Hyundai Plots 'Performance-Focused' V8 AWD Genesis

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

There was something missing when Hyundai unveiled its second-generation Genesis sedan earlier this week in Detroit.

The brand began advertising its new “HTRAC” all-wheel drive system last October, saying it would debut in its upcoming luxury mid-sizer. HTRAC splits torque between the front and rear axles electronically As the world learned this week, the 2015 Genesis rides on a new platform that Hyundai spent piles of cash to develop.

That’s why it came as a shock when the specification sheets showed the 3.8-liter V6 model being offered with HTRAC, but not its 5.0-liter V8 sibling. It seems strange that Hyundai would spend so much to package all-wheel drive capability in its new platform only to squander it on a single engine when there are two available.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Hyundai Genesis Specs

But Hyundai didn’t show all its cards in Motown this week. Spokesman Miles Johnson confirmed that the company is considering a performance-focused version of the Tau 5.0-liter V8 model that will use HTRAC all-wheel drive that would arrive after the cars shown in Detroit launch in the spring.

Hyundai’s top brass hasn’t given the green light for production yet, but Johnson said “we think there may be a market demand for such a model.”

Johnson didn’t say if that model will benefit from a power increase over the 420 hp in the rear-wheel drive V8 Genesis, but Hyundai promises that the new chassis is much stiffer than before. The brand claims a long list of performance enhancements for the new generation in general like improved lateral grip thanks to a reduction in camber angles for 23 percent less tire tilt.

Presumably, the enhanced model would still use the same eight-speed automatic found on the rest of the line.

GALLERY: 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Live Photos

Discuss this story at our Hyundai forum.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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2 of 7 comments
  • Jdrch Jdrch on Jan 20, 2014

    Somehow I think they'd be better served if they stuck with RWD. Something tells me this thing's gonna have clumsy handling.

  • Polo Star Polo Star on Feb 16, 2014

    The V8 version will be available in Canada with AWD.