Hyundai "officially" unveiled the rear-wheel drive Genesis concept on Tuesday by issuing a press release and high-res versions of the pics that were already floating around. The release got us thinking that Hyundai's new rear-wheel-drive platform underpinning the production version of the Genesis when it arrives Stateside in 2008 would make a killer chassis on which to build the next Hyundai Tiburon. The Tiburon has more than run its course as a value-based, front-wheel-drive sport compact coupe with an eensy-weensy V6. We have no idea when a Tiburon replacement will surface, but the arrival of Hyundai's first rear-driver gives us hope that the South Korean automaker may decide to grab a gun and stand to post in the upcoming pony car wars. Even if the intended target turns out not to be the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger, Hyundai could easily aim at the Infiniti G37 Coupe, BMW 335i and upcoming Audi A5 with a coupe powered by a 300-horsepower 4.6L V8 driving the back wheels. The mind reels at the possibility, and we hope Hyundai has the foresight to let the chassis flourish under models other than the new Genesis luxury sedan.
Check out Hyundai's official press release on the Genesis Concept after the jump, as it reveals many details that could easily apply to a coupe. Also check out the gallery of desktop wallpaper-sized pics.
HYUNDAI TO UNVEIL CONCEPT GENESIS PREMIUM SPORTS SEDAN
Rear-Wheel Drive and V-8 Engine Promise World Class Dynamics and Refinement
Hyundai will present the world debut of Concept Genesis during a press conference at the New York International Auto Show on April 4. The concept car heralds the future architecture and design of a rear-wheel drive premium sports sedan scheduled to grace the Hyundai lineup in 2008.
"Concept Genesis extends our product range into new territories from a performance, design and packaging perspective," said Steve Wilhite, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor America. "When it arrives in 2008 it will catapult Hyundai into competition against some potent rivals, and Genesis is up for the challenge." Concept Genesis rides on a prototype of Hyundai's all-new rear-wheel drive platform, signaling the brand's desire to broaden its appeal to discerning driving enthusiasts. Concept Genesis is powered by Hyundai's newly developed Tau DOHC 32-valve V-8 powertrain. Concept Genesis marks the beginning of premium performance for the Hyundai brand.
"Concept Genesis is a manifestation of Hyundai's extraordinary desire to deliver world-class products across all model segments," said John Krafcik, vice president, Product Development and Strategic Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "With Genesis, we've got a unique product position -- an all-new, highly capable, rear-wheel drive platform; a high-performance powertrain; and premium, progressive design – all at a price starting well under $30,000."
NEW REAR-WHEEL-DRIVE ARCHITECTURE IS A FIRST FOR THE U.S.
Concept Genesis features a rear-wheel-drive architecture, its first application in a U.S. Hyundai model. Rear-wheel drive provides a 53:47 front/rear weight distribution for optimal handling as well as more refined steering characteristics. Concept Genesis' premium handling and steering performance is further controlled by Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the industry's most important new safety technology. Hyundai leads all popular car brands in the standard application of ESC, with more than 70 percent of 2007 Hyundai sales volume featuring this life-saving technology as standard equipment. ESC continually analyzes road speed, steering input, throttle position, lateral yaw rate and other factors. An onboard microprocessor determines if the vehicle is starting to understeer or oversteer, and can brake appropriate wheels and reduce engine power to keep the vehicle safely on course.
Utilizing ultra high-tensile steel in critical areas in the unibody provides Concept Genesis with a 12-14 percent higher dynamic torsional rigidity and a lower body-in-white weight than the BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This stiffer, lighter, larger body provides a terrific foundation for world-class dynamics and lowering noise levels inside the vehicle.
Tau v-8 powertrain
Adding to the Concept Genesis' performance factor is the all-new Tau 4.6-liter V8 engine mated to a ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual control and a limited-slip differential. The Tau delivers well over 300 horsepower to fit the demands of performance-oriented consumers. This powertrain combination will launch Genesis to 60 miles per hour in well under six seconds. The Tau engine is built with flexibility for the future. Future Tau variants may offer larger displacement, forced induction options and other technology enhancements.
INNOVATIVE AND SOPHISTICATED SPORT-TUNED SUSPENSION
Genesis features a suspension design that is among the most sophisticated and refined anywhere, at any price. The front five-link suspension features upper and lower arms linking the front wheels to the chassis. This artfully articulated arrangement creates a virtual king pin axis which dramatically reduces unwanted kickback through the steering wheel as well as improving responsiveness. The five-link independent rear suspension is equally sophisticated, enabling precise suspension geometry for an incredible level of ride and handling prowess. The capabilities of the advanced front and rear-suspension are maximized through driver selectable dynamic settings allowing tailored ride and handling characteristics according to need ... or desire.
Genesis' design is a progressive interpretation of the modern rear-wheel drive sports sedan. To match its dynamic powertrain capabilities, Genesis combines strong, sculpted forms which integrate precise details, natural materials and innovative lighting to provide a well-crafted, premium design aesthetic.
Maintaining Hyundai's emphasis on delivering leading safety technology, Concept Genesis boasts world class active and passive safety features to both prevent accidents, and maximize the well being of its occupants in the event of a collision. The Genesis continues the Hyundai tradition of standardizing key life-saving active safety technology such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with traction control, eight airbags and active headrests.
Concept Genesis is brought to a halt by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). The 12.6-inch front rotors have single-piston floating calipers and the rear brakes feature 12.4-inch rotors with single-pistons.
· Advanced adaptive cruise control
· Electronic Stability Control
· Eight airbags
· Heat / cool seats
· High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with adaptive leveling
· Push-button start
· Navigation with backup camera
· Electric parking brake
· Bluetooth technology
· USB / Auxiliary input jack
· HD Radio™ Receiver
· XM Satellite Radio®
· Infinity® Discrete Surround Audio System
GENESIS PREMIUM SPORTS SEDAN SPECIFICATIONS
· Configuration: FR Engine RWD Sport Sedan
· Wheelbase: 2935 mm / 115.6 inches
· Overall length: 5005 mm / 197.0 inches
· Overall width: 1863 mm / 73.3 inches
· Overall height: 1490 mm / 58.7 inches
· Track, f/r: 1575 mm / 62.0 inches, 1580 mm / 62.2 inches
· Wheels: 20-inch multi-spoke
· Engine type: V8
· Estimated horsepower: Well over 300HP
· Estimated torque: Over 300 lb. ft.
· Displacement: 4,627 cc
· Block material: High pressure die casting aluminum block
· Cylinder head material: Aluminum
· Valvetrain: Dual Over Head Cam (DOHC)
· Valve timing: Continuous variable valve timing
· Variable induction system
· Fuel delivery: Multi-port fuel injection
· Bore & stroke: 92 x 87
· Estimated 0-60 mph: well under 6.0 seconds
· Top speed: 130 mph (restricted)
· Recommended fuel: Unleaded
· Transmission type: ZF 6-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC manual control
· Suspension: Front multi-link (5-link) / Rear multi-link (5-link)
· Stabilizer bar (front/rear): 26 mm/18 mm
· Weight distribution front to rear: 53:47 · Brakes: Power-assisted 4-wheel disc
· Front brake diameter (mm / in): 320 / 12.6 ventilated disc
· Rear brake diameter (mm / in): 314 / 12.4 solid disc
· Steering type: Speed-sensing rack-and-pinion
· Steering ratio: 14.86
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 more than 750 dealerships nationwide.