What is it?
The new Hyundai Genesis in US specification, a model which made its debut in Detroit earlier this year and that’s due to come to the UK in limited numbers later this summer.
It’s aiming to build significantly on the first Genesis, which launched back in 2008. For the money, that car offered loads of features, but the lack of optional all-wheel drive and no right-hand drive limited sales. Less-than-stellar chassis dynamics and interior detailing didn’t help, either.
From listening to Hyundai’s press presentation, it’s clear the company is fully aware of the original car’s shortcomings. That’s why the new car makes greater use of high-strength steel and structural adhesives to help give it superior body rigidity to the Mercedes-Benz E-class and BMW 5-series. Hyundai even hired Lotus Engineering for chassis tuning validation. Interior quality has been improved and all-wheel drive is optional in some markets.
It’s interesting to find out that before starting development of the new Genesis, Hyundai sent a group of engineers on a European work holiday. They immersed themselves in lavish hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants. They benchmarked luxury items such as Mont Blanc pens and Rolex watches, and flogged the original Genesis back-to-back against its German competition around the Nürburgring.
Hyundai wants the new Genesis to be more than a bargain-price luxury car. Instead it see the Genesis going head to head with the best in the business.