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Pedigree or Pretender?

Posted by: Mark Bilek

2011 Hyundai EquusEarlier this week, Hyundai Motor America announced pricing for its new uber-luxury sedan, the Equus. The "base" Equus Signature has a starting price of $58,000 and the top-of-the-line Equus Ultimate rolls at $64,500.

For those not familiar, Equus is Hyundai's attempt to broach the full-size luxury car market. Size and feature wise it competes with vehicles like the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Jaguar XK, Lexus LS, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Rarified air indeed!

Every Equus comes with a 385-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels. Equus has a four-inch longer wheelbase and is seven inches longer overall than the Hyundai Genesis sedan upon which it is based. Available safety features include six airbags, blind-spot alert and lane-departure warning.

Seating for five passengers is standard. Also available is a four-passenger version that comes standard with a rear center console with chilled bin, power rear seats, and a rear entertainment system.

According to John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO, "We're confident that smart luxury buyers will discover that Equus competes well with similar flagship products from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus," said. "But the traditional luxury brands simply can't compete with the unique retail and ownership experience we'll be providing for the Equus owner, including "Your Time, Your Place," the industry's first at-home vehicle demonstration program; the "At Your Service" program, which provides complimentary valet at-home pickup and no-charge maintenance for five years or 60,000 miles; and the industry's first iPad-based interactive owner's manual."

Equus doesn't arrive in Hyundai dealerships until December, but DriveChicago Radio host Paul Brian had the opportunity to sample Equus this past week and will be talking about it in relation to the new Jaguar XJ sedan--which also happened to be in the driving stable. DriveChicago Radio is on WLS AM890 from 8-9 a.m. each Saturday morning.

 Equus Jaguar
Jaguar Badge Equus Badge
Jaguar Headlamp Equus Headlamp
Jaguar Interior Equus Interior
Jaguar Wheel Equus Wheel

 

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