2011 New Cars: Asia

Brian Konoske

Hyundai Equus
Aiming Even Higher

The 2008 introduction of the Genesis sedan has been the exclamation point on Hyundai's rapid ascension from bargain brand to mainstream automaker. Now, the company is continuing its ambitious march forward with the bigger, pricier, and more luxurious 2011 Hyundai Equus. The philosophy and the competitive targets of the Equus aren't far from those of the Genesis-they're simply one size larger. Rather than aiming for a Mercedes-Benz E-class or a BMW 5-series, think S-class and 7-series.

The Equus will utilize the same 4.6-liter V-8-producing 385 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque on premium gasoline-found under the hood of the Genesis. Although it doesn't have the most potent engine in its class, the Equus has more power than many others in the segment. Thrust is hearty from anywhere on the tachometer, and Hyundai claims 6.4-second 0-to-60-mph capability. In more relaxed driving, the engine and the six-speed transmission are smooth and in sync.

Electronically controlled air springs and dampers allow the driver to select a firmer, sportier setting or stay with the standard, comfort-oriented suspension stiffness. Whatever the setting, though, the chassis feels neither as composed nor as comfortable as those of its competitors. Around a small handling course at Hyundai's South Korea R&D center, the Equus exhibited an extreme propensity to understeer and revealed handling capability far below that of a comparable BMW or Benz. The steering is also troubling, with artificial and lagging power assist from the electrically driven hydraulic pump.

On sale: Now
BASE PRICE: $55,000 (est.)
Specs: 4.6-liter V-8, 385 hp, 333 lb-ft; rear-wheel drive

The Twitter Feed:
Hyundai ambitiously moves into another premium segment, but the Equus falls short of what we've come to expect.

The best execution to the completely the wrong solution. I hope Nissan will build us a new power plants in every state, to recharge the thousands of cars and upgrade the distribution grid, the transformer stations, the transformers on the streets and upgrades the electric meter and service in every household, where cars have to be charged up.
Misguided design, looking for misguided buyers.
It should be a prudent to be detached from the brainwash and false promises politicians disseminate about the auto industry. The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are NOT the cars of the future, they are the cars of the misled designers and less than 15 years from now, the statement will look stupid. Vehicles carrying heavy batteries with very limited energy density are PRIMITIVE. The cars of the future either pick up energy from a grid in the streets or have energy storage density at least comparable to the present gas or diesel cars.
First of all, there is no such word as "weaved". The correct word is "woven". With the LFA, Toyota builds a car that virtually no one can own. There hasn't been a well designed, sporty Toyata since the baby Ferrari-looking MR2. Granted, cars are tools, but do Toyotas have nothing in their design kit bag? Their cars are bland and unexciting.
AGAIN, the US doesn't get the best model, the GT. The UK has been getting hot rodded Hondas for a long time. Who is telling Honda Americans won't buy it if they bring it? I assure you, I won't even consider this car until it is equal to it's own UK sibling.

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