Auto News

AutoGuide News Blog


The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Apr 01 2010, 11:36 AM

IMG_1864.JPG

With the debut of the new Equus luxury sedan at the New York Auto Show, CEO John Krafcik also announced that sales of flagship model will come with premium services. For starters, Hyundai dealerships will feature the car in a showroom-within-a-showroom format, alongside the Genesis Sedan and Genesis Coupe. But if you’d like to test drive an Equus and don’t want to go to the dealership, no problem, Hyundai will take the car to you.

Hyundai has also decided to do-away with the big and heavy owner’s manual in favor of an electronic touch-screen tablet. Owners will even be able to use the tablet to make service appointments – with free pick up and drop off of the vehicle by Hyundai staff.

As for the Equus itself, it’s got plenty of luxury too, with an interior that features leather seats, an Alcantara headliner, wood trim and a leather-wrapped dash with French stitching. The front seats are heated and cooled with an optional massaging driver’s seat. A special 4-seater model with just two rear chairs can come with foot rests, an 8-inch LCD screen and DVD player, as well as a fridge. There’s even an optional 17-speaker Lexicon audio system.

Motivation for the big sedan comes from Hyundai’s Tau 4.6-liter V8 engine with 385-hp and 324 ft-lbs of torque, mated to 6-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai claims a 0-60 mph time of 6.4 seconds.

Other highlights include 19-inch wheels, an electronically controlled air suspension and Continuous Damping Control that adjusts the suspension to meet the conditions of the road.

Pricing for the Equus has yet to be locked-down, but Hyundai says it expects to be able to sell the car in the mid $50,000 range starting this Fall.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Equus

IMG_1861.JPGIMG_1865.JPGIMG_1864.JPGIMG_1869.JPGIMG_1884.JPGIMG_1876.JPG

 |  Apr 01 2010, 10:45 AM

EQUUS-7988.jpg

It certainly looks like a flagship luxury sedan, created to rival established German saloons like the 7 Series and S Class, but it costs roughly half the price and… it’s a Hyundai? Yes, debuting at the New York Auto Show, Hyundai will now offer its flagship luxury sedan from Korea in the U.S. aiming to, “compete with the best luxury sedans in the world on all levels.”

Pricing for the Equus has yet to be locked-down, but Hyundai says it expects to be able to sell the car in the mid $50,000 range. And while the Equus isn’t likely to win over many buyers from Mercedes, the package is an attractive one for Lexus LS shoppers, with the LS460 riced in the mid $60,000 range.

The Equus more than just looks like a proper luxury barge, using a powerful V8 engine and riding on a proper rear-drive architecture (an elongated version of that used for the Genesis Sedan). The Equus is actually 7.2-inches longer than the Genesis at 203.1-inches. That makes it longer than the extended wheelbase Lexus LS, plus it’s wider than either the S-Class or 7 Series.

Motivation for the big sedan comes from Hyundai’s Tau 4.6-liter V8 engine with 385-hp and 324 ft-lbs of torque, mated to 6-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai claims a 0-60 mph time of 6.4 seconds.

Inside, the Equus delivers on its luxury promise (although not to the level of its German counterparts) with leather seats, an Alcantara headliner, wood trim and a leather-wrapped dash with French stitching. The front seats are heated and cooled with an optional massaging driver’s seat.

A luxurious driving feel is also part of the package thanks to an electronically controlled air suspension and Continuous Damping Control that adjusts the suspension to meet the conditions of the road. Both sport and comfort settings are offered so driver’s can select a more engaging ride. Also helping to deliver a more dynamic driving experience is a balanced (52/48 weight distribution) chassis and 19-inch wheels with 245/45/19 front and 275/40/19 rear tires

Other vehicle highlights include a standard back-up camera and optional front camera, as well as a 17-speaker 608-watt Lexicon audio system.

Official pricing will be revealed later this year with the Equus set to go on sale in the summer.

We have no doubt the folks at BMW and Mercedes are having a little chuckle over a Korean luxury car, but it wasn’t all that long ago they underestimated Lexus.

