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Hyundai confirms Genesis sedan for Australia

On the way: Hyundai's Genesis is a BMW 5 Series-sized rear-drive sedan for 3 Series money, and it's coming to Australia.

Rear-drive Hyundai Genesis sedan will hit Australia around July this year


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14 Jan 2014

HYUNDAI has finally confirmed the Genesis sedan for Australia.

Pencilled in for a July launch, the second-generation ‘DH’ series from South Korea is expected to kick off from the mid to high-$50,000 range – though Hyundai is remaining tight-lipped.

That would place the BMW 5 Series-sized four-door sedan squarely against the smaller 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50 competitor set, as well as Holden’s Calais V and Caprice, the Ford G6E Turbo and Chrysler 300.

However, the as-yet unseen second-generation two-door Genesis Coupe is still at least two years from an Australian premiere, despite being given the Australian green light before its four-door sibling.

Beneath the strikingly styled ‘Fluidic Sculpture 2.0’ exterior is a revamped version of the company’s 3.8-litre direct-injection quad-cam Lambda V6, sending 248kW of power and around 400Nm of torque to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Unfortunately, both the 313kW/520Nm 5.0-litre V8 and all-new variable-torque-split all-wheel drive option available on some variants overseas have not been engineered for right-hand drive application, so Australians will miss out there.

According to Hyundai Motor Company Australia general manager of public relations Bill Thomas, the highly acclaimed ‘Tau’ V8 will only be imported if there is enough demand from other RHD markets such as the UK and South Africa to justify the prohibitive development cost.

The DH employs a modified version of the previous Genesis’ front-engine/rear-drive platform, with a stretched wheelbase, reduced front and rear overhangs, revised suspension settings, all-new five-link independent rear end and variable-ratio electric rack-and-pinion steering.

Among the dynamic benchmarks cited are the 5 Series and Jaguar XF. Aiding handling and ride is the application of extensive ultra high-strength steel (exceeding half of the Genesis’ total platform composition), as well as BMW-equalling or beating levels of torsional and bending rigidity numbers.

Front-to-rear weight distribution is rated at 52/48.

Mr Thomas says the luxury sedan will undergo the most extensive Australian-road suspension-tuning regime the company has ever undertaken, to build on the work Hyundai has carried out on the Nurburgring in Germany.

“We’re tuning the new Genesis to suit the unique demands of local roads,” he said.

The DH also saw developmental testing elsewhere in Europe, North America and South Korea.

Measuring in at approximately 4990mm in length, 1890mm in width, and 1475mm in height, and with a wheelbase of 3010mm, the Genesis is larger than most of its European and Japanese luxury-car competitors, with cabin space in excess of the 5 Series, Lexus GS, Infiniti M/Q70 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Hyundai is promising class-leading fit and finish levels, using laser-cut shutlines and premium materials to help achieve an appropriate level of luxury ambience.

To that end, there has also been a concerted effort to simplify the dashboard and controls layout compared to the outgoing model, with “elegance” being Hyundai’s buzzword.

Whether Australian-bound versions will include the full gamut of technological features such as radar-based autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot and lane-departure detection, lane-keeping assist warning, rear cross-traffic alert, high-beam assist and Cloud-based Internet information interface via Google Glass has yet to be announced.

However Mr Thomas has revealed that equipment levels will be lavish, and so should include a high-end 9.2-inch high definition touchscreen multimedia and satellite navigation system, high-end audio, heads-up display, electrically activated air-cushioned heated and cooled front seats, double-stitched leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, electric sunroof and rear-seat sunshades.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia chief executive officer John Elsworth stated that the DH Genesis would be sufficiently equipped to take on Europe’s best.

“This high-tech machine is the ideal showcase for what Hyundai can do, and is a superbly-engineered car, fit to rival the best from Europe at a substantially more accessible price point," he said.

HMCA will reveal full Genesis specification details as well as pricing closer to the July launch date.

The original version was launched globally in 2008, and is built in Ulsan, South Korea.

Recent speculation suggested that Hyundai would launch the DH Genesis in Australia as a luxury sub-brand in the style of Lexus and Infiniti, but Mr Thomas has confirmed that the ‘H’ logo will be proudly emblazoned on the bootlid of all cars coming to this country.

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