Monday, January 05, 2009

Hyundai, Korea, and Luxury Market

I knew Hyundai Motor's luxury car the Equus would be dropped from the car maker's lineup in the wake of the Genesis. In Korea, Equus have long been used as limos and for VIPs. In fact, they are the most expensive domestic Korean car--around $100,000.

Hyundai just released images of the successor to the Equus sedan. Tentatively called Project VI, the car is scheduled to be launched in February. The car is to compete with imported large sedans--Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Audi, etc. HMC noted "its large radiator grill makes it look impressive from the front, while the side view is 'elegant and dynamic'."

The model will feature a Tau 4.6L DOHC V-8, 4.6-liter gasoline engine, which made the 10 Best Engines list of American motoring magazine Ward's Auto. It can generate a maximum of 380 horsepower.

The new model also has a “pre-safe” seatbelt system designed to reduce the risk of injury by tightening the seatbelt and starting safe-net facilities when the car is about to hit another. It also features “integrated chassis control,” which combines information and entertainment functions, and a built-in alarm when the car veers from its lane.

Korea's luxury market continues to grow. How the economy impact sales will be interesting to watch.


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