Hyundai Motor Company will launch its flagship luxury model, the Equus sedan, in the U.S. later this year. Yesterday, the Korean automaker announced that American motorists will have a choice of only two trim levels, the Equus Signature and Equus Ultimate.
Although Hyundai has not announced pricing for the Equus, most industry analysts and automotive journalists expect it to be near $60,000 which is $5,000 higher than the automaker’s original price target.
Hyundai has said that it will market the new luxury sedan as a “value alternative” to rival models like the BMW 7 series, Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S class and Lexus LS; many of which are priced significantly higher.
Hyundai is in a transformative period in which it is attempting to break out of the economy vehicle mold and prove that it has the chops to compete in the premium auto market. Over the years, the automaker has improved its image by making reliable, economical vehicles that have competed well in the small car sector. That reputation for quality and value may very well translate into the premium car sector as buyers from all economic levels have become more value-conscious in recent years.
Last year, Hyundai tested the waters with the launch of its rear-wheel-drive Genesis sedan. In the U.S. market, the Genesis competes with the Audi A5 and BMW 5 series and sales through June are up 30% to 12,891 units including the coupe variant. Pricing for the V-6 version starts at $33,800 and the V-8 model is priced at $40,300.
The new Equus will come with a 385-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 under the hood and will feature a six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai has also said that future options will include a 5.0-liter V-8 and eight-speed automatic gearbox configuration capable of delivering 429-hp. No date has been announced for its availability.
Both the Equus Signature and Equus Ultimate trim levels will come with an impressive assortment of luxury and high-tech safety features. Hyundai said they will include adaptive headlamps and adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system, stability control featuring a pre-collision warning system, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated driver and front passenger seats, air suspension featuring continuous damping, a 608-watt, 17-speaker, Lexicon sound system, a rearview camera and front and rear parking assist.
Equus Ultimate buyers will also get additional luxury features including power headrests, a rear seat entertainment system and refrigerator compartment, reclining rear seats with massage and a front-view camera.
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