Picture 1.jpg

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Equus

EQUUS-8078b.jpgEQUUS-7636.jpgEQUUS-6962.jpgEQUUS-7128_2.JPGEQUUS-6023.jpgEQUUS-7585.jpg

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 15 2010, 10:09 AM

IMG_7057.JPG

A year after its first showing on U.S soil and at the very same venue, Hyundai will officially unveil the production version of its flagship luxury sedan at the New York Auto Show. Hyundai has not said as much, but the full-sized luxury car is expected to keep the Equus name. What it will be missing, however, is that big hood ornament, although Hyundai is likely to offer it through dealers.

As a competitor to the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes S-Class, the Equus is based on the Genesis platform, itself a supposed rival to cars like the BMW 5 Series. While Hyundai can’t reasonably expect to take on the Germans (not yet, anyway), the Equus is likely to steal away a few Lexus LS customers. And with the LS priced around $63,000, you can be sure the Equus will come in under that.

So what do you get in a Korean luxury car? Well, we think it’s quite handsome, plus it’s also very large. At 74.8-inches wide, it’s thicker than an S-Class or Lexus LS. The wheelbase is relatively short for this type of vehicle at 119.9-inches and with an overall length of 203.1-inches (just slightly longer than the long wheelbase LS460), don’t expect stellar handling. Under the hood the Equus gets the same 4.6-liter V8 found in the top-level Genesis Sedan. Making 380-hp it should deliver a 0-60 mph time of just over six seconds, with a quarter mile time in the low 14s.

Inside is where the real treats are, with every imaginable luxury available. On a Korean-spec model we had a chance to experience last year, there were massaging and reclining rear seats, seat-back mounted flip up tables, LCD screen DVD players and even a fridge. The Equus also had heated and cooled seats and privacy shades for the back and side-rear windows. One feature we particularly liked was that the side window shades pop up by pulling on the power window switch a second time – which reduces the overall number of buttons and switches in the cabin. In fact, we were surprised by the limited number of cabin-cluttering switches. Another notable feature is the fact that the front passenger seat can be adjusted from an armrest console in the rear – presumably for the comfort and convenience of executive types riding in the back. The interior materials are definitely high quality, although not quite what you might find in a Lexus LS. Then again, the interior of the BMW 750 isn’t quite what you’d find in a Lexus either. The excessive amount of wood trim certainly isn’t one of our favorite parts, but the genuine Suede headliner is.

Equus drivers will be able to appreciate high-tech features like a back-up camera (and front-facing camera), a blind spot monitoring system, active cruise control, a 528-watt 17-speaker Lexicon audio system and an adjustable air-ride suspension. Hyundai marketing boss Joel Ewanick said that by the time the Equus makes its way to the U.S. the suspension will receive a few tweaks. Normally this means “softening,” but Ewanick surprised us by saying that it will actually be made slightly stiffer than what is offered in Korea.

GALLERY: Hyundai Equus

IMG_7050.JPGIMG_7053.JPGIMG_7058.JPGIMG_7059.JPGIMG_7063.JPGIMG_7064.JPG

For more on the upcoming 2011 Hyundai Equus see our video interview with Hyundai Motor America’s VP of Marketing Joel Ewanick after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 04 2010, 10:53 AM

IMG_7055.JPG

Rather than spin off the new premium Hyundai products into their own brand, necessitating the creation of new dealerships and huge marketing budgets, the Korean automaker is opting for the “showroom-within-a-showroom” approach. According to documents obtained by Ward’s, Hyundai Motor America (HMA) is looking to make the move soon, creating a luxury area within current dealerships where staff will display and sell new models like the Genesis Sedan and Genesis Coupe as well as the upcoming Equus flagship luxury sedan (pictured above).

Instead of costing dealerships millions of dollars, the new displays are only likely to run in the hundreds of thousands. This setup is quite different from what Japanese automakers like Toyota did when it launched the Lexus brand, opting instead to set up entirely separate dealerships.

“Similar to the attributes of Toyota-Scion buildings, this strategy will create physical and psychological separation in the Hyundai showroom environment,” writes HMA VP of national sales Dave  Zuchowski in his memo.

Cars like the Genesis Coupe, in its higher end trim, compete with models like the Infiniti G37 and BMW 335i Coupe, while the Genesis Sedan stacks up against vehicles like the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Lexus GS. The new Equus, however, is aimed at top-tier models like the BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS. It is expected to cost slightly less than an LS and will go on sale this Fall.

