Hyundai not offering AWD for its Genesis sedan until the second gen arrives

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 12, 2011

Hyundai will only offer all-wheel drive on the second generation of the Genesis luxury sedan that arrives for the 2014 model year. Previously, Hyundai’s CEO John Krafcik has said that the Genesis sedan and coupe, plus the Equus, would receive this setup. It was expected that all-wheel drive would come as a running addition to the existing cars.

However, Hyundai has announced that aside from the delay for the Genesis sedan, the AWD variants for the Equus and Genesis coupe may have to be put off until a freshened platform turns up.

Sales of the Genesis sedan in the U.S. have been consistently strong and many of its fans are conquest buyers. As a result, it has significantly penetrated the entry- and mid-range luxury market.

Snow Belt buyers may be convinced to buy this model, with the all-wheel drive. Offering this version may even help Hyundai to achieve 30,000 in annual sales. To put this goal into perspective, BMW’s 5-series had 40,000 sales in 2010, while the Toyota Avalon had more than 28,000 units sold last year.

Hyundai had recently revealed a series of upgrades for the Genesis. The base car will get a direct-injected 333-hp V-6 engine while the new, range-topping R-Spec model will receive a 429-hp 5.0-liter V-8.

Those cars as well as the 4.6-liter V-8 model will also receive a new, Hyundai-designed eight-speed automatic gearbox. It will be some time before the AWD arrives. For now, what observers want to know is if the modifications on the suspension of the 2011 models have resolved the Genesis sedan’s brittle ride.

The new Hyundai Genesis continues to uphold the South Korean carmaker’s goal of delivering world-class safety technology. In fact, the Genesis is laden with active and passive safety systems that do not only help prevent vehicular accidents but also secure all occupants during a collision.

Examples of these world-class safety systems are the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and eight airbags -- advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants -- as well as electronic active head restraints. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway has vouched for the life-saving capability of the Genesis’ active front head restraints, proving these features can help prevent whiplash during an accident.

For 2012, all models of the new Hyundai Genesis are now specified with new daytime running lamps while 3.8 Technology package, 4.6 and 5.0 R-Spec models could be availed with the newly developed Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). In addition, the new Hyundai Genesis is provided with eight ultrasonic sensors -- placed on the front and rear bumpers – working hand-in-hand with the rear backup camera to detect the proximity of objects during parking.

The system will indicate the distance between the Genesis and the object on the in-dash screen, as augmented by an audible warning tone. Taking care of decelerating and stopping power are large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Hyundai Genesis 3.8 models are provided with 13.0-inch front rotors with four-piston fixed calipers, while 4.6 and 5.0 versions are specified with 13.6-inch front rotors.

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