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New Genesis to take on BMW, Benz

An image of Hyundai Motor’s next-generation Genesis. (Hyundai Motor)
An image of Hyundai Motor’s next-generation Genesis. (Hyundai Motor)
The wraps have come off Hyundai Motor’s latest flagship sedan.

On Thursday, the media was offered a sneak peak into the next generation Genesis that the country’s largest carmaker has been developing for years in a bid to outperform global premium brands such as the BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

“The new Genesis is the first car that reflects our new brand identity of ‘modern premium’ and product identity of ‘caring,’” said executive vice president Hwang Jeong-ryeol who overlooked the project. “The new Genesis hopes to offer a brand new consumer experience based on reinforced performance and satisfaction.”

The new Genesis is to hit the markets by the end of the year.

Hyundai Motor has planned this new vehicle ― project name DH ― since 2009, in aims to develop a globally competitive luxury sedan for the mid-segment.

As widely rumored, the new Genesis will be the first to utilize the HTRAC all-wheel drive system for the first time. HTRAC electronically controls the torque split between the front and rear axles depending on road and driving conditions.

Put more simply, this means the driver can seamlessly switch to all-wheel drive when necessary.

HTRAC was developed to win back customers who had opted for the all-wheel drives offered by European brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

On the outside, the most significant change is the application of the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, an upgrade of the original Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy.

While adhering to the traditional lines of the original concept, the new Genesis had taken on a bold and dynamic aspect that was accentuated by the Hexagonal grill that consists of broad horizontal lines in a gaping mouth. The rear was also redesigned to resemble the concept car, HNC, with elongated tear-drop-shaped tail lights.

The length is about 5 mm longer than the current Genesis, but the wheelbase has been lengthened a bit more for increased legroom.

High-strength steel, instead of aluminum or magnesium, was used for more than 50 percent of the new sedan’s framework.

This makes the new Genesis a safer car as its tensile strength ― stress resistance ― has been enhanced to become 40 percent stronger compared to German brands, Hyundai claimed.

The interior was designed based on the concept of creating a “natural lounge.” Gadgets had been dispensed of, with only the most essential features left.

Hyundai was reticent to reveal the specifications of the new Genesis in further detail, but many expect prices to be lower than German brands.

The new Genesis will be available only in the gasoline version for now, the Hyundai executives said.

By Kim Ji-hyun (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)
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