Much can be said about Hyundai’s meteoric rise from being a bargain bin brand to one with respectable luxury and sport models, but there wasn’t much of a chance that those words would come from someone in a snowy climate.
That’s because Hyundai’s Genesis uses rear-wheel drive in both coupe and sedan forms: something that can alienate buyers who need to drive through snowy winters. It’s something Hyundai CEO John Krafcik says is set to change soon.
“We learned our lesson with snow-belt buyers and the first Genesis sedan, so the next-generation Genesis, which will be previewed in concept car form later this year, will have AWD capability,” he told Automobile.
Adding all-wheel drive to its luxury sedan will not only allow for expanded marketability, but it will bring buyers who might have otherwise ignored the car while shopping. Even people who don’t deal with snow will find the improved traction associated with such a setup to be useful, especially for drivers choosing the powerful 4.6-liter V8 engine.
But the addition represents more than driver security and safety, it also represents a further evolution on Hyundai’s part into the luxury car market. When the Genesis was initially offered, it simply didn’t compete against the German and Japanese competition, but the brand aimed to change that in 2012 (pictured above) with an improved V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission.
By adding an all-wheel drive option, the brand further solidifies its intention to make a growing splash in the luxury market, despite what anyone would have thought a few years ago.