Hyundai Motor Co., buoyed by market-share gains during this year's sales crash, confirmed plans to launch its Equus luxury sedan in the United States in late 2010.
The Equus is Hyundai's flagship and was introduced this year in South Korea. A U.S. version will be another step up the ladder for Hyundai, which still is widely known for budget vehicles.
John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said the car was received warmly by U.S. consumers in test marketing.
The Equus has the same rear-wheel-drive technology and 375-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 engine as the Hyundai Genesis, an upscale sedan that went on sale in June 2008 in the United States. Hyundai sold 11,953 Genesis sedans and coupes through July.
Amenities for the Equus include a lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel and a rear seat that massages the passenger's back. A built-in cooler keeps beverages cold.
The Equus is expected to sell for less than $60,000.
The Equus' wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than the Genesis sedan's and 11.4 inches longer than the wheelbase of the 2010 Mercedes E-class sedan.
Kathy Jackson contributed to this report