Jaw-dropping Hyundai flagship looks ready to eat Germans for breakfast
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In the '80s and '90s it was Lexus, doing everything they could to be taken seriously in the eyes of the luxury-car market with products that more often than not were a firm contender against the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW. In the noughties and beyond, that torch has been passed on to Hyundai and its premium off-shoot brand; Genesis.
The Genesis brand is a relatively small-time one in New Zealand. Just two models are offered here; the self-titled Genesis and the Kia Stinger-based G70. The former is formerly New Zealand's safest car and a solid adversary for the established crew, but has struggled to get a foot-hold in the Kiwi market. The latter meanwhile is fresh to New Zealand, yet to receive a formal launch despite the manufacturer saying that it would be "arriving in dealerships in 2018" on its website.
But, while other regions like North America haven't been much better as hunting grounds for the Genesis brand, unsurprisingly it's been embraced with healthy gusto in its Korean homeland. And it's there that will — for now exclusively — get this somewhat stunning G90 Limousine.
Looks-wise it shares much of its appearance with the recently face-lifted G90. That means it gains an insane set of retro-cool wire wheels wrapped in Continental rubber, distinctive headlights that are divided length ways by a thick line of LEDs, and an enormous pentagon-shaped mouth dripping in chrome.
The individual design elements are backed up by long, consistent lines that emphasise the car's length. Additional lashings of chrome on the wing-mirrors provide contrast, while an arching contour underneath the headlights is one of the only lines on the car that isn't linear.
Being a limousine, this G90 comes with a longer wheel-base — punctuated by a much wider B-pillar than standard. The dimensional growth sits at a 290mm increase in overall length, most of which effects the bit between the wheels (which itself weighs in with a length of 3450mm).
All of this means much more room for the rear passengers; we'll get back to them in a minute.
There is just one engine option for the G90 Limousine. It's a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine, with a claimed output of 315kW of power and 520Nm of torque. It comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and power is sent to all four corners via a standard all-wheel drive system.
But yes, let's get to the meat and potatoes of the G90 Limo; the back seat.
If you took this photograph, travelled back in time to the '80s, and slapped it passionately onto the table of one of the local Hyundai dealership while screaming that this is the kind of car they would be making in three or four decades' time ... they'd probably call the police and boot you from the premises.
They probably also wouldn't believe you. Just look at it; a sea of woods, metals, and quilted semi-aniline leather. The amount of leg-room is predictably enormous, with the two rear seats parted by a generous 'command centre' that houses controls for the air conditioning and more.
In terms of tech, each rear seat is adjustable in 18 directions. Those in the back also get the benefit of a pair of monitors sitting on the seat backs of those in front. An Alcantara roof liner, magazine holders in the b-pillar, and a plethora of cubbies are among the other G90 Limousine perks.
It's worth noting some of the other tech that comes standard in the G90, too. Laminated glass and new sound absorbing materials laced through the sedan's structure are said to have made drastic improvements to the noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) of the G90. Those who pull the short straw and have to sit in front get to toy with a 12.3-inch primary touch screen, which is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The standard safety suite is impressive, with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist, and Lane Follow Assist all included out of the box on top of the expected adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and the like.
We'll likely never see the G90 Limousine in New Zealand, but that doesn't make it any less amusing to note that Korean pricing sits at 155.1million South Korean won. That equates to an almost perfectly rounded $201,000 — making this big Bertha of a car $25,000 more than an Audi A8L, but around $40,000 cheaper than a BMW 750i and $150,000 cheaper than a Mercedes-Benz S600 L.
Yes ... at this level of motoring most buyers don't glance twice at the price-range. But as Genesis grows in Korea, perhaps so too will curious interest from countries like ours.