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2009 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Preview

2009 Hyundai Genesis Sedan Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2008

Critical Knowledge:
  • Luxury sport sedan built on a new rear-wheel-drive (RWD) platform

  • Choice of V-6 or Hyundai's first V-8 engine

  • Features include 17-speaker Lexicon stereo, adaptive front lights, smart cruise control

  • Goes on sale Summer 2008

  • Most expensive Hyundai starts at less than $30,000


Introduction
The Genesis rear-wheel-drive (RWD), V-8 engine sedan will top the mainstream Hyundai lineup when it goes on sale in June. To be introduced in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, the Genesis is designed to compete with more expensive luxury models. Hyundai press materials mention the BMW 5 Series and Infiniti M as engineering benchmarks, but also identify the Chrysler 300 and Pontiac G8 as the likely competitive set. Hyundai will emphasize the driving performance of the Genesis: three engine choices; two 6-speed automatic transmissions; 5-link independent suspension front and rear; a 53/47 front/rear weight distribution; and a stiffer body due to the use of high-tensile steel. Measuring 197 inches long and 73.3 inches wide, and riding on a 115.6-inch wheelbase, the Genesis is a bit larger than most midsize cars. Hyundai says its cabin is more spacious than a Mercedes-Benz E-Class or a BMW 7 Series. Wood trim on the instrument panel, leather heated and cooled seats, a windshield defogger with a humidity sensor, and rain-sensing wipers are among Genesis' standard features.

In addition to Hyundai's standard 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and 5-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, the Genesis comes with five years of 24-hour roadside assistance with no mileage limit.

Hardware
Genesis Sedan buyers will be able to select from a 289-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 engine or a new 4.6-liter, Tau V-8 engine. That engine produces an estimated 360 hp and uses regular fuel. Press materials suggest a 0-to-60 mph time of less than 6 seconds. Both a V-8 engine and the Genesis' RWD architecture are new for vehicles from the South Korean automaker.

A ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic is paired with the V-8 powerplant, while both V-6 motors get mated with an Aisin 6-speed automatic.
Both V-6s use continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and a new variable intake system (VIS) for smoother power throughout the torque range, Hyundai says. All three engines receive the EPA's Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) rating.

Five-link front and rear independent suspension offer a more precise ride and less kickback response through the steering wheel, Hyundai says, adding that the Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD) in the Genesis improve ride comfort without compromising handling.


Safety
Standard safety fare on the 2009 Hyundai Genesis include eight air bags; electronic stability control (ESC); and electronic active head restraints. Hyundai says this is the first appearance of the technology in a mainstream brand. The anti-lock braking system (ABS) includes brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution. Adaptive front lights that swivel slightly when cornering and an electronic parking brake also are standard. Front and rear bumpers feature eight sensors to help warn when objects are close with a dashboard distance reading and a beep.

Technology
Hyundai says the Lexicon Discrete Surround audio system, with LOGIC 7 technology, is found on two models-the Genesis and the Rolls-Royce Phantom. It features 17 speakers, a 12-channel digital amplifier and produces 500 watts. The Genesis also gets a HD digital receiver, and standard XM satellite radio. A USB/iPod auxiliary input jack as well as Bluetooth hands-free telephony are standard on the sedan. A navigation system with an 8-inch monitor is optional. A rear back-up safety system with camera can be added. The leather-wrapped steering wheel features ultraviolet reflective material to keep it cooler-a segment exclusive, Hyundai says.
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