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Hyundai has unveiled its big new Genesis G90 sedan, ahead of an early 2016 launch into the Korean market – where it will be known as the EQ900.

The new model’s world premiere comes just one month after the carmaker announced it would transform its Genesis marque into a new standalone luxury brand, just as Lexus, Infiniti and the new DS brand represent the premium efforts of Toyota, Nissan and Citroen.

The G90 is the first new model in the range, joining the large sedan known initially as the Hyundai Genesis and now – although not yet in local showrooms – as the Genesis G80.

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The G90 and G80 will be just two of six Genesis models to be launched in the coming years. By 2020, Hyundai plans to launch another sedan – this time a mid-sized offering – along with two SUVs and a replacement for the Genesis Coupe.

The G90 first surfaced in spy shots obtained in late November, revealing that Hyundai’s new flagship would take inspiration both from the existing Genesis G80 and from the recent Vision G Coupe concept.

The Korean brand’s bold chrome-frame grille dominates the face, flanked by long headlights that reach back into the front quarter panels.

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Around the side, there’s a long profile and a large glasshouse that bucks the current trend of swooping coupe-like roof lines, flowing through to a long rear deck and tall LED tail lamps that wrap into the rear haunches.

Hyundai has yet to offer a full view of the G90’s four-seat interior, although it has revealed the sedan’s spacious and technology-laden rear row, fitted with infotainment displays and a centre console filled out with entertainment and climate controls.

Italian leather and rear wood highlights feature throughout the cabin, while technology highlights include 22-way powered seats, a 12.3-inch display in the dash with a camera monitoring system and a premium Lexicon audio suite. Wireless device charging is also featured, along with tri-zone climate control.

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The G90 measures 5205mm long and rides on a 3160mm wheelbase, making it longer in both cases than the regular 5116/3035mm S-Class.

Mercedes-Benz does, of course, offer far longer (and more opulent) versions of its flagship limousine, stretching to nearly 6.5 metres with the top-shelf Pullman model.

Power in the G90 will be provided by a familiar set of Hyundai engines, including a 232kW/397Nm 3.8-litre naturally-aspirated V6 (as offered with Australia’s Genesis) and a 313kW/519Nm 5.0-lire V8.

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The G90 will also be the first production car to feature Hyundai’s new 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6, producing 272kW and 509Nm.

The V8 model is the quickest to 100km/h, listing a 5.7-second sprint, but the turbo V6 is no slouch, claiming a 6.2-second time.

 

If the 3.3-litre engine mill makes its way to the G80, it could represent a handy powered-up option for Australia, where the V8 model isn’t offered.

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The EQ900-badged G90 goes on sale in Korea early next year, with an American debut to follow later in 2016.

At this stage, an Australian launch appears unlikely, thanks to the large sedan’s left-hand drive development focus.

Speaking with CarAdvice earlier this month, Hyundai Australia communications manager Bill Thomas said that although a local debut “hasn’t been ruled out”, it would be “very unlikely”, due to the investment required to engineer the vehicle for right-hand drive markets.

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That suggests that, at this stage, the G90 will likewise not be offered in the UK, Japan and other right-hand drive markets.

The Genesis brand itself will come to Australia, however. And while we might never see the G90, we can likely expect the BMW 3 Series-sized G70 and the following SUV models.

Watch for the G90 to make its motor show debut in Detroit next month.




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