Hyundai has literally stepped up to the big time with the 2011 Equus luxury sedan.
At 5.1 metres long, the Equus was designed and built to take on Audi A8, Lexus LS 460 and Mercedes-Benz S550.
Boasting available rear seats with massage function and a centre console that features a beverage cooler, the Equus also comes with just about every driver aid and creature comfort feature you can name.
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More importantly, it marks a big step up into unchartered territory for the Korean carmaker.
While Hyundai sells oodles of small and mid-size trucks and cars, their bigger offerings have faced challenges.
The full-size Sedona minivan never sold well and the seven-seat Veracruz CUV is a rare sight on Canadian roads.
So what Hyundai is going to do differently this time around is make it personal.
Not only will they send specialist salespeople to the homes or offices of potential buyers but they will also drop off a car so a customer can take it for a spin on his/her own.
Only 27 dealers across the country in Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto (and the surrounding area), Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver will be getting the car.
But is Canada ready for a Hyundai premium luxury car?
At more than 2,000 kg, the Equus has a lot of weight to push around and does so surprisingly well for its bulk.
And here’s where the perception/reality thing comes in.
It’s a challenge Hyundai has faced before, and if history does repeat itself; watch out Lexus, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.