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WELCOME TO HYUNDAI’S HAPPINESS MACHINE
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

As you might expect, the M8 Comp is pretty much an M5 in feel, with possibly just a touch less inertia when turning in - but we’d have to back-to-back both cars to be absolutely certain. That means a decent but not pillowy ride quality in the standard Road setting, a little thumpy in Sport mode, and a slight feeling of disconnection. Obviously that’s generally a basic function of these big GTs that go to great lengths to disguise their weight and size across the board, but razor sharp, this is not.

Lots of grip, mind you - the xDrive four wheel drive feeling resolutely rear-biased, the centre and rear diffs doing plenty of work to eke out the best from those meaty tyres - 275-section on the front axle (285 on the rear). In the wet it’s a lifesaver, and makes for a car that’s safe and stable even in extremis. The rear-wheel drive mode is a bit of a trackside party trick though: drifting something this big on the road is, bluntly, a bit silly, and if you clock into the correct modes the M8 GC will happily give you half a turn of oversteer even in four-wheel drive. Just dial in your specific preferred driving modes to one of the two ‘M’ buttons at the top of the wheel (you can set all the usual parameters like suspension/throttle/traction) and you need never really go through the rigmarole of selecting 2WD unless you want to go all Chris Harris on a trackday. All in all, it’s one of those cars that doesn’t demand a great deal of attention to provide a huge dose of speed. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you.

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Saying that, it’s a hugely impressive car in certain circumstances. The 4.4 V8 uses that pair of turbos to great effect, and mid-range shove for overtaking is eye-widening. It’s not the kind of car that scares or particularly exhilarates, but once you clock just how rapidly that speedo rises from 50mph to properly illegal, attention must be paid for the sake of your licence, if nothing else. It sounds throaty without being obnoxious, the gearbox (with paddles) is good without being of particular note and it absolutely keeps the promises made by the looks. It’s just that it’s a bit of a broad brush of character - possibly one that would shine more brightly in somewhere like Germany where stretches of Autobahn would undoubtedly show just how impressive this car could be.

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