The Equus is a new luxury vehicle from Hyundai debuting in 2011. It's the largest, most luxurious and most powerful car Hyundai makes, and they have high hopes it can compete with the best from European and Japanese automakers at any price.
Hyundai is aiming for the premium luxury market with 2011's Equus. It's a brand-new sedan and a brand-new segment for Hyundai. The Equus is a V8-powered large sedan akin to BMW's 7-series and Lexus LS.
The Equus is powered by a 385-horsepower V8 connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The rear-wheel drive car uses adaptive air suspension to provide a soft, comfortable ride that automatically adapts to road conditions. The Equus also offers a "Sport" mode which tightens the suspension response and remaps transmission shift points and shift speed.
The exterior of the Equus indicates Hyundai's lofty aspirations. Styling cues from both the Mercedes S-Class and Lexus LS are evident, as are smooth, understated lines and a prominent grille. One thing that's not prominent is the Hyundai logo--the company may still be trying to shake their economy-car image. Standard 19-inch wheels come shod with low-profile 40-series tires. HID headlamps are standard and come with LED turn signals and fog lamps.
Inside, Hyundai hit all of the luxury car bullet points. An audiophile surround audio system by Lexicon has an astounding 17 speakers and iPod input. Navigation and Bluetooth are also standard equipment. The driver's seat is 12-way power-adjustable and both front seats are heated and cooled. The driver can even enjoy a standard integrated massage system. The interior is clad completely in leather, including the dash. There's wood on the dash as well, and the headliner is made of Alcantara suede.
"Smart" cruise control and proximity-based keyless entry are included as are power sunshades and a front and rear park-assist system with rearview camera. The Equus also comes with a tire pressure monitor and a lane-departure system too.
Safety equipment is a necessary component within the luxury segment, and the Equus doesn't disappoint. Electronic stability control and traction control are included as are an automatic vehicle stability system and anti-lock brakes. Airbags are standard, of course, and include the usual front-impact but also include side-curtains, seat-mounted side-impact and there's one for the driver's knees as well.
Step up to the Ultimate trim, and it includes a rear-seat entertainment system, impressive rear seats that power-recline, are heated and cooled and massage the legs and back of the occupants. A forward-facing cornering camera is included, as is a power trunk lid and a refrigerated rear console.
There are no factory options available, but it's hard to imagine what else a potential buyer might want to equip the Equus with--it's an amazing luxury value and a very-well equipped entry in the full-size luxury sedan segment for Hyundai.