Hyundai sees the Equus as another, but important, step on the road to becoming a legitimate luxury retailer. “We intend to use the launch of the new Equus to develop and further establish Hyundai as a legitimate force in the premium-luxury segments,” says Zuchowski.

[Source: Ward's]

See after the jump for AutGuide’s first look at the new 2011 Hyundai Equus:

Continue Reading…

Breaking: Hyundai Equus Stretch Edition Unveiled in Korea With New 5.0-liter V8

New limousine model could join sedan when it launches in the U.S. in 2010.

 |  Sep 29 2009, 9:19 AM

Equus Stretch Edition Launch (7).jpg

Hyundai has just unveiled a “Stretch Edition” of its flagship Equus luxury sedan in Korea, measuring a massive 215-inches in length – a foot longer than the standard sedan model. For the record, that’s just over half a foot longer than the extended-wheelbase BMW 750Li. It’s also just 15-inches smaller than the simply massive Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Hyundai has already announced that the standard Equus sedan will launch in the U.S. in 2010 as a 2011 model and while the company has officially “no comment” on plans to bring the car over… we believe the fact that they sent us this press release speaks volumes.

In Korea the car is priced from 135 million won to 146 million won, which equates to $113,000 to $122,180.

While the standard 3.8-liter V6 is standard, Hyundai will offer a more powerful 5.0-liter version of the impressive 4.6-liter Tau V8. With 375hp in is 4.6-liter version, the big 5.0-liter motor makes 400hp and 343 ft-lbs of torque.

Features found inside the limousine include a power footrest with a massaging chair. Hyundai has already built three bulletproof versions of the vehicles for the Korean president.

GALLERY: Hyundai Equus Stretch Edition

160718.jpg160719.JPG160723.jpg160720.JPG160717.JPG

Official release and our review of the Korean-Spec Equus sedan after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Aug 26 2009, 11:08 AM

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

AutoGuide was recently invited by Hyundai to take a ride in its new flagship Equus luxury sedan, which is due out in the U.S. in 2011. We posted some initial impressions immediately afterward and have since prepared a little video of the car and our chat with Hyundai Motor America’s VP of Marketing Joel Ewanick.

Test drives aren’t allowed as the three models Hyundai has brought over from Korea are prototypes (complete with Korean navigation systems and gauges in km/h) so we had to settle for being chauffeured around, which one could argue, is really the best way to experience the Equus.

Designed to compete with the world’s best, the Equus is based on the Genesis Sedan platform but is a good deal larger.

At 74.8-inches wide, it’s thicker than an S-Class or Lexus LS. The wheelbase is relatively short for this type of vehicle at 119.9-inches and with an overall length of 203.1-inches (just slightly longer than the long wheelbase LS460), don’t expect it to handle like a BMW 750i. Then again, that’s not what vehicles like this were meant for.

Inside is where the real treats are, with every imaginable luxury available. Yes, we’re talking about massaging and reclining rear seats, seat-back mounted flip up tables, LCD screen DVD players and even a fridge. The Equus also gets heated and cooled seats and privacy shades for the back and side-rear windows. One feature we particularly liked was that the side window shades pop up by pulling on the power window switch a second time – which reduces the overall number of buttons and switches in the cabin. In fact, we were surprised by the limited number of cabin-cluttering switches. Another notable feature is the fact that the front passenger seat can be adjusted from an armrest console in the rear – presumably for the comfort and convenience of executive types riding in the back.

The interior materials are definitely high quality, although not quite what you might find in a Lexus LS. Then again, the interior of the BMW 750 isn’t quite what you’d find in a Lexus either. The excessive amount of wood trim certainly isn’t one of our favorite parts, but the genuine Suede headliner is.

Equus drivers will be able to appreciate high-tech features like a back-up camera (and front-facing camera), a blind spot monitoring system, active cruise control, a 528-watt 17-speaker Lexicon audio system and an adjustable air-ride suspension. Hyundai marketing boss Joel Ewanick said that by the time the Equus makes its way to the U.S. the suspension will receive a few tweaks. Normally this means “softening,” but Ewanick surprised us by saying that it will actually be made slightly stiffer than what is offered in Korea.

