- No V8 Genesis, no V8 Supercar racing
- New Genesis Coupe still not locked in for Australia
- UPDATE: Two-model sedan strategy, price likely to start below LCT
Speaking to TMR at this week's Genesis preview drive in Korea, Hyundai Australia Chief Operating Officer John Elsworth said that the V8 Genesis is only engineered for left-hand drive - and likely will remain so for the life of the model.
The company's 5.0 litre Tau V8 produces 303kW and 505Nm, and is currently only available in the US-market Genesis.
A pair of V6s - a 3.3 litre and a 3.8 litre, both direct-injected - are sold in the Korean market, with the 3.8 litre bound for Australia in the fourth quarter of this year.
Coincidentally, a long-wheelbase Genesis prototype with a distinctive V8 gurgle drove past as we quizzed Mr. Elsworth at Hyundai's Namyang proving ground.
Someone, somewhere will eventually enjoy a longer V8-powered version of the Genesis, but it won't be anyone in Australia.
Responding to speculation that the arrival of the Genesis will also lead to a manufacturer-backed V8 Supercars campaign, Elsworth said that too was extremely unlikely to happen.
“We're about A-League, Carlton [AFL] and the WRC," Mr Elsworth told TMR.
"If we were to enter [V8 Supercars], we'd have to give up on one of them to go motor racing."
V8 Supercars last year welcomed three new marques to its grid, with Mercedes, Nissan and Volvo now competing with Holden and Ford.
PRICING And Model Spread
Pricing remains the big question for the new Genesis sedan. While Hyundai has openly called out the German and Japanese establishment on matching them for refinment and technology, it is unlikely the Korean company can safely play in Australia at the same price point.
Hyundai in its own press materials has offered a major hint at pricing for the Genesis sedan, and overseas markets already reflects this:
Elsworth told media in Korea today that the Genesis is "a brand statement" for Hyundai, with the car's image building potential meaning more than the margin the company can make on its price.
"If we have to minimise that margin," Elsworth said, "that's what we'll do".
Hyundai has also confirmed that we can expect a two-model strategy for the Genesis in Australia, with pricing likely to begin below the Luxury Car Tax - expect it to start below $60,000. (LCT threshold $61,884 for 2014/15.)
While Hyundai Australia won't commit to V8 Supercars, the company is still keen on bringing over the next-generation Genesis Coupe - if it ever eventuates.
“It's only been shown as a show car, and there's nothing that's been announced production-wise,” Elsworth said to journalists.
“But it's something that we want, yes. Absolutely.”
“It'd be great, but is it going to happen? I've got to tell you that I'm not holding my breath.”
These latest comments could mean that changes in the Genesis Coupe's global strategy have forced Hyundai Australia to begin back-pedalling on earlier news.
In March last year, Hyundai Australia confirmed that while timing must still be determined (the car has yet to be revealed), the Genesis Coupe had been locked in for a local launch.
The saga continues...