Genesis is a goer
Hyundai’s latest reinforces the quality line
THE second part of the Genesis jigsaw has fallen into place in South Korea— and the Australian arm is intent on getting both parts.
The HND-9 concept coupe is a thinly disguised version of the production Genesis two-door. Ditch the show car’s more outrageous design cues— such as the butterfly doors, highmounted camera ‘‘ mirrors’’ and Tron-like steering wheel— and it’s a goer.
Hyundai Australia spokesman Bill Thomas says the coupe will need to start at about $40,000 to win buyers but warns that he’s yet to see the standard spec or potential drivetrains.
‘‘ I think it would work at about $40,000 with a high specification level and the turbo 2.0-litre engine,’’ Thomas says. ‘‘ It’s probably a year off.’’
The concept coupe was shown with a 272kW 3.3-litre turbo V6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission, opening up the possibility of the coupe line-up stretching further up the food chain to the prestige segment.
There’s no timing on the sedan version of the Genesis, which was shown earlier this year in Detroit as the HCD14 concept.
Thomas says the sedan will be a tougher sell, given it could cost $60,000 when it lands here with a full load of shockand-awe electronic toys.
‘‘ It’s not a good time to be selling large, rear-drive passenger cars in Australia,’’ he says. ‘‘ That said, we’ve got a marketing manager with a bit of experience in just that area. The equipment levels will be telling for both cars.
‘‘ If we can load them up I think they’ll sell.’’
They will also help sell the message that Hyundai is deservedly rid of its cheap and cheerful tag.
The company may have launched in Australia in 1986 with bargain-priced small cars packed with gear but Hyundai’s global PR boss Frank Ahrens says there is a major point of difference.
‘‘ Quality is now paramount,’’ he says, ‘‘ and by that I mean build quality, pricing quality and the quality of service before and after the car’s been bought.
‘‘ We’re not trying to become BMW and exist as a prestige car company but . . . at the top of the range we’re now looking to run shoulder-to-shoulder with the Europeans.’’