2011 Hyundai Equus: New Player in Luxury Sedan Field Page 2

September 13, 2010

Performance and Handling

Hyundai touts the fact that Equus offers greater horsepower than the Lexus LS 450, Mercedes-Benz S550, and Audi A8. With its 385-hp 4.6-liter DOHC Tau V-8, mated to a six-speed ZF transmission, that’s a good start. 

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz S550, with a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $91,600, delivers 382 horsepower from its 5.5-liter V-8, mated to a seven-speed transmission. Audi’s all-new 2011 A8 (no prices yet released) comes with a 372-hp 4.2-liter V-8, mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. The power for the 2010 Lexus LS 460 (starting MSRP of $65,380), comes from a 380-hp 4.6-liter V-8 synched with an eight-speed sequential shift automatic.

What about fuel economy? Hyundai’s Equus is right there with Lexus LS 460 with a projected 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway. Numbers for the competition, however, are a bit different: Audi’s A8 achieves 17/27 mpg, while the Mercedes-Benz S550 gets 14/21 mpg. To be fair, the Benz is the heaviest  and longest at 4,630 pounds and 206.5 inches in overall length, respectively.

As for handling, Equus features continuous damping control whose electronically-controlled air suspension maintains the wheels’ maximum height under all loading conditions. Available sport-damping mode provides a higher level of body control and driving dynamics with the push of a button.

High-tech galore

Suffice to say, luxury features and technology are the name of the game in this territory. Herre’s what Equus has to offer in the way of entertainment, connectivity, and driver experience technology:       

  • Entertainment – 17 speakers, 608 watts, 7.1 Lexicon discrete surround-sound system. Equus Ultimate includes a rear-seat entertainment system with eight-inch monitor. 
  • Navigation system – Hard-drive-based nav system with driver information system and multimedia controller, full maps, XM NavTraffic, and more than 5 million points of interest displayed on an eight-inch full VGA screen. 
  • Multi-media – XM Satellite radio, HD radio, CD, DVD, iPod and MP3 connectivity.
  • Safety – Nine airbags (including driver’s knee airbag), fully-integrated vehicle safety system (including electronic stability and traction control, ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, smart cruise control, and pre-collision warning), advance warning (via warning light,chime, and haptic tug via steering wheel) when the vehicle detects a lane chang without turn signal, front and rear parking assist system with rear-view camera, adaptive front lighting system with auto-leveling.

Comfort and luxury

How about a massaging driver’s seat? It’s standard on both Equus Signature and Equus Ultimate models. Seating surfaces are premium leather and the headliner is Alcantara suede.  Exclusive to the four-seat model, right rear seat has massage, heat or cooled relaxation therapy, power-adjustable leg support and head restraints, and a rear DVD entertainment system.

The steering wheel is heated premium wood and leather. Thermoelectric technology in the front seats controls heating, cooling and humidity. Equus Ultimate even has a thermoelectric rear console refrigerator.

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