• Jan 25, 2007

Hyundai's looking to bust into the highly-competitive entry-level luxury field with the 2008 Equus. The South Korean automaker already has the safety and luxury appointments thing down with the Azera, but the Equus appears to promise much more. With a spec sheet that includes rear-wheel-drive, V8 power, and a $30,000+ sticker price, Hyundai is clearly trying to follow the criteria that helped brands such as Lexus and Infiniti become established players in this tough segment.

Toyota was able to make Lexus a legitimate luxury brand in the states within 10 years with low prices, tons of standard equipment, and rock-solid reliability. What remains to be seen is whether a vehicle at this price point can survive a battle of the luxury sedans while sporting a Hyundai badge on the front grille.

[Source: The Car Connection]



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  • 19 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      This all sounds too close to the Azera. Hyundai is flooding the catagory for itself.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Where's the Equus versus Pontiac G8 road test?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I believe Hyundai can do it - they have come so far in the last 10 years. I'm currently a Lexus/BMW owner who considered the Azera late last year but passed because it didn't have all the luxury features/options/power that I wanted. A more luxurious, V8 powered Hyundai would certainlly make my consideration list.

      James
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'll take one! Will go well with my 2006 Sonata.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "18. I agree with jstand6 - I don't see too many smart consumers willing to spend $30,000 for a Hyundai. It could be a steal with loaded options and it's still a Hyundai. I'd save the money and get a CPO Lexus or Infiniti for sure"

      Still a Hyundai? Then why many consumers choose Hyundai over a Toyota or Honda? Not just saying "It's still a Hyundai" obsolete but it's a matter of preference. Would C-class have a better status than the Equus? I don't think so.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Amen #10, my thoughts exactly.

      People don't buy a Lexus out of intellect, it's a status thing. (Except for the lovely, intelligent Autobloggers)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looked at the Azura. Lots of car for the money. Bling interior look turned me off. Acura/Honda/lexus have much "cleaner" interior. Metal interior facade of the Azura looked like it was from a 50's diner.
      • 8 Years Ago
      IMHO, the intellectual leap required to accept Hyundai's jump to a $35K vehicle is much easier than VW's jump to an $80K vehicle. Especially since, unlike VW, there's been no bitterness surrounding Hyundai's ascent in the automotive ranks. They're perceived as overachieving, rather than "abandoning their roots."

      What I find striking about these spy shots is how closely the Equus' proportions and greenhouse resemble those os the previous-gen Altima. Not good if you're intending to compete in a higher class, although the masked front and rear fascias might be the most distinctive bits.

      The drivetrain layout is what impresses me most about this car. Hyundai managed to catch the V8/RWD trend just as quickly as GM and Ford, companies you'd expect to have a much better sense of what American buyers want.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have to agree with jstand6. The VAST majority of people who buy luxury cars are buying a brand/lifestyle, not a mode of transportation. The Equus can be the best car in the world but if it says Hyundai and is sitting on the lot next to Accents and Sonatas then it'll still be considered a second class wannabe vehicle. Rebrand it with some made-up luxury name (like Acura, Lexus or Infiniti), then combine it with some aspirational marketing campaign that leaves out the name Hyundai, and the next thing you know you'll have poseur yuppies banging down your door.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Couple things...

      1. You CANNOT get a Lexus or Infiniti for 30k with a V8. You're in the 40s with an Infiniti and realistically the 50s with a Lexus to hit a V8.

      2. Everybody laughed at Toyota before the LS400 dropped. Then it sold like gangbusters and changed everything for luxury car makes. The G35 was Infiniti's gasp to stay alive...and it worked because they offered 85-90% e46 BMW 330i/ci performance for 6k less.

      Hyundai is taking a page directly from the Toyota/nissan playbook. Bring a car to market that matches the competition or nearly does and offer it for 20-30% less than those competitors.

      People will flock to the Hyundai V8 sedan if it's got Lexus like style, size, luxury and performance for 20-30% less money. They're already taking a bit into the Camry and Accord with their latest midsize family sedans. The question is - will this car target the GS/M or the LS/Q?
      • 8 Years Ago
      That's not a Hyundai Equus, that's a Nissan Altima. Must have been a photo mix-up somewhere.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree with jstand6 - I don't see too many smart consumers willing to spend $30,000 for a Hyundai. It could be a steal with loaded options and it's still a Hyundai. I'd save the money and get a CPO Lexus or Infiniti for sure.
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