Equus road-testing in US

Gwaneum

Getting familiar with the group...
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Seen a few days ago in Diamond Bar, which is 30 miles east of Los Angeles.

Diamond Bar is home to many South Koreans on US corporate assignments, often for South Korea's large conglomerates. There is one household which works for Hyundai-Kia as a test driver; s/he has driven a number of Hyundai-Kia vehicles before their official US introduction, including the Azera, the Veracruz, two examples of the Genesis Sedan, the Genesis Coupe, the Borrego, and the Soul.

Some of the vehicles that show up here include KDM vehicles; there was a Sonata NF with KDM-only rear parking sensors a few years ago, and now I get to see this Equus VS460. It comes complete with license plate mounting holes for the new European-sized plates that South Korea now gets (look closely). New holes had to be drilled in, I presume, to get that California distributor plate on there.

KDM Hyundai vehicles get alphanumeric trim levels, based on engine displacement. The Genesis is available as the BH330 and the BH380 (there is no BH460, as the V8 is export only). The old Equus topped out at VS450 (the old Mitsubishi Omega V8), and the new Equus, using the 4.6L Tau, carries the VS- coding forward as VS460.

I wasn't driving my Genesis when I took this photo; I was driving an older Honda Accord. This Equus was driving quite hard - it's a steep uphill climb after this right turn, and my Accord simply couldn't keep up with the Equus and its Tau.

Enjoy the pic.
 

Gwaneum

Getting familiar with the group...
I'll also add the following:

This was my first sighting of the second-generation Equus. Sure, I was sitting in Seoul for months last year, but that was when the first Equus was being phased out. This new Equus (also known as the VI, just like the Genesis is the BH) hadn't even been unveiled then.

Also, I'm starting to get the KDM badging fever. I had vowed to never give my Genesis the KDM look, but already I've done the wing badge on the hood and the wheel caps. I even have the BH380 thingy on the trunk. It's very tempting to do the wing badge on the trunk, and put the "GENESIS" and "BH380" badges in their correct KDM locations, to finish the deal. But on the other hand, I *do* want people to know that my Genesis is a lowly Hyundai (and superior to their BMWs), so I really hate the idea of having to remove that H oval on the trunk.

(If my next car purchase - that Honda Accord needs to be replaced someday - turns out to be a lesser Hyundai, I'll surely do the whole KDM badging deal to it. Most likely it'll be an Elantra, which will get the whole "AVANTE" treatment.)
 

Mark_888

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Hyundai has a large presence in southern CA.

There is a Hyundai-Kia Design & Technical Center in Irvine, and the $60 million Hyundai-Kia Proving Ground in California City (which is used by other automakers also--presumably on a fee basis).

I assume they test Korean market vehicles there also.
 

Gwaneum

Getting familiar with the group...
Don't forget - Hyundai Motor America has been based in Fountain Valley ever since the days of the very first Excels.

Kia Motor America also has a very nice HQ next to the I-5, in Irvine. I drive by all the time and get glimpses of the all-new Forte in the lobby. (The Forte replaces the Spectra, and I like its styling, which reminds me of some late 1990s Citroens.)
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ctrcbob

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Hyundai has a large presence in southern CA.

There is a Hyundai-Kia Design & Technical Center in Irvine, and the $60 million Hyundai-Kia Proving Ground in California City (which is used by other automakers also--presumably on a fee basis).

I assume they test Korean market vehicles there also.

There are a lot of Hyundai's being driven around Central Florida. Everywhere I look, I see Hyundai's. Even getting to see more Genesis' around here. Went to a restaurant in Eustis yesterday evening, and there was a Black or Dark Blue Genesis parked two cars away from me. It seems that I see more Hyundai's around here, than Honda's.

On my recent trip out to Phoenix and Roswell, I never saw any, either on the road, or in either of those cities. I can understand why none in Roswell, as they only have one dealer, and I was not impressed with them, however the greater Phoenix area is HUGE, but I never saw any, except at the dealer I visited.

I will be leaving for Penfield (Rochester) NY, and Lake George NY in a few weeks, and will keep my eyes open for any on the road or in the towns. Will only be up there for two or three weeks. May even visit the dealer (Fucillo) in Rochester who advertises "he is HUGE". (hate that add)
 

Sal Collaziano

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I'm glad to see the Equus getting so much attention. I do hope it makes it here in the U.S. I'd love to own one...
 

Par Avion

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I'm glad to see the Equus getting so much attention. I do hope it makes it here in the U.S. I'd love to own one...

It's coming here. Hyundai resently polled owners on HyundaiThinktank.com about wether there should be a name change for the US market. Most seem to prefer the name "Genesis Signature" to "Equus"...although not by a large margin.

Anyway, the car is comin..
 

Dimitry

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Yeah - I noticed that on Thinktank; It's a tie currently, but I definitely like the "Equus" name a lot better
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jwaters943

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Genesis Signature?

Do you mean Genesis Prestige?
 

jwaters943

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Nope, Genesis Signature.

Prestige was not a polling option.

That name blows IMO.

This isn't Costco (e.g. Kirkland Signature). That name sounds silly. Kind of like a fancy chocolate or coffee. What's next Genesis Select?

