Looking to recreate the formula that worked so well for Lexus, Hyundai has officially begun its assault on the executive-limo segment. Its entry is the Equus, a full-size sedan that shares more than a few styling details with the smaller Genesis sedan.
The Equus’ only engine (for now) is the tried and tested Tau V-8. A 4.6-liter powerplant, it produces 385 horsepower and is shared with the smaller Genesis sedan. You can have your Equus in two flavors, Signature and Ultimate. The Signature is the base trim level, but you would never guess it by some of the standard features. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning system, push-button start, HID headlamps with LED turn signals, satellite navigation, and nineteen-inch chrome wheels are just a few of the no-cost goodies.
In the cabin, the driver sits on a leather-adorned throne, with twelve different levels of adjustment (the passenger gets ten). He has the option of heating, cooling, or massaging his bottom, while the wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel is heated, and offers power tilt and telescoping functions. Complementing the interior touch surfaces is an Alcantara suede headliner and leather-covered dash.
Bottoms aren’t the only things that are pampered in the Equus cabin; a seventeen-speaker, 608-watt stereo by Lexicon (the guys who handle Rolls-Royce’s audio needs) with iPod connectivity and XM Satellite Radio should keep passengers entertained. The Equus also scores some major geek points by replacing the traditional owner’s manual with an Apple iPad, which should keep backseat passengers busy.
Opt for the Ultimate and you get reclining/heated/cooled/massaging/remote-control rear seats, while a refrigerator replaces the central seat. Backseat passengers are also treated to an eight-inch LCD screen which can control the audio system (don’t let the kids have it) or can be used to watch DVDs.
Hyundai is still mum about on-sale dates, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see the Equus in showrooms before the end of the year. In terms of pricing, expect the Equus to sell for considerably less than a competitive Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Lexus. We will have more information, including a first drive in the coming months. Check out the gallery in the mean time, and let us know what you think; will the Equus be an overwhelming success (Lexus LS) or a dismal failure (Volkswagen Phaeton)? Let us know in the comments section.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Hyundai.
HYUNDAI RELEASES ENGINEERING AND FEATURE INFORMATION FOR THE ALL-NEW 2011 HYUNDAI EQUUS
Hyundai Recasts Intelligent Luxury with Two Equus Configurations
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., July 26, 2010 – Hyundai revealed additional engineering and feature information for the all-new 2011 Equus today. The Equus will be offered in just two configurations, Equus Signature and Equus Ultimate, both lavishly contented.
Equus Signature features the award-winning 385-horsepower Tau® V8 engine, a 608-watt Lexicon® audio system with 17 speakers, electronically controlled air suspension with continuous damping control, Vehicle Stability Management with pre-collision warning, Smart Cruise Control, HID headlamps, front and rear parking assistance system with rearview camera, premium leather seating, Alcantara suede headliner, driver seat massage, heated and cooled front seats, heated wood and leather steering wheel, and numerous other premium technologies and features. The Equus Ultimate adds features typically found only in low-volume special-order luxury sedans with six-figure price tags, including a forward-view parking and cornering camera, power decklid, reclining rear seats with powered headrests, cooled rear seats, rear seat massage and leg support, rear seat refrigerator and a rear seat entertainment system.
"When you’re spending this much for a new car, you don’t want to feel like you’ve been shortchanged on engineering, technology or features," said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. "Equus Signature has the technology and content of fully-optioned flagship models from Lexus and BMW, while Equus Ultimate delivers a specification approached only by our competitors’ low-volume, special-order models."
This straightforward lineup of just two extremely well-equipped configurations enables a simple and elegant purchase experience, a key aspect of Hyundai’s innovative perspective on intelligent luxury, which also includes "Your Time, Your Place," the industry’s first at-home vehicle demonstration program, the Valet Service program, which provides at-home pickup for Equus service and maintenance and the industry’s first iPad-based interactive owner’s manual.
