This is the first product of Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury brand, an S-Class-size saloon badged G90 – or EQ900 in the South Korean home market.
The Genesis G90 launches in Asia, America and the Middle East in the first half of next year, but it isn’t yet known if it will come to Europe. Historically, it’s proven difficult for new luxury brands to break into the European market. Toyota’s Lexus has achieved moderate success, but Nissan’s Infiniti has struggled and Honda hasn’t even bothered trying with Acura.
Three engines will be available from launch: 307bhp, 3.8-litre V6 and 420bhp, 5.0-litre V8 motors are carried over from the Equus and are joined by a new 3.3-litre, twin-turbo V6 producing 365bhp and 376lb/ft of torque.
Whatever the engine, the only choice of gearbox is an eight-speed automatic driving the rear wheels; four-wheel-drive is available as an option.
Also on the options list is Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension. Hyundai hasn’t actually said exactly what that is yet, but it is likely to be an advanced, electronically-controlled air suspension system.
Inside, the G90 is suitably lavishly equipped, with a 12.3in infotainment screen, three-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, 360-degree surround-view cameras, head-up display, Lexicon stereo and so on, and so on.
But the real party trick lies in the seats. The pair of rear armchairs are 14-way adjustable, while the driver’s is 22-way adjustable. If that kind of adjustablility is too much of a faff, Genesis has developed a Smart Posture Caring system, which reads the driver’s body shape and adjusts the seat, steering wheel, mirrors and head-up display to suit. Clever stuff, if it works.
While the G90 can stand toe-to-toe with its German rivals on gadgetry, whether or not the interior matches their material and build quality remains to be seen. In design terms, at least, it doesn’t quite match up. Same goes for the exterior. It’s a handsome brute with some nice detailing but, to our eyes, doesn’t look as special as a Mercedes S-Class.
Genesis plans to launch a six-model range by 2020, including smaller G80 and G70 saloons, plus an SUV and coupe.
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By Only Motors