Hyundai will not offer all-wheel drive for its Genesis luxury sedan until the second generation of the car arrives for the 2014 model year. In the past, Hyundai’s CEO John Krafcik has indicated that the Genesis sedan and coupe, as well as the Equus, would offer such a setup; we expected that all-wheel drive would arrive as a running addition to the current cars. But in addition to this delay for the Genesis sedan, if the Equus and Genesis coupe are still going to offer AWD variants, they too may have to wait until what we presume will be a freshened platform arrives.
The Genesis sedan has made significant inroads in the entry- and mid-range luxury market in the U.S., with consistent strong sales and a high percentage of conquest buyers. All-wheel drive should make a big difference in persuading Snow Belt buyers to put the car in their stable, and could help the big Hyundai crack 30,000 sales per year. For context, BMW’s 5-series was good for roughly 40,000 sales in 2010, while the Toyota Avalon topped 28,000 last year.
Although they didn’t include AWD, Hyundai recently announced a raft of upgrades to the Genesis. You can read about the changes in greater depth here; for those short on time, highlights include a direct-injected 333-hp V-6 engine for the base car, and the new, range-topping R-Spec model with a 429-hp 5.0-liter V-8. Those cars and the 4.6-liter V-8 model get a new, Hyundai-designed eight-speed automatic gearbox, too.
Since we have to wait for AWD, we’ll busy ourselves seeing if the 2011 models’ suspension tweaks have solved one of our largest complaints about the Genesis sedan: its brittle ride.Tags: Hyundai, Hyundai Genesis |