• Apr 1st 2010 at 12:54PM
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2011 Hyundai Equus – Click above for high-res image gallery

Hyundai showed off its new Sonata Turbo and Sonata Hybrid yesterday at the New York Auto Show, two vehicles that should help keep the brand's mid-size sedan moving up the sales charts with a bullet. With March sales figures just trickling in, it looks like the Sonata is now the third best-selling mid-size sedan behind the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. With its high level of equipment, style, quality and performance, it's not surprising to see this Korean doing well. Today in New York, the automaker showed how it can take that level of refinement found in the Sonata and its bigger brother, the Genesis, and ratchet it up another notch for a new flagship, the Hyundai Equus.

The Equus actually showed up last year in New York, sent over in world-market form to gauge customer interest. Apparently, it went swimmingly for Hyundai, as the production Equus will officially go on sale here towards the end of the year – well an oxymoronically named Equus, minus its signature hood ornament. Looking slightly less like the Lexus LS460 than the previous version of the car we'd seen, the U.S.-spec Equus has a shape that fits right in with upscale sedans from Buick, Lexus and Infiniti, if not Mercedes, BMW and Audi. Particularly at the rear fender, there is a swoop that doesn't quite speak luxury like the rest of the car though, reminding us more of a Dodge Charger than a Euro sedan. This production version though, particularly with its cleaner hood and grille, definitely has a refined look.

CEO John Krafcik wouldn't give us a firm number but did promise that the 385-horsepower sedan will come in with a base price somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000. The Equus will also launch a new luxury ownership experience being sold through select dealers in a dedicated area that will also include Genesis and Genesis Coupe. It will be available in four- or five-seat configurations with a mini fridge splitting the rear bucks on the rear twosome. Those backseats are also extremely comfortable, with power ventilation, heating and massage, plus a Maybach-like foot rest. Very nice.

Hyundai has also said that the Equus buying experience will be a step up from other models, with an iPad-like tablet device replacing the traditional owner's manual. We'll have full details on this interesting bit of kit shortly. For the moment, we have live shots for you below and the official press release after the jump so you can get the rest of the lowdown on this highbrow Hyundai.

Live photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Hyundai]
Show full PR text

Equus will Showcase Hyundai's Approach toward Intelligent Luxury

NEW YORK, April. 1, 2010 – Hyundai aims to break down the barriers of owning a luxury car with the introduction of its all-new flagship, the 2011 Equus. Equus will compete with the best luxury sedans in the world on all levels including amenities, performance, advanced technologies, design and ownership experience when it arrives at select Hyundai dealerships late this summer.

"Equus takes Hyundai's formula for intelligent luxury to a new level," said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "We've applied the lessons in engineering excellence we've learned with Genesis to the Equus, while adding a new level of customer experience that will further differentiate our take on luxury from the traditional premium brands."
Equus broadens Hyundai's lineup of premium vehicles and like Genesis, is built on Hyundai's world-class rear-wheel-drive architecture. It is powered by the award-winning 4.6-liter Tau® V8. The Tau inside the Equus will produce an estimated 385 horsepower using premium fuel and 378 horsepower using regular fuel. With technology rivaling more expensive luxury sedans, Equus showcases features such as a lane departure warning system, electronic air suspension, smart cruise control and a Lexicon® audio system.

When Genesis was introduced, Hyundai promised that its rear-wheel-drive architecture would spawn more products in other segments. Equus is the third of those products, this time riding on a lengthened Genesis architecture. Equus is 7.2 inches longer (203.1 inches vs. 195.9 inches) than Genesis. Equus boasts an excellent 52/48 front-to-rear weight distribution for exceptional handling and more refined steering characteristics.
Equus reduces interior noise levels and improves ride and handling with a stiff, light weight body structure. The use of high-tensile steel in critical areas in the unibody provides Equus with significantly higher dynamic torsional rigidity and a lower body structure weight despite having a spacious interior cabin.

Headlining the Equus' performance capabilities is Hyundai's Tau 4.6-liter V8 engine, a two-time Ward's 10 Best Engine winner, mated to a ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual control. The Tau V8 delivers an estimated 385 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque (378 horsepower and 324 lb-ft using regular fuel) to fit the demands of luxury consumers. This powertrain combination will launch Equus to 60 miles per hour in less than 6.4 seconds. On premium fuel, the Tau V8 produces more horsepower than the powerplants found in the Lexus LS460, Mercedes-Benz S550, and Audi A8 and nearly the same power as these competitors on regular fuel.

The design of the Equus is handsome and pleasing to the eye. The rear-end treatment is progressive with bold taillights, strong shoulders and an overall look of precision. This look is accomplished through fully-integrated asymmetrical exhaust tips and rear LED turn signal indicators. The side silhouette is refined, with character lines that accent the rear fenders. Up front is a subtle horizontal radiator grille and well-proportioned headlamps with jeweled detailing. LED turn signals are inside the HID headlamps along with an adaptive front lighting system with white LED position lamps. The lower air intakes are bold and add to the positive reaction of the overall design. To assist in parking, and navigating blind corners and alleys in urban driving, there is an optional forward-view cornering camera integrated into the grille.

