Hyundai's last V8 engine will be phased out by the end of this year in favour of smaller six-cylinder engines and turbocharging, new overseas reports claim.
Korean publication AutoDaum claims the next-generation version of the Genesis G90 limousine – which currently isn't sold in Australia – won't be available with the 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated 'Tau' V8 offered with its predecessor, instead positioning the Hyundai group's 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 as the flagship engine.
The discontinuation of the 5.0-litre mill in the G90 marks the end of the V8 engine for the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands, as the removal of the 'Tau' engine from the related, Korean-market Kia K9 limousine earlier this year saw the flagship Genesis become the V8's final application.
Introduced in its current, direct-injected form in 2015 – though the Tau engine family dates back to 2008 – the outgoing G90's 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated unit develops 313kW and 520Nm on premium fuel, sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Note: Outgoing Genesis G90 pictured throughout.
The mill's displacement makes it the most powerful combustion engine currently produced by the Hyundai Motor Group (comprising Hyundai, Kia and Genesis), even outmuscling the 279kW/530Nm quoted by the downsized 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 that will replace it.
Due to be unveiled later in 2021, according to AutoDaum, the next-generation, V6-only Genesis G90 flagship sedan will ride on a new rear-wheel-drive platform, capable of supporting fully-electric powertrain options, as well as Level Three semi-autonomous driving technology similar to its main European rival, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Whether it will come to Australia isn't clear, however, given the outgoing G90 was built in left-hand drive only, and minimal luxury sedan sales make a business case for a right-hook G90 hard to justify.
The Hyundai Motor Group isn't the only company to move away from V8 power in its large models, with manufacturers across the industry from Toyota (in the upcoming LandCruiser 300 Series) to Mercedes-Benz (in the new C-Class) downsizing to six- or four-cylinder engines respectively, or ditching combustion power entirely.