go down as a hidden gem that had a genuine fun factor to it. DSport Magazine nailed the car right on the head in a review article not long after the car's release; they pointed out that for some reason, Hyundai just didn't market or push the car (the 2.0T car especially) at all to the market that could have widely accepted and loved it - the tuner market. DSport's writer went on to say that the car itself was a completely usable platform that any rear wheel tuner would be able to absolutely go to town on, and build an exceedingly fun and rewarding machine. But due to the way the car was pitched - it may go under the radar completely because of the way it was received by the market.

Don't be a lazy jackass and sit by the sidelines while the car you ostensibly love floats down the river into the shitpile next to the (justifiably) unloved 1997 Tiburon that nobody respects or cares about; make peace with the realization that your car is what you make of it, the car is not your asinine mod list in your signature on the forum. This has been true of every tuner car that ever existed. Don't wait for someone to make something of your car for you.

Oh and... happy new year; lets make something of this car this year, and hopefully make this year's cars a little less... unattractive in the process.