2011 Hyundai Equus Preview

Critical Facts

  • All-new Hyundai flagship model
  • Designed to compete with the world's premier luxury sedans
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Standard 8-cylinder power
  • Standard leather, natural wood, and Alcantara interior
  • Four- or 5-passenger seating
  • Available lane-departure warning system
  • Debuts during the summer of 2010

Introduction

It was 2008 when Hyundai introduced the world to its all-new Genesis Sedan. The luxury-oriented 4-door was designed to compete in a segment of established luxury models, including the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6, Lexus GS and Infiniti M. The Genesis sedan matched the competition on power (6- or 8-cylinder engine choices) and options, with the added benefit of a lower price and the automaker's longer standard warranty.

Two years later, the Korean automaker is once again diving headfirst into another well-established segment. This time, Hyundai is introducing its all-new 2011 Equus-a full-size luxury vehicle designed to compete with upper echelon offerings including the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Lexus LS. Like those lofty players, the Equus offers standard 8-cylinder power and an extensive list of equipment and technology.

The 2011 Hyundai Equus will debut at select dealerships in the summer of 2010.

Design

2011 Hyundai EquusThe Hyundai Equus is built on an extended Genesis platform. The automaker's shared rear-wheel-drive architecture is also used for the Genesis Coupe. Compared to the Genesis sedan, the Equus is 7.2 inches longer than its sibling. When compared to the competition, the Equus is longer than the Lexus LS, but shorter than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Model Lineup

Hyundai is only offering the Equus in one wheelbase configuration (many competitors offer both short- and long-wheelbase models). However, the automaker will offer 4- or 5-passenger cabin configurations. In both cases, driver and passenger seats are designed for ultimate comfort, Hyundai says. With that in mind, the seats are engineered with driver thigh support, plenty of width, and great range of adjustment. The seats also offer heating, cooling, and humidity control; a massage feature is optional. All Hyundai Equus models feature standard leather upholstery, Alcantara headliner, and natural wood trim with leather-wrapped instrument panels.

In addition to a full suite of power convenience equipment, a standard Driver Information System (DIS) provides navigation, XM satellite radio, HD radio, and Bluetooth hands-free communication. The automaker teamed with Lexicon (a supplier of audio systems to Rolls-Royce, among others) to deliver a high-end audio system featuring LOGIC 7 technology. The standard audio package includes a 13-channel digital amplifier and 17 speakers, producing 608 watts of sound in 7.1 surround sound audio. Optional upgrades to the audio system include digital HD radio, XM satellite radio, and iPod/USB port integration.

Hardware

2011 Hyundai EquusLike its premium competition, the all-new Hyundai Equus will be offered with standard 8-cylinder power during the 2011 model year. (However, as the competition may offer 6-cylinder power in the near future to improve fuel economy, Equus may logically follow their lead). The DOHC all-aluminum 4.6-liter V-8 engine is shared with the Hyundai Genesis sedan, but under the hood of the larger Equus it is rated at 385 horsepower and 333 lb.-ft. of torque-numbers that are slightly higher than the rating in the Genesis sedan. (Unlike most of its competition, the Hyundai Equus is designed to run on non-premium unleaded fuel, with only a slight loss of horsepower.) Engine power is sent to the rear wheels through a standard ZF 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with "Shiftronic" manual shift mode. According to Hyundai, the all-new Equus will accelerate to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. In EPA fuel-economy testing, the Hyundai Equus earns 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway (19 mpg combined).

The suspension of the new Hyundai Equus is of a multi-link design in both the front and rear, with standard electronically controlled air suspension (EAS) featuring continuous damping control (CDC) with height-adjustable Sport Mode. A vehicle-speed-sensing electro-hydraulic power steering system is also standard. Disc brakes are fitted to all four corners and supplemented by a 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS). All variants feature chrome-plated, aluminum-alloy 19-inch wheels wearing staggered tires (245/45R19 in the front and 275/40R19 in the rear).

Safety

2011 Hyundai EquusAll 2011 Hyundai Equus models are fitted with driver and front passenger dual air bags, front and rear seat-mounted side air bags, roof-mounted curtain air bags, and a driver's knee air bag-there are nine air bags within the cabin. There are 3-point seat belts in all positions-the front seat belts have pre-tensioners and force limiters. Active front headrests are standard. In addition, all Equus models are equipped with standard electronic stability control, traction control, and tire-pressure monitoring. The outboard seating positions on the rear seats are equipped with anchors for the LATCH child-seat-attachment system.

Technology

With a focus on safety, Hyundai is offering its all-new Equus flagship sedan with a lane-departure-warning system that alerts the driver with a warning light and chime if the vehicle deviates from its lane for more than one second. If the alert is unheeded for more than three seconds, the system will tug on the seat belt to physically alert the driver to the unintended direction change. The Equus is also fitted with a standard electronic parking brake. While this technology is commonplace on many cars today as a parking feature, Hyundai's approach holds the vehicle stationary whenever the Equus comes to a stop-even at stoplights. The parking brake is automatically released as soon as the gas pedal is pressed.