If you were too easily offended by Hyundai--yes, Hyundai--proclaiming its Genesis sedan could duke it out with the likes of Lexus and Infiniti, boy, are you going to be irked.
By late summer, the company’s new flagship, the 2011 Hyundai Equus, will be on sale in the U.S., and according to Hyundai the car will compete with the best luxury sedans in the world on "all levels" including amenities, performance, advanced technologies, design and ownership experience.
Measuring in at a generous 16.9 feet in length, 6.2 feet in width and 4.9 feet in height, the Equus certainly has the luxury sedan size factor. The car also boasts an almost ideal 52/48 front-to-rear weight distribution for exceptional handling and more refined steering characteristics.
The powertrain lineup is also respectable, with the Equus available in the U.S. with a world-class 4.6-liter Tau V-8 rated at 385 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel (378 horsepower and 324 pound-feet using regular fuel). That’s entirely comparable with the outputs of the Lexus LS460, Mercedes-Benz S550 and Audi A8, and when combined with the Equus’ standard six-speed automatic transmission the Tau V-8 will propel the car to 60 mph from rest in less than 6.4 seconds.
Stopping power comes from four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). The 13.6 inch front rotors have four-piston fixed calipers and the rear brakes feature 12.4 inch rotors with single floating piston calipers. These reside within 19 inch chrome alloy wheels shod with 245mm rubber up front and 275mm tires in the rear.
Ride and handling is taken care of with an electronically controlled air suspension system, with fully adjustable settings.
Luxury amenities include LED turn signal indicators, HID headlamps, forward-view and reverse cameras to aid parking maneuvers, leather and Alcantara trim, heated and cooled seats, Bluetooth connectivity, XM Satellite Radio, an in-dash LCD screen and a 17-speaker premium audio system with iPod and USB connection.
The 2011 Hyundai Equus will go on sale in late summer with a starting price in the mid $50,000 range.