The busy executive as well as the couple heading out on the town will feel right at home in the 2011 Equus due to abundant luxury touches and passenger comfort features. This ambience begins with superior quality of materials and design layout. The leather upholstery, Alcantara® headliner, natural wood trim and leather-wrapped French-stitched instrument panel showcase the richness of the Equus interior.

The seats are designed with adjustable driver thigh support, plenty of width, great range of adjustment, and heated and cooled functionality. Thermoelectric devices located in the seat backs and bottom cushions provide control for heating, cooling and humidity. There is ample leg and head room for drivers over six-feet tall and an optional massaging driver seat. In fact, Equus has more leg, head and shoulder room in the front and rear seats than the Lexus LS460.

The driver's cockpit boasts an abundance of features and premium services. The Driver
Information System (DIS) provides navigation, XM Satellite Radio, HD Radio technology, hands-free Bluetooth telephone system and much more.

Driving dynamics are a critical element in every luxury sedan, and the Equus offers first-rate ride and handling characteristics without traditional compromises. Equus' electronically controlled air suspension meets the challenge of the wide variety of road surfaces drivers face everyday. For drivers who enjoy a firm ride and more stability when cornering there is a sport setting with additional body control. For customers who wish their ride to be a little on the softer side there is a normal setting for more ride compliance.

In urban areas, the Equus is easy to maneuver and park, thanks to excellent steering and its electronic parking assist feature. While the Equus is large, it doesn't feel over-sized or clumsy, that's due to its 37.7 foot turning circle and variable-effort steering system.

On winding country and mountain roads, Equus benefits from the precise wheel control delivered by its five-link front and rear suspension geometry. This geometry is maximized through Continuous Damping Control (CDC) which continually monitors road and driving dynamics and adjusts damping force accordingly. The standard 19-inch chrome alloy wheel and tire package with staggered width (P245/45R19 front P275/40R19 rear) tires offers excellent gripping power and precise control.

Maintaining Hyundai's emphasis on delivering leading safety technology, Equus boasts world-class active and passive safety features to help prevent accidents, and maximize the well-being of its occupants in the event of a collision. The Equus continues the Hyundai tradition of offering key safety technologies, with features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), nine airbags, electronic active head restraints, lane departure warning system and smart cruise control. Equus even has a Vehicle Stability Management system (VSM) that optimally manages ESC, the electronic parking brake, smart cruise control and the seatbelt tensioning system for optimal safety.

Equus' total of nine airbags include advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants and a driver's knee airbag.
Hyundai's lane departure warning system offers a warning light and chime after a one- second lane departure, and adds a haptic warning via the seatbelt after a three second lane departure.

Smart cruise control automatically manages the Equus' speed through the braking and throttle systems to maintain a specified following distance selected by the driver.

The electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold enables the parking brake to hold the vehicle automatically when the vehicle stops, and deactivates as soon as the gas pedal is pressed.

Equus has an optional camera located on the front grille and a standard camera on the rear decklid. These cameras help detect how close objects are when parking. Distance is indicated on the in-dash LCD monitor.

Equus is brought to a halt by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). The 13.6-inch front rotors have four-piston fixed calipers and the rear brakes feature 12.4-inch rotors with single floating piston calipers.


Hyundai Genesis and Equus offer a Lexicon-branded state-of-the-art audio system featuring LOGIC 7® technology. The Lexicon surround sound audio system includes a 13-channel digital amplifier and 17 speakers producing 608 watts of sound in 7.1 discrete surround sound audio. Equus also offers the clarity of digital HD Radio technology, XM Satellite Radio and iPod®/USB integration.

The Equus will launch with a starting price in the mid $50,000 range.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through almost 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program which now includes the 5-year/60,000 mile fully transferable bumper-to-bumper warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and 5-year complimentary Roadside Assistance in addition to the highly acclaimed vehicle return policy introduced in early 2009. For more details on Hyundai Assurance, please visit www.HyundaiAssurance.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The slanted H on the back has got to go
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Hyundai dealers don't try to stick a premium price to the sticker, the Eqqus should do well in the market.

      My only complaint is the electronic manual. I prefer the book instead. Somehow, a grimy, oil-stained computer screen is just not the same as paper.

      Job Well Done, Hyundai. I'll be looking out for it when it hits the showroom.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's an impressive car in its own right, no doubt, but with [only] a 6-speed transmission and a rather low torque number, coupled with an interior that's midway between E-Class and S-Class levels of sophistication (despite the desire to compete with the S-Class), I'm not sure this is quite competitive yet.
      Sorry Hyundai. Try again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dana Carvey impersonating George H.W. Bush - "Not gonna do it..."

