DOES GENESIS MARK THE END?
HYUNDAI GAMBLES ON BIG V6
IN the last couple of years, Hyundai has hardly put a foot wrong.
They keep punching out cars, each one better than before and some sought now for their style as much as for value for money.
That is until, perhaps, now because a question mark hangs over the wisdom of bringing a big car into the country with a big petrol V6 when the big car is in its twilight years.
Then there's the question of price.
Prices for rear-wheel drive Genesis start from $60,000, bad enough in itself but it's gets worse, with the mid-range Sensory model priced from $71,000 and top-ofthe-line Ultimate a whopping $82,000; all of these figures before on-road costs.
It doesn't matter how good the car is, the fact of the matter is that no one is going to fork out this kind of money for a Hyundai; not when you could get a Lexus or even an entry level E-Class for the same money.
The front of the car carries a unique winged Genesis badge, but the back wears the Hyundai name.
Overseas the car is badged front and rear as a Genesis and in hindsight, Hyundai might have been better served by adopting the same strategy here.
It's worked for Toyota and Nissan.
In a nice touch, at night the puddle lights project an image of the Genesis badge on the ground beside the car; a bit like Batman and the bat signal.
There are smaller V6s as well as V8 available in other markets, but no diesel.
At this stage we get just the one 3.8-litre V6 with direct injection that produces 232kW of power and 397Nm of torque.
It is paired with an 8-speed automatic, together with paddles shifters and Shiftronic manual shift mode.
The Lambda II engine employs Gasoline Direct Injection (GDi), triangular-pattern fuel injectors, Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), three-stage variable induction, all-aluminium block and heads, steel timing chain and iridium-tipped spark plugs.
Performance is on the sharp side with the dash from 0100km/h taking a rapid-fire 6.5 seconds.
Fuel consumption, perhaps the biggest deal breaker after the price, is a claimed 11.2 litres/100km.
We were getting litres/100km after 400km.
Genesis has received a maximum five-star safety rating.
In fact, with an overall score of 36.88 points out of a possible 37, it is best result ever achieved in Ancap's 21-year history.
The drive is impressive to say the least.
At 4.99 metres, it's 43mm longer than a Commodore and has a 1mm longer wheelbase than a Holden Caprice.
The sporty lines are pure Audi with its long bonnet and short haunches.
Maybe its the winged badge, but the plunging bonnet and upright radiator grille suggest Aston Martin while the view from the rear is pure Hyundai.
It's big, quiet and classy and uses less fuel than we anticipated.
Our test vehicle was the valueadded, mid-range Sensory model.
We are frankly surprised to see such high-end features as Heads Up Display and automatic cruise control fitted.
The new Heads-Up Display (HUD) projects an image of the car's speed and other info on to the lower part of the windscreen and is visible even with polarised sunglasses, unlike many European systems.
Information such as current speed, Smart Cruise Control (SCC) status, Blind-Spot Detection (BSD) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) data is projected ahead of the driver.
The car exudes quality with leather, climate air, a dash that is dominated by a large 9.2 inch touchscreen and high end Lexicon 17-speaker audio system.
World-first CO2 sensor technology prevents the occupants from becoming drowsy by adjusting and balancing the intake of fresh and recirculated air.
Verdict: We like it but will buyers wear the price; that's the $64,000 question?
It's certainly good enough but others have tried and failed before, so Hyundai is taking a huge gamble with this car.