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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hyundai Debuts Production Genesis Prada Sedan in Seoul, Purse Not Included

May 17, 2011 at 3:56pm by Alexander Stoklosa

The Hyundai Genesis sedan is the company’s first foray into the luxury segment—but even if it won over Lexus buyers, it wasn’t fit for Monaco chauffeur duty. With a fresh injection of Prada luxury, will the Genesis finally be chic enough to satisfy the world’s ultraluxury consumers? Er, no. But it’s pretty awesome.

Hyundai showed a concept Prada special-edition Genesis at the 2009 Seoul Motor Show, and after two years of work with Prada—one can only imagine why this took quite so long—the Genesis Prada is available to customers. Hyundai and Prada start with a 2012 Genesis complete with the new Tau 5.0-liter direct-injection V-8 engine, and to the exterior, add dark chrome exterior trim that’s meant to mimic the metal buckles on Prada’s bags, bespoke 19-inch wheels, a BMW-like “shark fin” antenna, and “Genesis Prada” exterior badging.

The interior is where Hyundai truly let Prada loose, and the seats and dash are upholstered in Prada’s signature “saffiano” leather. The interior takes on an almost Bentley-like atmosphere, especially with the smartly stitched, cream-colored seats and the Korean-market Genesis’s winged badge adorning the steering wheel (American-market Genesis models have a Hyundai H badge on the rear decklid and steering wheel but go without front grille badging). Notably, there does not appear to be a splinter of wood in the interior, which is what puts the “almost” before the Bentley-like atmosphere comment above.

The Italian trimmed Hyundai can be ordered in three unique colors—Black Nero, Blue Baltico, and Brown Moro—and Hyundai will build the cars to order. We won’t see the Genesis Prada here in the U.S.: Hyundai plans a run of 1200 Genesis Pradas for South Korean consumption, and will later send a few to the Middle East and China. The collaboration is perfect for South Korea, where car buyers are fiercely loyal to domestic car companies, but also love imported ultraluxury brands like Prada and Gucci. While the Prada team-up might be over the top for Hyundais sold in the U.S., we think these sorts of partnerships could do wonders for the Genesis’s image in our market; anyone remember the first Coach Edition Lexus models?

Tags: Hyundai, Hyundai Genesis, Prada |

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