New York 2010: Hyundai Equus debuts in U.S.

, Posted by Sports Cars Fans at 11:07 AM

2011 Hyundai Equus

Hyundai showed off its new Sonata Turbo and Sonata Hybrid yesterday at the New York Auto Show, two vehicles that should help keep the brand's mid-size sedan moving up the sales charts with a bullet. With March sales figures just trickling in, it looks like the Sonata is now the third best-selling mid-size sedan behind the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. With its high level of equipment, style, quality and performance, it's not surprising to see this Korean doing well. Today in New York, the automaker showed how it can take that level of refinement found in the Sonata and its bigger brother, the Genesis, and ratchet it up another notch for a new flagship, the Hyundai Equus.

The Equus actually showed up last year in New York, sent over in world-market form to gauge customer interest. Apparently, it went swimmingly for Hyundai, as the production Equus will officially go on sale here towards the end of the year – well an oxymoronically named Equus, minus its signature hood ornament. Looking slightly less like the Lexus LS460 than the previous version of the car we'd seen, the U.S.-spec Equus has a shape that fits right in with upscale sedans from Buick, Lexus and Infiniti, if not Mercedes, BMW and Audi. Particularly at the rear fender, there is a swoop that doesn't quite speak luxury like the rest of the car though, reminding us more of a Dodge Charger than a Euro sedan. This production version though, particularly with its cleaner hood and grille, definitely has a refined look.

CEO John Krafcik wouldn't give us a firm number but did promise that the 385-horsepower sedan will come in with a base price somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000. The Equus will also launch a new luxury ownership experience being sold through select dealers in a dedicated area that will also include Genesis and Genesis Coupe. It will be available in four- or five-seat configurations with a mini fridge splitting the rear bucks on the rear twosome. Those backseats are also extremely comfortable, with power ventilation, heating and massage, plus a Maybach-like foot rest. Very nice.

[Source: Hyundai]