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Hyundai upgrades Tau V8

Genesis sedan : Hyundai's new 5.0-litre V8 will power the brand's big sedan in North America only.

Most powerful Hyundai engine ever now available in the US – but not Australia

15 Feb 2011

HYUNDAI has released full official details of the beefy new 5.0-litre ‘Tau’ V8 that will power North America’s 2012 Genesis sedan, which remains unconfirmed for right-hand drive production and is therefore still off-limits to Australians.

As we reported in November, the Korean auto giant’s most powerful engine ever will be available in the US this year in the large Genesis luxury sedan, which also will be the beneficiary of an upgraded 3.8-litre ‘Lambda’ V6 offering 15 per cent more power with lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Like the revised V6, Hyundai’s fresh V8 receives direct fuel-injection and will be mated with the car-maker’s new in-house eight-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the six-speed ZF auto that was previously standard in the Genesis.

Official figures quote the new 5038cc V8’s power output at 320kW – up from the 4.6’s 280kW. No maximum torque figure has been given, but GoAuto understands peak twist increases from 451 to 510Nm, with even more performance available with further development, potentially including turbocharging or displacement of up to 5.5 litres.

Previously, Hyundai said the 5.0-litre Tau V8 – which employs the same dual continuously variable valve timing (D-CVVT), tuned variable induction and low-friction diamond-like piston, ring and tappet coatings as the 4.6 - would return class-leading fuel consumption of 9.0L/100km (highway) and 13.0L/100km (city) – down from 9.4 and 13.8L/100km.

1 center imageFrom top: Hyundai's 'Tau' 5.0-litre V8, Hyundai Genesis sedan and Hyundai Genesis Coupe concept from 2008.

Now, however, Hyundai says the new engine’s estimated city consumption remains static at 9.4L/100km, while highway fuel consumption increases to 14.7L/100km.

Instead of replacing the existing 4.6-litre Tau V8, the larger engine will be available Stateside exclusively in a new flagship version of the Genesis dubbed ‘R-Spec’, which also features “more aggressive” styling and chassis tuning.

Hyundai says North America’s 2012 Genesis R-Spec gains 1mm-thicker front (26mm) and rear (19mm) anti-roll bars, unique 19-inch machined alloy wheels with the option of Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 performance tyres, revised steering calibration and larger 13.6-inch front brake discs.

All 2012 Genesis models will receive new design elements, including a revised grille and front fascia, new headlights with LED accents and daytime running lights, a sportier rocker panel design, folding mirrors with integrated puddle lamps, brushed aluminium-finish window surrounds, redesigned tail-lights, a new rear bumper with integrated dual asymmetrical exhaust outlets and new 17-inch alloy wheels for 3.8-litre models.

In addition, the R-Spec Genesis will also offer dark chrome headlight inserts, R-Spec rear badging, black R-Spec embroidered floor mats, all-black leather interior and the choice of three unique exterior paint colours – Black Noir, Titanium Grey and Platinum Metallic.

On top of the outgoing Genesis’ standard electronic stability control, eight airbags and active front head restraints, selected 2012 models will offer the option of a new lane departure warning system.

While the Genesis sedan and coupe will not appear in Australian Hyundai showrooms any time soon, 2011 will be a bumper year for local model releases from the world’s fifth-largest car-maker.

While the replacement for Hyundai’s small Elantra sedan will be released in Australia soon as the i35, hot on its heels will be a sedan version of Hyundai’s new Accent/Verna to join the i20 hatchback in the light-car class – possibly badged the i25.

Later this year Hyundai is also expected to add the sleek new i40 wagon alongside its i45 sedan in the mid-size car category, before rounding out 2011 with the release of the all-new Veloster compact coupe.

Hyundai this week announced the replacement for the Tiburon coupe would compete in the Northern Hemisphere Summer X Games during the 2011 US Rallycross Championship Series in the hands of US driver Rhys Millen and world record freestyle motocross rider, Australian Robbie Maddison.

Weighing in at 1204.7kg, the all-wheel drive Veloster rally car will be powered by a 373kW turbocharged Hyundai four-cylinder engine.

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