Ten years ago, the thought than Hyundai would produce a luxury car on an equal footing with the Japanese would've been deemed ludicrous.
At the time, the Korean automaker had just passed it's tenth year of sales on US shores. While competitive on price, product quality and level of execution continued to lag behind their Japanese rivals.
But what a difference a decade makes.
In the coming weeks, Hyundai will launch the Genesis, their first bona fide luxury sedan. Powered at the rear wheels by the company's first V-8 — a 375 horsepower, DOHC 32-valve motor with variable valve timing — Hyundai hopes to sell 50,000 units per year, once the coupe joins the model lineup early next year.
Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Hyundai Genesis a five-star test ratings for front and side-impact crashes -- the highest rankings possible in the New Car Assessment Program.
"Genesis was engineered with a lightweight but strong body shell, featuring ultrahigh-tensile steel, laser welding and advanced adhesive bonding," said John Krafcik, vice president of strategic planning and product development at Hyundai Motor America.
"Add eight airbags and electronic active head restraints, and you can see the focus we placed on designing Genesis for occupant safety," Krafcik said in a statement.
We will have more on the Genesis coupe as its launch date nears in early 2009.
In addition to the V-8 shared with it's sedan sibling, the Genesis coupe will likely offer a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, possibly with direct fuel injection.
Image Credit: Hyundai
[Source - AN]