Hyundai is deep in a year of big changes. The brand will launch an average of two new/redesigned vehicles per year for the next three years. The Korean brand does not want to fall behind the Japanese and has an arsenal of new ideas ready to go out into the market.
One of the most important changes in the Hyundai strategy is the arrival of the Genesis brand, Hyundai’s luxury badge. Speculation was rife as to whether Hyundai would be setting up new dealerships for this brand to separate it from the Hyundai name. Mike O’Brian, Vice President of Corporate and Product Planning at Hyundai Motor America, this week indicated in an interview that Hyundai was not prepared to make the same mistakes as other brands who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on new showrooms for their luxury brands. He said that Hyundai would prefer to pass on savings to the consumer.
Spotlight on the Genesis Coupe
The new Genesis Coupe from Hyundai is the embodiment of what the brand is trying to do; despite losing the turbo 2.0-liter engine, the Genesis Coupe is the result of a complex problem that Hyundai spent a long time developing, for it represents the struggle of the brand trying to give us a small luxury rear-wheel drive vehicle. The new Genesis will sport a more powerful engine and its trims will be higher in quality that any other previously shown by the brand.
The intent of this rear-drive coupe is none other than to rival with brands such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. There is no doubt that Hyundai can now produce vehicles that are very close to the German standards at a more affordable price.
However, the new Genesis is everything but cheap; in the development of its new vehicle, Hyundai disbursed no less than $372 million dollars over four years. It was designed primarily for the American and Korean markets, where its predecessor had great success. The model comes from the company’s ultra-modern facilities in Ulsan, Korea. It stands as an alternative to consider against high-end cars like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Its new lines reflect the latest design trends in Hyundai: The first model of its kind to show the use of the fluid sculpture 2.0 system, which seeks to convey a simple and harmonious design with refined and fluid-like elements. Its design embodies the modern look of the brand with a striking hexagonal front grid; it is worth pausing for a second to analyze the important piece that is the center of the face of the new Genesis. A one-piece 3D grid, which is coated in semi-gloss chrome, ensures that the vehicle has a striking polished look while integrating the headlights in a seamless manner. When seen from the side, we can see the straight lines central to the design, adorned with flowing lines and surfaces that are merged with a stylized C-pillar that accents its sporty look. The new Genesis is also equipped with Dunlop Sport tires measuring 245/55 R18 and Maxx2 alloy wheels with a gray finish, proving that not a detail was left out when designing the new Genesis.
There is no doubt that the manufacturer conducted a thorough and careful design of every part of the vehicle, ensuring a quality trim, finish and design. Its interior speaks for itself: to provide maximum comfort, for drivers and passengers, Hyundai has integrated high-end materials that provide a serene environment inside the vehicle. Another innovative element in the vehicle is the world premiere of a CO2 sensor in the passenger compartment that monitors the driver and helps him to fight drowsiness by activating the ventilation system.
The Genesis has two different powertrain options, the first of which is equipped with a Lambda V6 GDI 3.8-liter V6 that reaches a maximum of 308 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. This version of the Genesis delivers 4.9% more torque compared to its predecessor. The second and more powerful option is outfitted with a 5,038 cc V8 unit that delivers 413 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. This engine has a longer intake runner, an enhanced timing chain to reduce friction and a low ratio of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
With this vehicle, Hyundai has proven that it is already prepared to compete in the luxury market with the Genesis brand, as done previously by Toyota with Lexus, Nissan with Infiniti and Honda with Acura. By 2020, Genesis will have a six-car lineup.