EQUUS SIGNATURE KEY STANDARD FEATURES
* 4.6L DOHC Tau V8 engine
* Six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
* Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS)
* Electronically Controlled Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control (CDC)
* 19-inch chrome alloy wheels with P245/45R19 (front) / P275/40R19 (rear) tires
* Four-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and EBD
* Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with TCS and Brake Assist
* Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system with pre-collision warning
* Nine airbags: Advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, driver knee airbag, and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags
* Electronic active front head restraints with power controls
* Electronic seatbelt pretensioners
* Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
* Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
* Smart Cruise Control
* High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with LED turn signal indicators
* Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFLS) with auto-leveling
* Fog lights and automatic headlights
* Front and rear parking assistance system with rearview camera
* Dual power-folding heated auto-dimming side mirrors w/ turn signal indicators and approach lamps
* Dual asymmetrical exhaust tips integrated with rear bumper
* Proximity key entry with push-button start
* Illuminated scuff plates, inside door handles and door armrest
* Premium leather seating surfaces and Alcantara® suede headliner
* 12-way power driver seat plus lumbar adjustment and 10-way power front passenger seat
* Driver seat massage system
* Heated and cooled front seats
* Heated, wood-trimmed and leather-wrapped steering wheel
* Power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel
* Integrated Memory System (IMS) for driver-side seat, mirror and steering wheel
* Leather-wrapped dash and real wood interior trim
* Electroluminescent cluster (Supervision) with 3.5-inch TFT LCD screen
* Electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold
* Power windows with auto-down/up
* Navigation system w/ DIS and multimedia controller
* Apple iPad interactive owner’s manual
* 608-watt Lexicon 7.1 Discrete surround-sound audio system with 17 speakers
* iPod/USB and MP3 auxiliary input jacks and iPod connection cable
* XM® Satellite Radio & NavTraffic® with trial subscription
* Bluetooth® hands-free phone system
* Dual automatic temperature control with air quality system
* Windshield-wiper deicer, rain-sensing wipers and auto-defogging windshield with humidity sensor
* Electrochromic auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with HomeLink® and compass
* Acoustic laminated windshield , front and rear side windows
* Power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof
* 60/40 power reclining and heated rear seats
* Power rear sunshade and rear side-window sunshades
* Luggage net
* Premium-grade floor mats
* Premium-grade trunk cargo mat
* First-aid kit (PIO)
FIRSTS FOR HYUNDAI AND CONSUMERS
As Hyundai’s flagship rear-wheel-drive sedan, Equus contains many Hyundai firsts. One innovative new technology is the Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, which governs ESC, the electronic parking brake, smart cruise control, the collision warning sensor and the seatbelt tensioning system for optimal safety. The seatbelt tensioning system works through sensors, which detect critical driving situations and retract the seatbelts accordingly to prevent passenger movement. The Equus’ dynamic safety package is further enhanced by the Lane Departure Warning System and driver’s knee airbags.
Beyond safety, the Equus will also debut power rear side-window sunshades, a heated steering wheel, power trunk lid, dual power, heated and cooled front seats, rain-repelling front side windows, a thermoelectric rear console refrigerator, 60/40 split power reclining rear seats and electronically-controlled Air Suspension with dual-mode Continuous Damping Control.
Several new driver information technologies make their debut on the Equus. Driver and passengers can keep an eye on the Equus’ numerous electronic systems through the 3.5-inch TFT LCD vehicle information monitor. Equus also features a forward-view cornering camera and a parking guide system with both top view and rear view perspectives.
Hyundai’s Tau V8, which has been rated one of Ward’s "Ten Best Engines" for two consecutive years, is a strong technological building block for Equus. It is joined by an unsurpassed standard feature list including Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning System, a heated steering wheel, power reclining rear seats, heated rear seats and a 608-watt Lexicon 7.1 Discrete surround sound audio system with 17 speakers. Equus Ultimate adds first-class rear seating and other focused rear compartment features that can only found on low-volume special-order competitive models.
EQUUS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES
Tau V8 engine, rated one of Ward’s "Ten Best Engines" for 2009 and 2010
First-class seating available on Equus Ultimate (competitors’ best seating options come only on the long-wheelbase variants)
* Standard Smart Cruise Control
* Standard Lane Departure Warning System
* Standard heated steering wheel
* Standard power reclining rear seats
* Standard heated rear seats
* Standard premium Lexicon 7.1 Discrete surround sound audio system with 17 speakers
* Available rear console refrigerator (only available on some competitors’ LWB models)
EXTERIOR FEATURE AND PLATFORM TECHNOLOGY COMPARISON
Compared to its primary competitors, the Lexus LS460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, the Equus delivers a remarkable advantage in technology and feature content. Air suspension, 19-inch wheels, a collision warning system, nine airbags including rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, a Lane Departure Warning System, Smart Cruise Control, HID headlights, AFLS, front and rear parking sensors, a rear backup camera and a proximity key with push-button start come standard on Equus Signature and Equus Ultimate.