At least w/ Genesis Prestige (or Elite for that matter), you kind of get an idea of the vehicle in question (e.g. an ultra-luxury sedan related to the Genesis).
 

Par Avion

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That name blows IMO.

This isn't Costco (e.g. Kirkland Signature). That name sounds silly. Kind of like a fancy chocolate or coffee. What's next Genesis Select?

At least w/ Genesis Prestige (or Elite for that matter), you kind of get an idea of the vehicle in question (e.g. an ultra-luxury sedan related to the Genesis).

I hear you. At the end of the day though, I believe they will stick with the Equus name.
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Sal Collaziano

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I just went to the think tank and voted. Since there's only 250 characters allowed, I'll write my comment here and link to it from there...

I chose Hyundai Genesis Signature because I don't like the sound of Hyundai Equus. I don't believe the name Equus will spark any excitement in America. I'm not exactly loving Genesis Signature either. "Signature" sounds cheap. What is this a Lincoln Town Car? What happened to Genesis Prestige? THAT would have worked nicely.

Do NOT put any Hyundai badges on this car - anywhere. Buick did the same thing with it's Riviera - there were no Buick badges - just a classy looking cursive "R" for Riviera.

This model needs to be set aside from Hyundai or it's not going to sell to its potential. You can sell it in Hyundai showrooms if you want - but ONLY service the vehicle in top-rated dealerships.

If you don't make people feel special for owning this vehicle, you're NEVER going to be able to sell it for what it's worth. If it's a Hyundai, it's going to be a $50,000 vehicle - or MAYBE a $60,000 vehicle TOPS. If you pull the right strings, you'll get $75,000 for it in 5-10 years. But NOT if it's got a Hyundai badge.

What you SHOULD be doing is starting a "Genesis" line of vehicles that sell WITHIN Hyundai dealerships. The Genesis Coupes should be the Genesis C200 and C380, the Genesis Sedan should be the Genesis S380 and S460 and the Genesis Prestige could be just that or Genesis VS380, VS460 and VS500.

I'm a BMW 750Li owner and I'd love to own a Genesis Prestige or VS as my next vehicle. Just don't call it a Hyundai. I won't buy one for the same reason I'd never buy a Toyota, Honda or Nissan (however, Lexus, Acura and Infiniti are considerations).
 

Dimitry

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That type of naming is too Mercedes like.

From the first poll, it seemed like the Equus was the winner, I was surprised to see this poll pop up.

I personally think Equus is the best name for it, matches with the insignia already on there. Just thinking of it side to side with it's competition - The "Genesis Signature" wouldn't be as striking as a unique name like Equus.

And I think, if the Hyundai badge was on it already, people would either a. Not care, or b. just import the insignia from Korea, just like they did with the Genesis.

Hyundai is really shifting how manufacturers and dealers push the vehicles out. If you ask me, they're making the right choice by sticking to one brand name, instead of making another brand. Look at Honda and Acura.

Customer Service wise, I will bet you will see a trend of Hyundai moving up in that regards with the launch of the Genesis, and the upcoming Equus. I'm pretty sure they'll have master service techs on both the vehicles, as well.
 

Gwaneum

Getting familiar with the group...
Going on a different tangent...

Honestly, if the Korean-Americans were as enthusiastic about Hyundai as the Japanese-Americans were about the early Datsuns (remember that Japanese cars didn't really get their respect until the 1980s), Hyundai could do much better, especially with nicer offerings like the Genesis and the Equus.

You could count on the Korean-Americans to spread the word about how well the Equus has been received back home in Seoul, and have the word spread to non-Koreans. The Equus name may actually build a cachet that way - sorta like Japanese car names like the Nissan Skyline or the Toyota Altezza.

The Korean-Americans have done something similar, with the South Korean pop culture, which doesn't see much light of day in the mainstream US media but is the hottest thing in China and Japan, and among Asian-Americans as well. South Korea is currently the pop culture capital of Asia, taking over that role from Hong Kong.

I'll be doing my part by going ahead with the full KDM badging treatment for my Genesis, something I had vowed to NEVER do. I don't care much for Korean pop culture, but I do care a lot for Korean high technology, including cars.

I guess the H oval can now be taken off from my car, now that I have a "HYUNDAI" license plate frame to let people know who made my car. (Besides, I'm old-fashioned, and when I think of a Hyundai logo, I am more likely to think of the old blocky "HD" (which was never used in the US) than the current H oval.)

The sad part is that while there are plenty of Hyundai enthusiasts out there these days (often driving Tiburons rebadged as "Tuscani", or Santa Fe SUV), virtually none are Korean-Americans.
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Sal Collaziano

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jwaters943

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Yup. Just like Lexus. :)
 

BocaDave

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I sure hope they tested the Equus in the typical desert-hot conditions of the American west - where 105 degrees is the norm on a nice sunny day.

And, I hope that testing measured BOTH front and back set temperatures - I've noticed there is a difference in my Genesis (but not bad, and easily adjustable).

I'm certain they tested it in the cold of Korea's winter, and I don't think our winters are any worse, although there's a case to be made for testing it in the frozen north-central US (Minnesota, Montana, etc.), and at mountainous altitudes.

I've seen it, and its is drop-dead gorgeous. I can't wait to drive on (and to see the pricing - esp. for Genesis trade-up customers).
 
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