2015 Hyundai Genesis. Click image to enlarge
Preview and photos by Jeff Wilson
DETROIT, Michigan – Most new car media launches are boastful affairs. Senior executives present amplified, teleprompted speeches prepared by the corporate communications folks touting whatever claims they can, no matter how trivial or hollow the claims may be.
Hyundai’s new 2015 Genesis Sedan launch was full of a lengthy procession of impressive figures and achievements not just for the company, but the new model being revealed.
The new Genesis has targeted the benchmark mid-size sedans from the world’s top luxury brands and the figures are very convincing, placing the Korean sedan amongst the best and exceeding them in many areas.
To begin with, the 2015 Genesis represents the first application of the company’s “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0” design language. Since 2009 Hyundai’s full line of vehicles has adopted the Fluid Sculpture styling, whereas the Genesis embodies a second generation of the theme with a simpler, more refined manner deemed to give the car a more premium feel and modern aesthetic.
While the previous generation Genesis was a relatively conservative design, the new car presents as a more contemporary interpretation without completely redefining the look of the car. Although in person the new Genesis seems somewhat derivative of several other brands it is still truly handsome from all angles.
Hyundai now applies a newly styled winged “Genesis” badge to the nose, wheels and steering wheel of the Genesis (markets outside of North America even replace the slanted “H” badge on the trunk lid with the winged “Genesis” badge).
For Canadian consumers, the biggest news with the new Genesis Sedan is the standard All-Wheel Drive system on each 3.8L V6 and 5.0L V8 models (RWD is still available in the United States).
Hyundai has engineered this system, dubbed HTRAC system to be a highly advanced, adaptive all-wheel-drive system designed to provide impressive handling dynamics with the benefit of all-wheel traction in reduced grip situations.
When left in its “NORMAL” setting, HTRAC provides 60 percent torque to the rear wheels, however can shift up to 90 percent of the engine’s output to the front wheels if low traction conditions require it. At higher speeds, 100 percent of the output can be directed to the rear wheels to reduce driveline drag and improve fuel efficiency.
2015 Hyundai Genesis. Click image to enlarge
HTRAC’s “SPORT” mode sends between 80 and 90 percent of the power to the rear wheels.
The new Genesis continues to be offered with each a V6 and V8 engine. Both have been modified to make them smoother, improve efficiency and drivability.
Cars equipped with the 3.8L “Lambda” V6 are expected to provide 311 horsepower and 293 ft-lbs of torque, the latter doled out more generously throughout the rev range than before. These figures represent class bests when compared with competitive models from both German and domestic brands.
The 5.0 L “Tau” V8 is actually reduced in horsepower from 429 to 420 but recalibrated to deliver more peak torque (383 up by 6) and more torque throughout the rev range.
Both engines are fitted to Hyundai’s 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and can adapt its shift speed dependent on drive mode selection for more efficient or sporty tastes.
Hyundai claims the all-new platform utilizes high tensile-strength steel improving both torsional and bending rigidity to beyond BMW 5-series levels. This stiff structure and a suspension tuned internationally – including at the Nürburgring – is intended to provide elevated handling capabilities versus the previous generation car.
Inside the Genesis, the clean, modern styling continues. Three different real wood trims are available including at least one satin finish. Metal trim is also real metal and not simply painted plastic. The seats are exceptionally comfortable offering both suppleness and support, covered in aromatic, buttery soft leather.
State-of-the-art features abound in the new Genesis including Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control with stop-and-go capability, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Head Up Display to highlight a few. Additionally, Hyundai has fitted the Genesis with an industry-first Carbon Dioxide sensor control system that detects when CO2 levels reach higher levels, the car will automatically draw in fresh outside air.
A 17-speaker Lexicon 7.1 surround sound audio system is controlled by the 9.2-inch infotainment screen with high-definition graphics.
The 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan is set to go on sale in Canada during the first half of 2014.