Watch out high-end German auto manufacturers — there is a new player in town.
Well, kind of. Hyundai announced that it is splitting off the Genesis badge as a separate global luxury division starting this month, not unlike what Nissan has done with Infiniti, Toyota with Lexus, and so forth. To kick things off, the company just took the covers off their flagship, the G90 executive sedan, in South Korea a few days ago.
A total of six models will be eventually be available by 2020, all named G (for Genesis), followed by a segment number (90, 80, 70, etc.) The former winged logo has been slightly redesigned to reflect the new direction for the brand.
“We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction,” said Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor Company vice chairman. “The Genesis brand will fulfill these expectations, becoming a market leader through our human-centered brand strategy.”
The official literature states that the purpose of Genesis is to redefine the luxury car market, providing a future-centric mobility platform centred on people. There are four points to this plan:
• Human-focused innovation
• Refined and balanced performance
• Athletic elegance in design
• Hassle-free customer experience
The G90, known as the EQ900 in the Korean market, gives a good preview of what’s to come. Resembling a more stylized combination of the current Hyundai Genesis and Equus, the vehicle includes adaptive suspension, semi-autonomous adaptive cruise control, and a neat feature that takes into account the driver’s height and automatically sets the positioning of the seat, steering wheel, mirrors and even the angle of the head-up display for optimal comfort and control.
North American powertrain specifications haven’t been released yet, but customers in South Korea will get a choice between a naturally-aspirated or turbocharged six cylinder engine, making 311 horsepower and 365 hp respectively, or an eight cylinder producing 419 hp. Both rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations are available, and all models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
In addition to Canada and the United States, the new Genesis line-up will also be made available in the Middle East and China, with plans to expand to Europe and other parts of Asia. Look for the G90 to go on sale later in 2016.