Under the hood the 2011 Equus gets the same 4.6-liter V8 found in the top-level Genesis Sedan. Making 375hp it should deliver a 0-60 mph time of just over six seconds, with a quarter mile time in the low 14s.

That’s definitely off the pace of both the German and Japanese competition, but you can be sure the Equus won’t cost like a German or Japanese luxury sedan either. Official pricing won’t be released for a while yet, but with the Lexus LS starting at $63,000, you can be sure the Equus will come in under that. A sub-$60,000 price tag isn’t out of the question.

When asked about the possibility of the U.S. Equus being offered with the (rumored) 5.0-liter V8, Hyundai PR boss Jim Trainor said that the focus for now is going to be on the 4.6.

Set to hit the market as a 2011 model, the Equus will go on sale in late 2010. Look for an official debut next April at the 2010 New York Auto Show.

So with the future of the Equus in the U.S seemingly set, there are a few remaining question marks. For starters, the name. Hyundai says it is considering a name change and we wouldn’t be surprised to see one.

Another question you might have is: what about that hood ornament? Sorry to say, the brand-focused marketing folks have decided to axe the ostentatious winged creature (or whatever it is) in favor of a flush-mounted symbol. Those interested will, however, be able to get the hood ornament as a dealer installed option.

The final question for both Hyundai and the Equus is: how will it be received? Quite well, we think.

Trainor says the company has humble goals of just a few thousand units and with changing perceptions about the brand (thanks to the Genesis sedan and coupe) the Equus now offers Hyundai the chance to leapfrog established luxury brands, like Acura.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyunda Equus

IMG_7055.JPGIMG_7058.JPGIMG_7051.JPG

 |  Aug 15 2009, 12:34 AM

IMG_7060.JPG

Earlier this week Hyundai announced that it would launch the company’s Korean market Equus flagship right here in the U.S. And to help promote the car, Hyundai decided to show-off a few examples of its top-tier luxury sedan at one of the world’s most high-profile automotive events: the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

While in town to cover the concours, Hyundai invited AutoGuide along for a ride to experience some of what the Equus is all about. Test drives aren’t allowed as the cars on display are Korean prototype models (complete with Korean navigation systems and gauges in km/h) so we had to settle for being chauffeured around, which one could argue, is really the best way to experience the Equus.

Designed to compete with the world’s best, the Equus is based on the Genesis Sedan platform but is a good deal larger.

At 74.8-inches wide, it’s thicker than an S-Class or Lexus LS. The wheelbase is relatively short for this type of vehicle at 119.9-inches and with an overall length of 203.1-inches (just slightly longer than the long wheelbase LS460), don’t expect it to handle like a BMW 750i. Then again, that’s not what vehicles like this were meant for.

Inside is where the real treats are, with every imaginable luxury available. Yes, we’re talking about massaging and reclining rear seats, seat-back mounted flip up tables, LCD screen DVD players and even a fridge. The Equus also gets heated and cooled seats and privacy shades for the back and side-rear windows. One feature we particularly liked was that the side window shades pop up by pulling on the power window switch a second time – which reduces the overall number of buttons and switches in the cabin. In fact, we were surprised by the limited number of cabin-cluttering switches. Another notable feature is the fact that the front passenger seat can be adjusted from an armrest console in the rear – presumably for the comfort and convenience of executive types riding in the back.

The interior materials are definitely high quality, although not quite what you might find in a Lexus LS. Then again, the interior of the BMW 750 isn’t quite what you’d find in a Lexus either. The excessive amount of wood trim certainly isn’t one of our favorite parts, but the genuine Suede headliner is.

Equus drivers will be able to appreciate high-tech features like a back-up camera (and front-facing camera), a blind spot monitoring system, active cruise control, a 528-watt 17-speaker Lexicon audio system and an adjustable air-ride suspension. Hyundai marketing boss Joel Ewanick said that by the time the Equus makes its way to the U.S. the suspension will receive a few tweaks. Normally this means “softening,” but Ewanick surprised us by saying that it will actually be made slightly stiffer than what is offered in Korea.

