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Sneak Peek: 2011 Hyundai Equus

New model to be positioned above Genesis sedan.

by on Aug.12, 2009

With the success of its Genesis sedan, the Korean carmaker is now confirming plans to launch the 2011 Hyundai Equus in the U.S. premium luxury market.

With the success of its Genesis sedan, the Korean carmaker is now confirming plans to launch the 2011 Hyundai Equus in the U.S. premium luxury market.

Once known for its cheap-and-cheerful little sedans and coupes, the South Korean carmaker Hyundai will continue its recent move up-market with the launch of an all-new flagship sedan.

Codenamed “VI,” and recently introduced in the Asian home market as Equus, the new car will be positioned as an even more luxurious offering than the Hyundai Genesis, which was named North American Car of the Year, by a jury of 50 U.S. and Canadian journalists, in January.

No horsing around!

No horsing around!

The automaker had been debating whether to bring Equus to the States – along with an assortment of other upscale products that it is developing for Korea.  To get a sense of the U.S. market potential, Hyundai showed a concept version of Equus at April’s New York Auto Show, notes Hyundai Motor America President and CEO John Krafcik.

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Bangle Bails on BMW

by on Feb.03, 2009

Chris Bangle with the dramatic -- and controversial -- 2002 BMW 7-Series

Chris Bangle speaks his mind at Geneva Motor Show

“It’s all about design.” As an automotive journalist, you hear that phrase a lot, especially at auto shows and new product previews, whether you’re looking at the latest luxury car or something more basic. Yet, by and large, designers are a relatively anonymous lot, with only the rare Harley Earl gaining a place in the collective consciousness.

Chris Bangle is another name that has risen beyond the automotive headlines. After all, how many other designers have earned profiles on network TV – CBS Sunday Morning, for one – or been the motivation behind a popular online fan site. Make that anti-fans, if you prefer, for there were several online efforts to force Bangle out as global head of styling at BMW after the automaker launched a controversial remake of its flagship 7-Series sedan, early in the decade.

Ultimately – and ironically – that car’s most distinctive design, known to many as the “Bangle-butt,” has become more the norm than the exception in the luxury market, these days. And with the launch of yet another remake of the 7-er, for 2009, Bangle and his team have largely won over even the harshest skeptics.

And so, it might seem, a good time to move on – as Bangle is doing. In something of a surprise, the youthful 52-year-old stylist tendered his resignation as head of design for the BMW Group, this morning, Munich time. According to a statement, he’ll be pursuing “other design challenges” beyond the automotive industry.

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