This shouldn't be a total shock to anyone who has been paying attention to Hyundai's Korean flagship model this year. It first appeared on U.S. soil at the 2009 New York Auto Show back in April where Hyundai says the Equus received a "fantastic" response, and since then the automaker has been giving rides to dealers and select consumers in the States who were reportedly equally excited about the luxury sedan.
With that in mind, Hyundai will be making the Equus' arrival in the U.S. official this weekend at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It will go on sale in late 2010, though pricing, a complete features list and even the car's official name for the U.S. market is still unknown. We do know that the Equus is based on a version of the same rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins both the Genesis Sedan and Coupe, and there's even a long-wheelbase version in the works for the Korean market. Expect power to come from a version of the same 4.6-liter V8 offered in the Genesis Sedan, perhaps with more power to accommodate the extra weight of the larger Equus.
We've got some shotgun time scheduled with an Equus this weekend in Pebble Beach, so stay tuned for our report of the next Hyundai halo sedan to arrive in the U.S.
HYUNDAI TO SELL ITS FLAGSHIP SEDAN IN U.S.
Crafted to rival Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and the world's most prestigious luxury automobiles, marking another step in Hyundai's growth as a leading brand
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif., August 12, 2009 – Hyundai is shaking things up at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance by announcing its intention to launch its most premium luxury sedan in the U.S. next year.
Hyundai's flagship, badged as the Equus in the Korean market, will be on display and on the roads surrounding the annual gathering of collectible classic luxury automobiles throughout the week, giving attendees a glimpse of the company's most prestigious model.
"We showed the car at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, and the response was fantastic," says John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. "Since then, we've had a fleet travelling around the country, capturing input from our dealers and consumers. Here, too, the response was extraordinarily positive, and similar to the market reaction to the award-winning Genesis, so we've decided to bring it to the U.S."
Hyundai's flagship sedan, developed under the codename "VI," launched this year in Korea. The Equus nameplate used there has adorned the company's flagship model for 10 years, where it enjoys a reputation for quality and luxury in a place where Japanese and European luxury marques such as Lexus, BMW and Mercedes are coveted.
Here in the U.S., the runaway success of the 2009 Hyundai Genesis, which has garnered worldwide critical acclaim and remarkable sales success, gave Hyundai reason to consider expanding its brand further into the upper echelon of automotive luxury. But it was dealer and consumer response to a summer-long tour that saw Equus sedans visiting Hyundai showrooms across the country that solidified the decision.
DETAILS OF U.S. PLANS TO COME
Hyundai's new flagship sedan is built on Hyundai's all-new, innovative, premium rear-wheel-drive architecture, shared with the North American Car of the Year Genesis sedan and the performance-focused Genesis Coupe.
The new sedan will be sold in the U.S. beginning in late 2010. Pricing, packaging, specifications, and the final name of the car for the U.S. market will be announced closer to launch.
ABOUT HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
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 780 dealerships nationwide.