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Hyundai Shipping 100 Equus Models To The U.S.

Korean carmaker testing waters with flagship vehicle built to take on 7-Series, Lexus LS

 |  May 08 2009, 10:58 AM

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Hyundai continues to flirt with the luxury market as the automaker has now announced that it will ship 100 of its flagship Equus luxury sedans to U.S. dealerships to gauge interest.

The Equus is based of the same platform as the Genesis Sedan, which launched in 2008, but is even larger, taking aim at the world’s top-level luxury saloons, including the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S-Class and Lexus LS.

It is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine (also offered in the Genesis Sedan) that makes 375hp.

Already on sale in South Korea, Hyundai first showed the car in North America at the New York Auto Show – a publicity also aimed at gauging interest in the U.S. market.

Whether or not the Equus will ever go on sale in the U.S. will have to be seen. The Genesis Sedan was considered by many to be a risky move and it’s likely the success of the Korean luxury car is due, in part, to the poor economy, as those interested in a luxury car were eager for a bargain.

Bringing the Equus sedan to the U.S. would prove even more challenging as courting flagship luxury buyers away from German models won’t be easy. (Then again, Toyota did it with Lexus).

We do, however, question Hyundai’s approach as those interested in a $75,000 luxury sedan aren’t likely to frequent Hyundai dealerships. Perhaps parking it outside the Ritz-Carlton would be wiser.

[Source USAToday]