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Hyundai just weeks from springing Genesis

Pop up: The new Hyundai Genesis sedan will be built in right-hand drive, and thus is under serious consideration for Australia.

Korean unveiling likely for Hyundai’s new flagship ahead of Detroit show launch

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Hyundai logo11 Nov 2013

By RON HAMMERTON

HYUNDAI’S new second-generation Genesis luxury sedan is likely to be revealed in South Korea within weeks, ahead of the officially proclaimed public launch at the Detroit motor show in January.

The new sedan will join the yet-to-be-shown Genesis coupe on global markets in 2014, with both versions available in right-hand drive for the first time.

Hyundai Motor Co Australia (HMCA) has already confirmed the coupe for Australia – probably launching it within 12 months – and is seriously considering the sedan to give it a weapon in the executive car market for the first time.

HMCA chief operating officer John Elsworth last weekend confirmed that the four-door Genesis is still on the radar for this market, even though the large sedan segment has been under pressure.

“We look at anything in the Hyundai world,” he said. “It (the large car segment) is definitely not a growing segment, but that said, it (Genesis) is supposed to be a very good car, so we will weigh it up.”

Hyundai head office executive recently indicated that the sedan would be exported to Australia, with an announcement expected before the end of the year.

Hyundai’s relentless push up market over the past several years, from cheap and cheerful to mainstream family car range with a much improved reputation for quality and safety, has changed the potential for a Genesis sedan to succeed in Australia this time.

The first-generation Genesis sedan and 2+2 coupe – both launched in 2008 – were sold only in South Korea, North America and China as a competitor for the likes of the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus GS.

Europe did not take the Genesis line, pointing to Lexus’s struggle for a foothold in that market against the entrenched Euro marques.

The current sedan is powered by a selection of V6 and V8 engines, including a pumping 5.0-litre Tau GDi R-Spec V8 producing 316kW of power and 510Nm of torque.

Powertrain choices for the new generation are yet to be confirmed, but Hyundai has announced that the new car will get its new HTRC all-wheel drive.

So far this year, the next-gen Genesis sedan and coupe have both been shown in concept form, with the four-door concept, the HCD-14, appearing at the Detroit show in January, followed by the HCD-9 coupe concept at the Seoul show in March.

With the production sedan set to go on public show in Detroit at the 2014 show, logic says the production coupe might follow at the 2014 Seoul car expo.

Officially, Hyundai says it will show the flagship sedan at the Detroit motor show in January, but Hyundai sources expect it might be sprung before the end of the year in Hyundai’s home market in South Korea.

Renderings of the production sedan’s exterior were released in October after photos of an undisguised test car made it online, saying that the car would be the first model to benefit from the company’s new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language..

Hyundai has held back images of the interior and other details until the formal unveiling.

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