Detroit, MI — When Hyundai originally released the Genesis luxury sedan in 2008, a few eyebrows were raised; a company known for developing efficient hatches wasn’t supposed to do rear-wheel-drive luxury sedans.
Undaunted, the Genesis continued to sell and in late 2014, after a one-year hiatus in Canada, the second generation is set to launch and take the luxury theme further still.
A host of high-class materials including premium double-stitched leather, micro suede and textured aluminum come as standard inside, but perhaps the most notable addition (along with Napa leather) is the available open-pore matte-wood finish. Run your hand over this dash insert, and nothing but a real sense of luxury is driven home. Superb.
On the tech front, a hands-free trunk, heads-up display reflected off the windshield, 9.2-inch 720p display and 900-watt, 17-seaker Lexicon Logic 7 sound system do their best to add some new-school flare to the old money vibes provided by the rich leather and wood.
Exterior styling-wise, the Genesis is handsome if a little derivative of other luxury models—including the current Genesis—as you move front to back. Up front, however, the new grille (crowned with a machined-aluminum “Genesis” badge), mascara-lined headlamps and LED foglamps are spectacular and a testament to the luxury chops of the car.
Power comes from the choice of two engines: a 3.8-litre Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) V6 making 311 horsepower and 293 lb.-ft., and a 5.0L Tau V8 that makes 420 hp and 383 lb.-ft. Both come mated to an eight-speed automatic as standard, and both come standard in Canada with a new 40:60 front/rear split all-wheel-drive system (up to 100 per cent of power can be transferred to the rear wheels, and 90 per cent to the fronts). A crucial feature, that.
In order to keep things civil, 38 per cent more high-tensile steel has been used for the platform, helping increase torsional rigidity by 16 per cent. Paired with a full underbody cover, semi-active engine mounts and a new transmission cross-member, expect a quieter ride and less vibration both under hard acceleration and at cruise.
Pricing will be announced closer to the late ’14 release.