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Hyundai Finds Religion with 2nd-Generation Genesis

Let there be light: Korean carmaker out to win over disbelievers.

by on Jan.13, 2014

Hyundai aims to take its big Genesis up a notch when the second-generation sedan reaches market. Photo credit: Len Katz.

Let there be light, said the Korean carmaker and, lo, there was, proving to the many disbelievers that Hyundai actually could build something more impressive than a low-priced econobox.  The maker’s first effort to move up-market with the mid-luxury Genesis proved one of the big surprises of the last decade, winning an array of awards that included North American Car of the Year.

But was it more than just a one-time fluke? That’s the question skeptics continue to ask – and which the question Hyundai hopes to put to rest as it rolls out a second version of the big Genesis sedan for 2015.  TheDetroitBureau.com got an early look at the new model last autumn but, like everyone else gathering at this week’s North American International Auto Show, we’re taking a closer look to see just how far the Koreans have gone the second time around.

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It doesn’t take more than a quick glance to recognize the answer is: quite a bit, certainly from a styling standpoint.  The original, 2008 Hyundai Genesis was a handsome enough car in a me-too sort of way.  This time ‘round, the Seoul-based maker is more confidently pushing the boundaries of its new Fluidic Sculpture design language – now dubbed version 2.0 — and to good effect. The 2015 Genesis doesn’t look a rip-off of anyone else’s styling.

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Hyundai Moves Even More Up-Market with Gen-2 Genesis

Distinctive design, new features, improved ride and handling.

by on Nov.26, 2013

The new Hyundai Genesis, codenamed DH, will reach U.S. showrooms for the 2015 model-year.

In the beginning, there was Genesis.  The first effort by Hyundai to crack the luxury market was a shock to those who thought Korean carmakers could produce little more than econoboxes.  The big sedan – targeting no less formidable a competitor than the BMW 5-Series – went on to win the coveted North  American Car of the Year trophy after its debut in 2008.

In hindsight, while the original Genesis sedan was unquestionably a big leap for Hyundai, it probably wasn’t quite up to its European competitors.  Its design was generic, its ride was plush but hardly the stuff of a 5-Series when it came to flogging the Genesis around corners.  Value pricing was a critical part of the equation – much like the original Lexus models, nearly two decades earlier.

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But Hyundai’s aspirations are anything but modest.  During a recent visit to the maker’s R&D center in the Seoul suburb of Namyangju, senior company officials made it clear that they’re readying a number of additional entries into the luxury segment, including an update of their full-size 7-Series fighter, the Hyundai Equus.

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First Look: Kia’s $70,000 K900 Premium Luxury Sedan

Kia challenges BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus -- and Hyundai -- with premium sedan.

by on Oct.28, 2013

Kia will formally reveal the new K900 premium luxury sedan at the LA Auto Show next month.

If you still associate the name, Kia, with econocars and quirky, low-priced models like the Soul, you’re likely to go into sticker shock when you get a look at the new Kia K900.

This first look at the large luxury sedan was accompanied by an unusually terse press release revealing little more than the fact that the Kia K900 will officially be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

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The Korean carmaker also revealed the premium luxury sedan will go on sale “next year and (will)) be available with either a V-6 or V-8 engine.”

But a significant number of details have already begun leaking out about the K900 which is already on sale in the home Korean market under the nameplate Kia K9.

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First Drive: 2014 Kia Cadenza

The Korean maker targets the premium segment.

by on May.22, 2013

The 2014 Kia Cadenza.

Kia has grown quickly in recent years by offering consumers an array of interesting and well-designed vehicles that belie the brand’s original image as the maker of stripped-down econoboxes even while Kia maintains its focus on value.

The introduction this month of the Kia Cadenza is yet another big step in the evolution of the Korean brand, Kia taking its first step into $35,000-plus price range was once reserved for major luxury. Much like the Genesis offered by sibling Hyundai, the new Cadenza offers a level of refinement and features until now not associated with the Kia brand.

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Moreover, the Cadenza, like the Hyundai Genesis, is a very attractive vehicle. Its long, low silhouette endows the new Kia sedan with a long, elegant stance that conveys the sense this is a luxury vehicle. The front and rear fascias are very handsome with a nicely tailored appearance set off by the distinctive lamps at all four corners of the vehicle.

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Hyundai Refines Equus for 2014

From “cheap and cheerful” to posh and luxurious.

by on Mar.27, 2013

Hyundai's 2014 Equus features 30 new and enhanced features to compete against some tough competiton.

If you still think “cheap and cheerful” when someone mentions Hyundai, you obviously haven’t checked out the changes the Korean carmaker has undergone in recent years. And nothing symbolizes that more than the Equus, the maker’s big sedan that takes aim at some pretty formidable competition in the premium-luxury segment.

Less than three years after reaching U.S. shores, the Hyundai Equus is set to undergo some significant updates for the 2014 model-year, which Hyundai revealed this week at the New York Auto Show. That’s probably no surprise considering the tough competition it faces from Europe, Japan and the U.S., notably an all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class the German maker plans to reveal in just a couple months.

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According to Hyundai, there are “30 new and enhanced features,” starting with some immediately obvious tweaks to the exterior and interior. They include new front bumpers and a revised grille, as well as the addition of standard LED fog lamps and new 19-inch “turbine blade” wheels.

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Hyundai’s Crown Jewel?

The new Equus sedan is hidden in plain sight in New York!

by on Apr.15, 2009

A bold new grille for a bold entry into the luxury segment?

Equus has bold new grille signifying a contemplated bold move by Hyundai into the luxury segment?

Of the 30-something introductions of new models and concepts at the New York International Auto Show, the one vehicle that could be another Car of the Year award winner for Hyundai was on a turntable on the far side of its display.

This was Thursday afternoon and the last formal presentation of the show. The few remaining out-of-town journalists who hadn’t already gone home were about to split for planes home. And those from the New York metro area were anxious to split for the second night of Passover’s Seder or go home for early Good Friday.

I was staying until the bitter end, and luckily saw Hyundai’s director of public relations from Seoul, Oles Gadacz after leaving another presentation. After exchanging pleasantries, Gadacz commented he was in New York, “to test the waters for their new global luxury flagship, the Equus … that may or may not come to the United States.”

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comGuiding me to the non-functioning display, I saw the gleaming, shimmering  Equus — the result of a three year design and development program, dubbed the VI project, which cost around 500 billion Korean Won or roughly $338 million.

This is a stunning, obviously luxury car front-to-rear and top-to-bottom. Gadacz said, “It will be competitive with the BMW 7-series, Lexus LX460 and Mercedes-Benz S-class and will replace the ten year old previous Equus model.” (more…)