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New Genesis on global par

New Genesis on global par

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Published : 2013-12-22 19:57
Updated : 2013-12-22 19:57

Hyundai Motor’s New Genesis on the Yeongam F1 track

YEONGAM, South Jeolla Province ― Test-driving Hyundai’s New Genesis proved it to be a mighty fine car. It looks good both inside and out, with the specs to match the local carmaker’s drive to join the ranks of the world’s high-class automakers.

The ride was mostly about stability and tranquility, but this doesn’t mean the car lacks power. The 3.8-liter engine is capable of 315 horsepower, with a maximum torque of 40.5 kilogram-meters. Accelerating and braking were both effortless, although the heavier body had an effect on the car’s power.

Otherwise, the premium car fulfilled every inch it aspired to, including the all-wheel-drive option, which is likely to have huge appeal for snowbelt region customers.

At the F1 track in Yeongam, the New Genesis stuck to the road like glue and every time I turned a corner as I marveled at how easy the steering was.

But as many have pointed out, the fuel economy wasn’t great, once again due to the heavier body weight. At most, you get around 6-7 kilometers per liter.

As a full-model change of the Genesis lineup that first emerged in 2008, the New Genesis is up to 170 kilograms heavier and 1.5 centimeters longer for the 3.8 four-wheel trim ― 7.5 mm of that is thanks to a longer wheelbase, meaning that much more legroom. The 3.3 two-wheel is about 130 kilograms heavier.

The heavier weight is mostly attributed to the increased use of high-strength steel used for the New Genesis ― more than 50 percent of the car ― to make it more resilient.

It would take a pretty severe crash to see just how safe the car is, but on paper, things looked top-notch. Further, you’re surrounded by nine air bags, included those at the knees.

I won’t go into all the new gadgets and functions that have been added to make the car safer ―many were written in for the safety of not only the passengers, but pedestrians as well ― but it was clear Hyundai was striving toward global standards.

The interior, however, could be glossier, as traces lingered of the Hyundai bluntness earned during its days as a mass-producing auto company, and not so focused on the details.

As the world’s fifth-largest carmaker, Hyundai hopes to sell up to 62,000 units of the New Genesis next year, including in the U.S. and European markets where it hopes to rub shoulders with premium brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

We wish it good luck.

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

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