Targeting the world's luxury carmakers with an all-new, unknown product and a less-than-ideal brand reputation will make for a tough sell for Hyundai's Genesis sedan, despite favorable early reports. That job will, however, get a little bit easier now that the car has earned a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA in its most recent crash testing.

The Genesis scored five stars for both front and side-impact ratings, reflecting the built-in safety of the car's chassis as well as the standard equipment safety features like eight airbags and electronic active head restraints. Other features that contribute to the car's safety include standard stability control and brake-assist with electronic brake-force distribution.

Hyundai is particularly proud of its electronic active head restraint system, which it says puts the Genesis on par with offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus - the only other car makers to offer similar systems as standard equipment on some models. The technology has been proven by the IIHS to help reduce the likelihood of whiplash in an accident.

The body shell of the Genesis itself is also credited with much of the rating, with its ultra-high tensile steel, laser welding and advanced adhesive bonding construction techniques combining to form a light yet strong frame around the occupants.

Earlier this week, news broke that Hyundai could be considering the new Tau 5.0L V8 for its Genesis sedan as a step toward evening the playing field with its German and Japanese competition.