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Columnist takes Genesis Coupe, Veloster Turbo, Elantra Coupe and GT for spin

Hyundai Fun Day. If you say it fast enough, it almost rhymes (remember, Hyundai sounds like 'Monday').

What's also fun is the ability to take out a few of Hyundai's latest products on the road and track, and not have to worry about keeping a regimented schedule, which is generally the case on most press launch events.

The day was ours to take out the vehicles at our own pace, whether that was at track or civilian speeds.

That's exactly what Canadian auto-motive journalists did at the second annual event at the Mosport Driver Development track in Bowman-ville, Ont.

With products such as the Genesis Coupe 2.0T/3.8 GT V6, Veloster Turbo, and Elantra Coupe and GT, it was hard not to have a great time, even in the blistering Ontario heat.

Departing from Markham, my driving partner, friend and championship winning race car driver Brian Makse and I took the 2013 Elantra Coupe with the optional 6-speed automatic transmission (a 6-speed manual is the standard transmission) on the various streets up to "fun central."

Needless to say, the new variant to the Elantra lineup is a pleasant vehicle, looks chic and has admirable characteristics.

Powering it is the 1.8-litre 4-cyl-inder engine that has an output of 148 horsepower and 131 lbs.-ft of torque. Not bad for a compact coupe whose base GLS trim has an MSRP of $19,949.

Its interior layout is pleasing to the eyes and requires little effort to figure out what's what. Road noise at highway speeds is subdued and it's a comfortable ride all around.

However, even with the seats pushed all the way down, I wasn't crazy about how high I sat in the vehicle. I prefer to sit a little deeper in a vehicle, while others might not. Regardless, the higher-up position opens up the lines of sight and provides the driver a nice, wide-open view through the front windshield.

After parking the Elantra Coupe in Bowmanville, it was time to take to the track.

Lined up were a series of 2013 Genesis Coupes; both the 2.0-litre turbo-charged 4-cylinders and the 3.8-litre GT V6s.

Eenie, meenie, miney, mo. Decisions, decisions.

My first set of laps were done in the 4-cylinder turbocharged trim, a rear-wheel drive vehicle that produces 274 horsepower and 275 lbs.-ft of torque.

All Genesis Coupes at the track were equipped with the standard 6-speed manual gearboxes (the other way to go is through the 8-speed automatic), so there was no fighting among the group as to who could put their left foot to use while on the track.

With professional instructors on hand leading the laps, and hopping into the cars to offer some pearls of wisdom, not only did the cars get a good workout, we learned a few things along the way.

Continuing to use the buddy system, Makse and I then put the V6 GT Genesis to work, I mean, play.

Its torquey nature allowed drivers to carry through the corners in a higher gear without a sweat, particularly for those just familiarizing themselves with the lay of the land.

For others, shifting gears through-out the course's curves allowed the vehicle to be more fully used. Besides, if there's ever an opportune time to let the 348 horses run free, it's on a track.

You could say that all the hot laps and prep on the driver development course helped set individuals up to race against the clock on a designated autocross circuit in the 2013 Veloster Turbo.

Yes, driving at high speeds in the Genesis Coupes without the fear of being ticketed by some of Ontario's local authorities was delectable, but the entertainment value of watching fellow auto writers compete against each other a thousandths of a second at a time was sufficiently higher.

It was also an opportunity to get sneak-peak seat time in the upcoming Veloster Turbo, with its more potent engine. Powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the front-wheel drive 3-door has 201 horsepower and 195 lbs.-ft of torque. With stock tires, a standard 6-speed manual and a green light to control the car efficiently (and quickly) through the closed course, it was an endless source of laughs - in the good way - throughout the day.

Needless to say, no one left in tears and I think friendships are intact. I think!

Perhaps one of the best parts of the Hyundai Fun Day - aside from the cars - was being able to spend time with colleagues from all over the country, have a few good laughs and, of course, laps around the track and autocross circuit.

Until next year!

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Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/cars/Playtime+with+Hyundai+toys/6963224/story.html#ixzz21jnecMTu
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