Unveiled at today's Detroit motor show, the Hyundai Genesis will be powered by a 3.8-litre V6 producing 248kW of power and 394Nm of torque, which is more power per litre than the 3.5-litre V6s in similarly sized large luxury sedans such as the Lexus GS350 and Mercedes-Benz E350. The engine is coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission and drives the rear wheels only, with a claimed 6.5-second 0-100km/h time.
In North America the Hyundai Genesis is also available with a 5.0-litre V8 engine (producing 320kW and just over 500Nm) as well as a HTRAC all-wheel-drive system, both of which are currently unavailable for right-hand-drive markets.
The Hyundai sedan will join the Australian large car segment at a time when large car sales are in a continuing decline, but Hyundai Australia says it's more about building the brand's image locally.
“It’s not necessarily about volume with the car, there’s more to it than that," said Hyundai Australia’s general manager of public relations, Bill Thomas. "It’s about making sure that ‘modern premium’ makes sense with vehicles rather than just as a statement. Yes it should sell on its own merit, but we are not really looking at [big] volumes for the car; it’s about pushing the brand.”
For the moment both specifications and pricing are yet to be determined, however Thomas admitted the Genesis sedan would likely be available in just one specification.
The Korean-built Genesis sedan was a four-year and $520 million investment and will come with a range of advanced technologies that will serve as a showcase for what’s to come from the Hyundai brand. Smart cruise control (being able to maintain speed and distance with the car in front), blind spot detection with head-up display, lane-keeping assist and lane departure warning will make their local debut with the Genesis.
On the inside a 9.2-inch high-resolution infotainment screen will take care of satellite navigation and audio. The previous-generation Genesis was only the second car in the world, apart from the Rolls-Royce range, to use a (17 speaker) Lexicon stereo system. This has carried over to the new car.
The Hyundai Genesis sedan will maintain its Hyundai heritage with no plans to launch it as a separate luxury brand. It will be sold in Hyundai dealers alongside the brand’s other vehicles, though it is yet to be decided if all Hyundai dealers will have access to sell the car, with Thomas admitting that it will require a "certain level of customer care and expectation" at its expected price point.
“It’s a Hyundai Genesis, there were rumours about it going around having its own brand like Lexus, or sections in dealerships, but it’s definitely not that," said Thomas. "In the [United] States you can option it without a Hyundai badge, but [I] don’t think you can in Australia. It’s quite proudly a Hyundai.”
Hyundai Australia is looking to take sales away from the Holden Calais (starting from $39,990) as well as potentially finding customers currently in mid-sized executive cars such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
CarAdvice expects the Hyundai Genesis sedan to be priced in the low-to-mid-$50K bracket, which would not be unusual for Hyundai given more than 40 per cent of its popular Santa Fe SUV sales are of the $51,490 Highlander variant.
“There is precedence there for Australian customers who would pay that kind of money [for a Hyundai] for good value so we have to make sure that the car represents good value for money," Thomas added.
The new Hyundai Genesis sedan will launch in either July or August this year, before the next-generation Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which despite being confirmed ahead of the sedan locally, won't launch until 2015 or 2016.
|Hyundai Genesis Sedan 3.8-litre V6 specifications:|
|Type||Lambda V6 DOHC|
|Bore x stroke||96.0 x 87.0 mm|
|Power||248 kW at 6,000 rpm|
|Torque||394Nm at 5,000 rpm|
|Maximum speed||240 km/h|
|Overall width||1890mm (excluding door mirrors)|
|Front tread||17-inch : 1638 / 18-inch : 1628 / 19-inch : 1620|
|Rear tread||17-inch : 1669 / 18-inch : 1659 / 19-inch : 1633|
|Front | Rear|
|Head room||1045 ( with sunroof : 1000 ) | BENCH SEAT: 970PWR SEAT: 960|
|Leg room||1,160mm | 890mm|
|Shoulder room||1,480mm | 1,450mm|
|Luggage||SAE : 433 / VDA : 493|