Hyundai's Tau 5.0L DOHC V-8: Look Out

After introducing the astonishingly good 4.6L Tau V-8 two years ago, Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. could be forgiven if it chose to sit back and recoup some of its investment for at least a 4-year product cycle. But the word must not be in the vocabulary of the hard-charging South Korean auto maker. For the '10 model Genesis, engineers added another 10 hp, bringing total output to 385 hp, and winning another

After introducing the astonishingly good 4.6L Tau V-8 two years ago, Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. could be forgiven if it chose to sit back and recoup some of its investment for at least a 4-year product cycle.

But the word “relax” must not be in the vocabulary of the hard-charging South Korean auto maker. For the '10 model Genesis, engineers added another 10 hp, bringing total output to 385 hp, and winning another 10 Best Engines award.

For the '11 model year, Hyundai seduced Ward's judges by adding direct injection to a larger-bore rendering of the Tau architecture. The compression ratio also is hiked from 10.4:1 to 11.5:1 for greater thermal efficiency.

The new version pounds out 429 hp and 376 lb.-ft. (510 Nm) of torque and outperforms by 1 mpg its smaller-displacement sibling in both city and highway driving: 18/26 mpg (13-9 L/100 km).

We're still infatuated with the standard 4.6L, but the new 5.0L offers even more to love: 44 hp and 43 lb.-ft. (58 Nm) more than the base engine, to be exact.

“If BMW, Audi and Mercedes were nervous last year, they are soiling themselves this year,” says Ward's AutoWorld Executive Editor Tom Murphy.

DISPLACEMENT (CC): 5,038

BLOCK/HEAD MATERIAL: ALUMINUM/ALUMINUM

BORE × STROKE (MM): 96 × 87

HORSEPOWER (SAE NET): 429 @ 6,400 RPM

TORQUE: 376 LB.-FT. (510 NM) @ 5,000 RPM

SPECIFIC OUTPUT: 86 HP/L

SPECIFIC OUTPUT: 11.5:1

ASSEMBLY SITE: ULSAN, SOUTH KOREA

APPLICATION TESTED: '11 HYUNDAI GENESIS

EPA CITY/HIGHWAY (MPG): 18/26

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