Hyundai Motor Co.'s new flagship luxury sedan will be introduced in the United States this year with just two trim levels -- Equus Signature and Equus Ultimate.
Hyundai hasn't announced Equus pricing for the United States, but analysts and press reports suggest the price will be close to $60,000 -- higher than Hyundai's original target of $55,000.
The Korean automaker plans to market the Equus as a “value alternative” to the Lexus LS, BMW 7 series, Mercedes-Benz S class and Audi A8 sedans. Many of those sedans are priced above $60,000.
Hyundai used a similar value strategy last year when it introduced the rear-wheel-drive Genesis sedan to compete with the BMW 5 series and Audi A6. Prices for the Genesis sedan begin at $33,800 for the V-6 version and $40,300 for a V-8 model. U.S. sales of the Genesis, including a coupe variant, are up 30 percent this year to 12,891 through June.
The Equus will be equipped with a 4.6-liter V-8 engine with 385 hp and a six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai is expected to add a 429-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission at a later date.
Hyundai said the Equus Signature and Equus Ultimate will be equipped with a bevy of high-tech and luxury features, including electronically controlled air suspension with continuous damping, front and rear parking assist with rearview camera, adaptive headlamps, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, vehicle stability control with pre-collision warning, a heated wood-and-leather steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, and a 608-watt Lexicon audio system with 17 speakers.
The Equus Ultimate will be equipped with additional features aimed at the executive class -- such as cooled, massaging rear seats that with recline, with powered headrests, as well as a rear refrigerator and entertainment system. It also will feature a forward-view parking and cornering camera and power decklid.