Hyundai will officially launch its stand-alone luxury Genesis brand in a couple of weeks – but it is understood there are no plans in place for its entry into New Zealand.
The South Korean giant is doing what Toyota did with Lexus, Honda with Acura, and Nissan with Infinity, except Hyundai’s new top-end models will pick up alphanumeric badges that start with a G.
The first is the car pictured above and at right, the G90, signifying it’s a big luxury sedan. It makes its first appearance on the internet and sports Hyundai’s new design language ‘athletic elegance’.
Spy photos have shown some of the G90’s interior, including a sweeping dashboard with large LCD screen, wood grain trim and brushed metal finishe. A new head-up display is said to be similar to that in the new BMW 7-Series.
The G90 replaces the current Equus sold in South Korea, the United States, Russia and China. There will also be other sedans, the G80 and G70. All told, Hyundai has six Genesis models lined up before 2020, including a go-fast mid-size sports sedan running a 300kW 3.3-litre V6.
The pictures of the G90 on this page come from a South Korean website. The first official launch pictures will follow soon. The next car to wear the G badge is likely to be an upgraded version of the existing Genesis sedan that Hyundai sells here for just under $100,000.
It will almost certainly be named the G80 and sit on a modified version of the existing chassis. Under the bonnet, depending on the market in which the car sells, will be either a turbocharged 3.3-litre V6 or a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8.
The man charged with penning the new Genesis range is former Bentley design director Luc Donckerwolke, who will head Hyundai’s new Prestige Design Division and work alongside company president and chief designer Peter Schreyer.
Donckerwolke, 50, is expected to take the top job when Schreyer, 63, retires in 2017. Schreyer was Volkswagen’s design chief before he moved to Hyundai affiliate Kia in 2006. He became the Hyundai Motor Group’s main penman in 2013.
Donckerwolke oversaw key Bentley models, including the new Bentayga SUV. He began his automotive design career in 1990 with Peugeot before moving to Audi in 1992. He designed two Lamborghinis, the 2002 Murcielago and 2004 Gallardo.