IMG_7050.JPG

Under the hood the 2011 Equus gets the same 4.6-liter V8 found in the top-level Genesis Sedan. Making 375hp it should deliver a 0-60 mph time of just over six seconds, with a quarter mile time in the low 14s.

That’s definitely off the pace of both the German and Japanese competition, but you can be sure the Equus won’t cost like a German or Japanese luxury sedan either. Official pricing won’t be released for a while yet, but with the Lexus LS starting at $63,000, you can be sure the Equus will come in under that. A sub-$60,000 price tag isn’t out of the question.

When asked about the possibility of the U.S. Equus being offered with the (rumored) 5.0-liter V8, Hyundai PR boss Jim Trainor said that the focus for now is going to be on the 4.6.

Set to hit the market as a 2011 model, the Equus will go on sale in late 2010. Look for an official debut next April at the 2010 New York Auto Show.

So with the future of the Equus in the U.S seemingly set, there are a few remaining question marks. For starters, the name. Hyundai says it is considering a name change and we wouldn’t be surprised to see one.

Another question you might have is: what about that hood ornament? Sorry to say, the brand-focused marketing folks have decided to axe the ostentatious winged creature (or whatever it is) in favor of a flush-mounted symbol. Those interested will, however, be able to get the hood ornament as a dealer installed option.

The final question for both Hyundai and the Equus is: how will it be received? Quite well, we think.

Trainor says the company has humble goals of just a few thousand units and with changing perceptions about the brand (thanks to the Genesis sedan and coupe) the Equus now offers Hyundai the chance to leapfrog established luxury brands, like Acura.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Equus

IMG_7051.JPGIMG_7063.JPGIMG_7058.JPGIMG_7064.JPGIMG_7068.JPG

Breaking: Hyundai Equus Flagship to Go On Sale in U.S. Next Year

Korean automaker's flagship to take on BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS

 |  Aug 12 2009, 10:59 AM

asset_upload_file340_3061.jpg

Hyundai continues to shake up perceptions of what a Korean automaker can be, announcing today that it will offer its flagship Equus sedan in the U.S. starting next year.

The Equus is based on the same architecture as the Genesis, but is noticeably larger. Hyundai intends that it will compete with the world’s premiere luxury saloons including the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S-Class and Lexus LS.

“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 traveling 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.”

And as though showcasing the car at the New York Auto Show wasn’t enough of a shock to the traditionalists, Hyundai will again display the vehicle this weekend at the ultra-prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Hyundai has yet to release specifications on the new model, but it’s certain to be offered with the company’s 375hp 4.6-liter V8. Recently we reported that the Korean automaker has also developed a 5.0-liter V8 engine as well, and there is a strong possibility that powerplant could be offered in North America.

Hyundai is also undecided on whether or not its flagship will keep it’s Korean-market name, indicating that the Equus badge may be dropped in favor of a more U.S.-friendly name.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Equus

asset_upload_file339_3061.jpgasset_upload_file20_3061.jpgasset_upload_file535_3061.jpg

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 01 2009, 8:14 AM

IMG_5570.JPG

Hyundai will bring its top-level Equus luxury sedan to North America next summer. While buyers of German luxury sedans like the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class aren’t likely to buy Korean (not yet anyway), Hyundai thinks it will attract enough Lexus LS buyers to make the Equus a viable business plan.

According to a company insider the Equus, which is based on the Genesis platform, will come equipped exclusively with the company’s 375-hp 4.6-liter V8 engine. Pricing is expected to be just below the $60,000 mark – $5,000 less than the Lexus.

In comparison, a fully-loaded Genesis sedan costs about $43,000.

Currently the Equus is one sale in Korean with pricing ranging anywhere from $50,000 to $81,000.

Hyundai had the Equus on display at the New York Auto Show this year to see what sort of interest there was in the car. The reactions must have been positive because not long afterward the Korean automaker announced that it would bring 100 models to the U.S. for dealers to show off. Some of those models are equipped with such luxurious amenities as tilting rear seats with massages and LCD screens mounted in the headrests.

Hyundai has already surprised the luxury segment with the mid-level Genesis luxury sedan, but the question remains whether it can take on the top-tier cars or if the Equus will be the next VW Phaeton.

[Source: Autoweek]