Steane Klose | May 15, 2007

What is the best thing to do when the rest of the world is talking about hybrids and bio-diesel? Well if you're Hyundai you announce a new V8 powered rear-wheel drive concept and though it may not be politically correct I for one think it is fantastic!

The Hyundai Concept Genesis was debuted at this years New York International Auto Show and is quite obviously targeted at the Lexus/BMW/Audi/Mercedes premium brands and managing to include more than a few BMW'ish lines in its styling.

“Concept Genesis extends our product range into new territories from a performance, design and packaging perspective,” said Steve Wilhite, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor America. “When it arrives in 2008 it will catapult Hyundai into competition against some potent rivals, and Genesis is up for the challenge.”

Hyundai’s Concept Genesis features the newly developed Tau DOHC 32-valve V8 engine and ZF 6-speed automatic. The Tau V8 develops well over 225kw and is expected to accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than 6 seconds. Larger displacement and forced induction options will be available in the future.

hyudaigenesisrearclose.bmp

The platform for Genesis is RWD and provides a 53:47 front/rear weight distribution for superior handling and steering feel. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is fitted along with other safety acronyms like ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Traction Control (TC) . The use of high-tensile steels in the construction has endowed Concept Genesis with 12-14 per-cent better torsional rigidity than the BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Genesis is fitted with eight airbags and active headrests.

The Hyundai Concept Genesis is expected to go from concept to production reality later in 2008 when it will be introduced to the US market for around $30k…

Hyundai now face the same issue that confronted Toyota when it wanted to introduce a luxury brand that would be taken seriously alongside the best from Germany. It took a whole new brand (Lexus) and a decade for Toyota to build brand awareness, reputation and leave behind the ‘budget manufacturer’ label.

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It remains to be seen if the Genesis will be the start of a whole new premium brand or come onto the market as a Hyundai. I’m guessing their will be a new brand name.

At this stage the Genesis is only being manufactured for the US market but if it is a success then we can no-doubt expect to see it in Australia…one day...maybe.

Concept Genesis specifications include:

TECHNOLOGY

• Advanced adaptive cruise control

• Electronic Stability Control

• Eight airbags

• Heat / cool seats

• High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with adaptive leveling

• Push-button start

• Navigation with backup camera

• Electric parking brake

• Bluetooth technology

• USB / Auxiliary input jack

• HD Radio™ Receiver

• XM Satellite Radio® • Infinity® Discrete Surround Audio System

GENESIS PREMIUM SPORTS SEDAN SPECIFICATIONS

• Configuration: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports sedan

• Wheelbase: 2935 mm / 115.6 inches

• Overall length: 5005 mm / 197.0 inches

• Overall width: 1863 mm / 73.3 inches

• Overall height: 1490 mm / 58.7 inches

• Track, f/r: 1575 mm / 62.0 inches, 1580 mm / 62.2 inches

• Wheels: 20-inch multi-spoke

• Engine type: V8

• Estimated horsepower: Well over 225kw

• Estimated torque: Over 405Nm

• Displacement: 4.6 litre

• Block material: High pressure die casting aluminum block

• Cylinder head material: Aluminum

• Valvetrain: Dual Over Head Cam (DOHC)

• Valve timing: Continuous variable valve timing

• Variable induction system

• Fuel delivery: Multi-port fuel injection

• Estimated 0-100 km/h: well under 6.0 seconds

• Recommended fuel: Unleaded

• Transmission type: ZF 6-speed automatic

• Suspension: Front multi-link (5-link) / Rear multi-link (5-link)

• Stabilizer bar (front/rear): 26 mm/18 mm

• Weight distribution front to rear: 53:47

• Brakes: Power-assisted 4-wheel disc

• Front brake diameter (mm / in): 320 / 12.6 ventilated disc

• Rear brake diameter (mm / in): 314 / 12.4 solid disc

• Steering type: Speed-sensing rack-and-pinion

• Steering ratio: 14.86glimpse

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