The new Hyundai Genesis.
The new Hyundai Genesis.

Hyundai Genesis to propel brand into luxury realm

HYUNDAI has Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and the premium world in its crosshairs.

The South Korean brand is about to embark on a serious play for the luxury dollar with its large Genesis sedan. Expected to cost in the $50,000 realm, Hyundai says the Genesis is a showcase of what the brand can deliver.

Hyundai Australia boss John Elsworth admits it's an ambitious medium to long-term plan, but is confident his product can meet the challenge.

Doomsayers will scoff at the thought. 

But you only need look back at the Excel era to see how far the marque has come.

While still battling past cheap and cheerful demons, Hyundai has risen to Australia's fourth biggest selling brand on the back of vastly improved products.

Over the past two decades quality and drivability have leapt ahead. Together with sister company Kia, the South Koreans are producing cars which offer value for money, good looks and technological appeal.

The Genesis will be offered exclusively with a 3.8-litre V6 engine, partnered to an automatic eight-speed rear wheel drive transmission. While there is a smaller six and a V8 available, right-hand drive availability is limited and the V6 was consider the best fit for Australia.

And if our experience in South Korea proved anything this week, it is a genuine competitor. The left-hand drive offerings boasted Lexus-like cabin quietness and linear powered delivery from the bent six.

While suspension settings were on the soft side, our models will be tweaked by the Aussie ride and handling specialists. 

Australian specification and pricing is yet to be confirmed, but expect it to start from just below $50,000 for the entry-level model, and top out at about $58,000 - below the luxury car tax threshold which sits just about $60,000.

Genesis models will come with Nappa leather trim and refined interiors littered with soft-touch materials and space for five adults.

Top-shelf variants will come with all the latest gadgetry, like a jet-fighter style head-up display which projects information such as speed and sat nav directions onto the windscreen just below the driver's eyeline, along with blind spot monitoring, lane assist and radar cruise control.

Hyundai Genesis.
Details: Four-door rear-wheel drive large sedan.
Engine: 3.8-litre V6 generating maximum power of 232kW @ 6000rpm and 397Nm at 5000rpm.
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic.
Consumption: 11.2 litres/100km (combined average).

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