2015 Hyundai Genesis
By Tony Swan
On Sale: Spring 2014
Expected Pricing: $35,000 to $48,000
Having established itself as a player in the mid-size luxury game, Hyundai is set to raise the ante with a redesigned edition of its Genesis sedan. Due to go on sale this spring, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, the second generation of the near-luxury sedan was revealed at January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
While general dimensions are close to those of the current model, it appears that no part of went untouched. Length, width, and height (196.5, 74.4, and 58.3 inches, respectively) have changed only fractionally (width not at all), but the wheelbase has been stretched from 115.6 to 118.5 inches, and extensive use of high strength steel (50 percent, up from less than 20 percent) stiffens the unibody structure by 16 percent torsionally and 40 percent in bending, according to Hyundai.
Hyundai also cites enhanced stiffening of mounting points, front seat frames, and suspension elements. The suspension of the 2015 Genesis consists of multilink systems front and rear, with increased travel and slightly firmer tuning, according to Hyundai, with the option of a new auto damping system on 5.0-liter V8 models. All of this, plus extensive dynamic development consulting with Lotus Engineering, should add up to responsive handling, a performance area that's drawn lukewarm to negative comments in reviews of the current car.
Also new on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis: a full-time all-wheel drive option, available with the 5.0-liter V8.
Engine choices continue to be the same as the current Genesis: a 3.8-liter V6 and an optional 5.0-liter V8, both fed by direct fuel injection. However, both engines have received internal upgrades to enhance efficiency. Preliminary peak horsepower ratings (311 hp for the V6, 420 hp for the V8) may be down a smidge, although these numbers aren't final, but Hyundai anticipates increased torque, 293 and 383 pound-feet, respectively.
As before, both engines will be mated with a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission (at least, it was smooth on the outgoing model and we can't imagine it being less smooth in the new one).
So even though the new Genesis will weigh a bit more than the original, about 60 pounds, on average, straight ahead performance should be at least equal to, if not better than, that of the original. Of course, the all-wheel-drive version will be heavier.
The sheetmetal surrounding the redesigned chassis elements is, of course, all new and quite handsome. Hyundai's design team calls the look Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, a refinement of the eye-catching styling that helped to move the mid-size Sonata and compact Elantra up the sales chart, and the Elantra to North America Car of the Year honors in 2012.
For the Genesis, 2.0 comes across as a more conservative look, with the windshield set back, a fast rear roofline sloping to a short decklid, and one strong character line running from front to rear just below the greenhouse. But conservative and bold needn't be mutually exclusive, as the new car demonstrates with its big grille and massive front end design.
The design of the original Genesis was criticized for being too derivative, a watered-down version of contemporary Mercedes styling. The new Genesis is reminiscent of current Audi and Chrysler sedans, but the interpretation is distinctive, elegant, and visually arresting.
That elegant exterior surrounds a richly appointed and roomy interior, with more volume (123 cubic feet) than competing sedans from BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz, according to Hyundai.
Look for an upgraded menu of safety features, including a new emergency braking system that will stop the car when the driver fails to react to an impending collision, as well as expanded infotainment and connectivity capabilities.
And, Hyundai's ongoing edge in the new car market, look for a combination of content and pricing that adds up to a strong value story versus competitors in the segment. The 2013 Genesis retailed for $34,200 to $46,800 for R-Spec.