First introduced at the New York Auto Show in 2007, the Hyundai Genesis will not hit sales lots until the 2009 model year. This full-size sedan is Hyundai's attempt at a luxury model with a sporty flair. The Genesis is Hyundai's answer to the overwhelming market of European luxury sedans. The maker hopes to give buyers an alternative to the overpriced, stuffy models of years past and instead provide an affordable, contemporary taste of luxury.
The Hyundai Genesis will be available with one of three different engine levels: 3.3L V6, 3.8L V6, or 4.6L Tau V8. Variable Valve Timing will be standard, and an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission comes with the two lower trims.
Luxury additions that will be included with the Genesis range from an XM Satellite Radio navigation unit to a push button start system. Another feature is the engineered ultraviolet reflective leather. This type of leather reduces the glare from the sun, enabling it to stay cooler in hot climates. Buyers that have ever owned a model with leather seating will appreciate this interesting innovation.
Hyundai has already begun planning for the introduction of a Genesis coupe for the 2010 or 2011 model year. Other possible adaptations for the future include a hybrid edition. While some critics claim that Hyundai should first become comfortable with its foray into the luxury category before attempting any major changes, others are positive that a hybrid version will put the Genesis at the top of the heap. Nonetheless, Hyundai has not confirmed if a hybrid model is indeed in the works.
The Hyundai Genesis will be priced around $32,250 for the 2009 model year, which is significantly less expensive than the majority of European luxury sedans. Even with the affordable price, Hyundai may have trouble selling the model due to its lack of prior luxury experience. Nevertheless, it seems to have taken cues from the European models, which have always been bestsellers on the American marketplace.
The Fast and the Furious 4 has already booked the Hyundai Genesis for a role. Also, several short films featuring the model have been released on the popular website YouTube.com, giving the Genesis an instant young fan base. The Genesis was also highlighted during the 2008 Superbowl Halftime commercial block, the most widely viewed commercials throughout the year. There are critics that are concerned that Hyundai is catching Hollywood fever because of its desire to place the Genesis in several upcoming movies and television shows, actively seeking roles from production companies. Nevertheless, most do not think that this will concern potential buyers.