New For 2011
The success of the Hyundai Genesis sedan, however, has the Korean automaker thinking big. If Americans will embrace the Genesis as a Hyundai luxury car with a price tag as high as $40,000, some ask, what's to stop them from embracing a more luxurious model a step up the food chain wearing a Hyundai badge.
What the Auto Press Says
Several months, thousands of successful sales and one North American Car of the Year award later, the gamble seems to have paid off. The Genesis offers some equipment found only on $50,000 luxury cars in a $32,000 to $40,000 price range. American are buying it despite the lack of a luxury badge. The Genesis appears to be convincing skeptical auto writers and skeptical car shoppers that Hyundai can build a bargain luxury car.
The Equus strikes many in the press as another big gamble. In Asian markets, this car is sold as an alternative to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS - a super-luxury car with a sticker price approaching six figures. Would Americans accept a six-figure Hyundai?
Perhaps we won't be asked to. Rumors say Hyundai may try to bring the Equus stateside in the $50,000 to $60,000 range.
That would make the Equus the next logical step after the Genesis. The Genesis succeeds by offering a BMW 5-Series-like experience for the price of a 3-series. Might the Equus pull of the same trick a step down, bringing 7-Series size and luxury into the 5-Series price range.
All engines will use an electronically-controlled 8-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted.
The Equus, like the Genesis, is not yet offered in all-wheel-drive. If it hopes to compete for BMW and Lexus buyers, that may be a deficiency Hyundai needs to address.
Inside, the car is designed to look and feel like a six-figure super luxury sedan, even though it may ultimately carry a pricetag barely more than half that amount. It features soft-grain leather throughout (the same as that found on upgrade packages for the Genesis), the same 17-speaker Lexicon sound system, massaging seats at all four seating positions, polished walnut trim and even an iDrive-like driver interface to control climate and entertainment functions.
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