Detroit Auto Show: Hyundai unveils redesigned luxury Genesis


DETROIT -- Looking to take a bigger bite out of the luxury market, Hyundai introduced the second generation of its upscale Genesis sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.

Hyundai said it plans to keep the starting price below $40,000 and that for the first time it will offer an all-wheel drive version in addition to the standard rear-wheel drive version of the car.

That’s a significant move, said Jake Fisher, automotive test director for Consumer Reports.


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“That will increase the appeal of that car,” because buyers in wintery climes need the extra traction and won’t buy the rear-wheel model. “You can’t find a rear-wheel drive Mercedes or BMW in the Northeast.”

Hyundai is pitching the car as a value play, with a bigger interior and more amenities at a lower price than competitors such as the BMW 5-Series, Cadillac CTS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

“They are really trying to deliver value, style and technology and luxury features at a lower price point,” said Stephanie Brinley, an analyst at IHS Automotive.

But that’s an increasingly competitive market as the traditional luxury brands launch cars such as the $30,000 Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan in a bid to get more buyers into an entry-level luxury car, Brinley said.

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At the same time other automakers are offering higher trim levels of family sedans such as the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion.

“It is a hugely competitive space that plays on style and image,” Brinley said. “The new Genesis can’t just be good enough, it has to move the needle either through design, technology or pricing.”

The car will be built on an entirely new platform that won’t share components with the previous model.

Hyundai will offer two engine choices. For the power-hungry there will be a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.

The base model will come with a 3.8-liter six cylinder that produces 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. It also will run on regular grade fuel.

Both engines will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

For the first time, Hyundai is incorporating active safety systems into one of its vehicles.


The Genesis offers a forward collision alert system with automatic braking to help avoid a potential crash or reduce its impact. Such systems are starting to show up in cars and have gained favor with the insurance industry after claims demonstrated that they reduce accident rates. The car also will have an adaptive cruise control and a lane keeping assist system as well as a blind-spot detection system.

The new Genesis will be built at Hyundai’s Ulsan plant in South Korea and go on sale in the spring.