We previously stated the Korean-market super-duper Hyundai Equus would sell for an eye-watering $96,000. Not so. The car actually hits dealer lots at a starting price of about $44,400.
The Equus will sit at the top of the Hyundai ladder with goods like a 3.8 V6 and optional Tau 4.6 V8, six speed automatic transmission, an air-riding suspension with aluminum control arms, a 17 speaker Lexicon sound system and a leather lined interior fit for any nationalistic Korean businessman. The company plans to run about 13,000 units a year with the entry level V6 model starting off at about $44,400 and the V8 model starting at around $70,900. Complete details below:
SEOUL, KOREA – March 16, 2009: EQUUS, Hyundai Motor Company's new flagship sedan has arrived in showrooms across Korea.
Representing the pinnacle of Hyundai engineering and design sophistication, the all-new EQUUS will serve as an effective import fighter in the Korean luxury sedan market taking on the best from Germany and Japan.
As the replacement for the first-generation EQUUS which has been retired after ten years in the marketplace, the new successor was developed under the VI project codename over a period of three years and represents a total investment of 500 billion won (approximately AUD$513 million or US$337 million).
Hyundai plans to sell 13,000 units in the Korean market this year, increasing that number to 19,000 units in 2010. The new flagship sedan will also make its way to overseas markets such as China and the Middle East starting in the second half of this year, competing with other world-class vehicles.
Available in four trim levels, EQUUS will be priced at 63.7 million won (approximately AUD$65,500) for the entry level VS380 model and will top out at 105 million won (approximately AUD$108,000) for the VS460 Prestige. Later this year, the range will be extended to include a long wheelbase edition which will be powered by a 5L V8 ‘Tau' engine.
EQUUS comes with a choice of two sophisticated engines: The ‘Lambda' 3.8 V6 and the award-winning ‘Tau' 4.6 V8. To maximise power while minimising emissions and fuel consumption, both engines feature all-aluminium construction, continuously variable valve timing, variable air induction systems and are mated to six-speed transmissions. The ‘Lambda' V6, good for 213 kW and a peak torque rating of 358 Nm, delivers an impressive fuel economy rating of 10.8 litres / 100 km. The ‘Tau' 4.6 V8, named by Detroit-based Ward's Autos as one of 2009's ‘Best Ten Engines', delivers 269 kW and 439 Nm of torque with a fuel economy rating of 11.4 litres / 100 km.
Front and rear, EQUUS rides on 5-link suspension featuring lightweight aluminium control arms. Such a multi-link setup for both the front and the rear is uncommon in the industry but through a careful optimisation of the wheel geometry and bushing characteristics, stability and ride quality were optimised. To improve shock control over the wheels, Hyundai worked in partnership with ZF-SACHS to develop Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD) which features an innovative relief valve, a design EQUUS shares with only one other car in the world, its luxury stable-mate Genesis. The air suspension is electronically governed to minimise body roll, nose-diving and other undesirable characteristics.
EQUUS also comes equipped with an Electric Parking Brake which is automatically released once the vehicle is put into drive gear and an Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering System which reduces fuel consumption.
EQUUS elevates driving safety to a whole new level with the introduction of Vehicle Stability Management which integrates the Lane Departure Warning System, Pre-Safety System, Third Generation Smart Cruise Control (SCC) and other sub-systems to provide unparalleled active and passive safety. Using smart optics, the Lane Departure Warning System issues an audible warning if the car deviates from the driving lane without signalling. SCC uses radar waves to automatically regulate the brakes and throttle and maintain a safe distance from the car ahead. If a collision danger is detected, the Pre-Safety System automatically applies the brakes, triggers a flashing warning light on the TFT-LCD which is followed by an audible alert and a vibration in the seatbelt harness. If a collision is unavoidable, full braking force is automatically applied and front seat belts are reeled in within a split second in order to maximise protection.
Another new safety improvement is the addition of a Knee Air Bag for the driver. With two front, four side and two side curtain airbags, this brings the total airbag count to nine.
Video cameras in the rear and front eliminate blind spots during parking and backing up manoeuvres, reducing the risk of accidents while the new Parking Guidance System provides a computer graphic overlay on the display screen to assist the driver. High Intensity Discharge Head Lamps with Adaptive Front Lighting System varies the angle of the light beam according to the steering direction for safer driving.
Comfort and convenience
Whether driving or being driven, EQUUS opens up a new realm in motoring luxury. Heating, for example, is to be found in unexpected places-steering wheel, seat cushions and backrests- providing a welcome touch on a chilly day. On hot summer days, the seat cooling system and glove box drink chiller will be appreciated in hot, sticky weather while the massage system in the rear seats relaxes and refreshes while en-route.
EQUUS is also equipped with an advanced Driver Information System whose menus are accessible through touch-screen menus or jog wheel which has adjacent buttons for menu short cuts. DIS displays navigational maps, personal cell phone directories (downloadable via Bluetooth) and serves as the central control of the 17-speaker Lexicon Sound System. Logic7.1 is able to transform the EQUUS cabin into a veritable concert hall with surround-sound wizardry.
A 3.5-inch display nestled between the speedometer and the tachometer provides a rich variety of information displayed in colourful graphics using the latest Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Display (TFT-LCD) technology. From the tyre pressure to the AV system and lane departure warning system, fifteen different vehicle functions can be monitored using this high-resolution colour screen.