      Hyundai's press kit photos had me snowed, but getting a look at the interior through a journalist's lense really shows the Emperor's New Clothes. From the silly clock to the parts-bin switch gear to the leather that looks like it came from the same hide they use to cover the day-planners on sale at Office Depot, I'm afraid this isn't going to be quite up to snuff for the typical luxury car buyer. I suspect it'll be a hit with the Vietnamese restaurant or nail-salon owner crowd, though. Finish it off with a box of tissues in the rear window and some plastic seat covers and this should fit the bill nicely.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're right that it doesn't come close to the 2005 M5...it's bland, not ugly.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well said. This car is for people who don't know the difference, who don't notice quality, and who think 80% is good enough.

        Not interested. I sat in the Genesis sedan, and couldn't figure out what planet people were from who were comparing it to an LS. It's got cheap, flinty plastic all over. The high end from Lexus, Merc, BMW, and Audi are masterpieces, all of them. And we hear that the Equus was Hyundai's masterpiece. If so, I'm not impressed. And I'm not anti-Korean at all. I just like nice cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "... to the parts-bin switch gear to the leather that looks like it came from the same hide they use to cover the day-planners on sale at Office Depot..."
        LMFAO I'm glad im not the only person who saw the interior and said "wtf it's2010". The console between the driver and front passenger looks good, but that is about where it ends for me. Seriously one look at the interior and I'm asking myself who in the US will buy this car? At best it can compete with a 2002 Toyota Avalon on materials and interior quality, while bringing current LS styling to the exterior.
        • 5 Years Ago
        well said

        give me a $56k Infinti M56 anyday, sure smaller but boy is it better
        won't even think twice this thing even exists

      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe destined for a life of fleet use as a Black Car or made into a limo as there are fewer and fewer options for this niche.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks Hideous!!!! Why anyone would buy this contraption over the classy Benz, BMW or Audi is beyond me!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm just not that impressed with this car as other Hyundai/Kia cars. It's got a Lexus front in and a Buick rear. And the "H" on trunk kills it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For me although it may have many added luxury etc. I really don't think I would choose it over a Genesis if I was shopping for a Hyundai. I think that some people could get a little confused while looking at this and a Genesis. If someone is looking for a high end luxury sedan it seems that it wouldn't even cross their mind to look at a Hyundai showroom. I think they would have more success offering a high end version of the Genesis (I know that's what the equus is) but stick with the Genesis name.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whenever I see the front end of this car, I think of T-Rex...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love all the hater comments here. When Hyundai first unveiled the Hyundai Genesis, everyone accused Hyundai of "copying" other companies for having a higher-end luxury line. I saw tons of comments ran along the lines of "It *wont* sell at all because of...." Half of the comments cited Hyundai's quality in the 1980s as basis for their predictions. Not one person bothered to look at recent quality ratings. It's nice knowing that all these flat predictions made that year down the road have been proven dead wrong. So much for being armchair experts with zero years logged working as analysts. Guess this is why momma always said to go to college.

      Now these same haters have come out in droves. The one thing I love about Hyundai is the ability to repeat their successes again...and again. They're that resilient underdog that goes against the prevailing trends and makes a mark in auto history. All within a few short years. And I'll make just one bold prediction: Most if not all 3,000 of these Equuses Hyundai has slated for 2010 and perhaps part of 2011 will sell out.

      Yeah yeah, go ahead and rate my comment low. The irrationality of haters is what humors me. People who can't stand the fact that Hyundai and Kia are making quality cars at lower prices. Go check out the recent incentive figures. Hyundai's second to last in offering. Watch as resale values of Ford, GM, Toyota, and now even Honda plummet. Anyone who buys a 2011 Sonata will be able to resell it for a decent amount.

      • 5 Years Ago
      They could've used the same logo used on the front instead of the slanted "h" on the rear.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think its better looking then the cars it going to compete against thats for sure, and its not going to be losing out in the power department. My main concern will be is MPG I guess then, but I am sure with the role Hyundai is on they have something in the pipeline whether theres a hybrid or a turbo 6 in the works who knows.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Better looking? The A8 and S550 aren't exactly bad looking, not by a long stretch.
        As for mpg, when buyers are forking out 60K+(assume lightly optioned) for a luxo barge, that ranks near the bottom of their priority list. Brand prestige, build quality and that elusive "feel" rank supreme, so if they can't even meet the latter two criterias(with a poster already mentioning that his experience in an Equus is worse than his S550), they're pretty much bound to fail.

        The Genesis is going out the door at a decent pace because that car straddles the border between entry level luxury and mid-level luxury price. 60k+, that "H" is going to be a much larger stigma.
        • 5 Years Ago

        this is the worst large looking sedan in the market right now and it is the newest one

        it's a total disaster, adn Kia/Hyundai have been on a good roll lately

        this will fail similar to the VW 'forgot it's name' A8 version

        and that interior is no where newr what it's trying to compete with

        Give me a smaller Genesis sedan anyday and I'd be definitely happeier

        Now, since this was not primarily designed for the US maybe the next version will be better though out
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