Latest concept targets premium rivals

If produced, the Genesis, a big V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive sedan would be a milestone in Hyundai’s history.


Not content with having just introduced its new and improved i30 hatchback at the recent Geneva motor show — which might come to Canada as an addition to Hyundai’s new Elantra sedan range — it seems the Korean automaker is setting its sights on an altogether more ambitious target.

If the sketches of its latest concept are any indication, Hyundai is working on a new, large luxury sedan targeted squarely at taking on the Acura RL, Infiniti M35/45 and Lexus GS sedans.

The sketches seen here of the Concept Genesis it will unveil next month at the New York motor show suggest a radical departure for Hyundai’s future styling but, even more so, in its intention to move upmarket. That’s because the Genesis is a big V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive sedan and, if produced, would be a milestone in the maturity of one of the fastest-growing brands in recent automotive history.

Currently, the biggest sedan Hyundai sells in North America is the Azera which is more spacious, the company claims, than a BMW 7 Series. However, the Azera gets by on V6 power and uses front-wheel-drive; the V8, rear-drive Concept Genesis has the mechanical layout that upmarket sedan buyers favour.

The Concept’s high shoulder line, tapered headlights and coupe-like roofline are all design cues typical of upscale Japanese sedans — such as Acura’s RL, the Infiniti M and Lexus’ GS — that have made market gains at the expense of old-school, traditional domestic sedans.