INTERIOR FEATURE COMPARISON
Equus delivers an extraordinary package of interior technologies and features including an Alcantara suede headliner, heated and cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, memory system, electronic parking brake, auto vehicle hold, navigation system, iPod connection, dual fully automatic temperature control, sunroof, power rear side-window shades, driver-seat massage, power reclining rear seats (60/40), heated rear seats and a power rear sunshade.
Of special appeal to audiophiles is the Equus’ standard, industry-leading 608-watt audio unit, the Lexicon® 7.1 Discrete surround sound audio system featuring 17 speakers.
EQUUS ULTIMATE ADDS ULTRA LUXURY FEATURES
* Equus Ultimate adds or replaces:
* 50/50 split rear seats (four-passenger seating) with reclining function
* First-class passenger-side rear seat: leg support and massage system
* Cooled rear seats
* Rear-seat entertainment system w/ eight-inch monitor
* Thermoelectric rear center console refrigerator
* Rear-seat power up/down head restraints w/ manual tilt
* Rear-seat illuminated vanity mirrors
* Forward-view cornering camera
* Power trunk lid
The Equus Ultimate takes the luxury mandate of the Equus Signature and enhances it with a package of high-end amenities new to this price class. In the rear, the power-adjustable right-side seat provides passengers a generous 84 degrees of leg support, with the capability to move the front passenger seat forward and out of the way for full leg extension.
The Equus Ultimate replaces the 60:40 rear seat of the Equus Signature with a 50:50 power reclining seating configuration.
The seat-back of this 50:50 seat massages and vibrates with heat — the perfect relaxation therapy for extended cruising. It is operated by its own remote control unit.
Ample, first-class-style headrests also contain wings that can be adjusted for perfect comfort and support, ideal for napping or mere relaxation.
The rear seat experience in the Equus Ultimate is further upgraded by an eight-inch LCD screen.
This individual entertainment system will play DVDs for rear-seat passengers, as well as demonstrate audio features and report on HVAC status. The rear multimedia monitor can be controlled from the rear console, which also houses the remote control seat massage function.
These controls also activate the heated and cooled rear seats and the rear console refrigerator.
Other Equus Ultimate features include rear-seat power up/down head restraints with manual tilt, rear-seat illuminated vanity mirrors, a forward-view cornering camera to help drivers navigate around tight corners and a power trunk lid.
THE HEART OF HYUNDAI’S FLAGSHIP – SOPHISTICATED POWERTRAIN AND CHASSIS TECHNOLOGIES
The Equus is powered by Hyundai’s two-consecutive-year award-winning 4.6-Liter DOHC Tau V8 engine, mated to a ZF® six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®. The overall driving experience is enhanced by Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS) and an electronically-controlled Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) and Smart Cruise Control. Stopping power is provided by four-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and EBD. The Equus rides on 19-inch chrome alloy wheels with P245/45R19 (front) / P275/40R19 (rear) tires.
STANDARD SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Equus features standard ESC with TCS and Brake Assist. A new Hyundai safety innovation comes in the form of the Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with pre-collision warning. VSM ties all of the active and passive safety features together, making sure that they perform optimally and in conjunction with one another.
Other safety features include a total of nine standard airbags (advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, driver knee airbag, and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags), electronic active front head restraints with power controls, electronic seatbelt pretensioners and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). In addition to these, a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) makes its Hyundai debut on the Equus.
Equus offers four exterior color choices and three interior theme choices. Exterior colors are White Satin Pearl, Black Noir Pearl, Granite Gray and Platinum Metallic. Interior themes are Cashmere with genuine Birch Burl wood, Jet Black with genuine walnut wood and Saddle with genuine walnut wood.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through about 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.
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