Hyundai has slowly but surely rehabilitated the image of its brand over the past decade, and it seems to believe car shoppers will look at the 2011 Hyundai Equus and its just announced $58,000 starting price seriously.
The Equus will be offered in two trims: Signature and Ultimate. Each trim comes with a 385-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 with a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Every Equus also comes with a free iPad with an interactive owner’s manual, VIP customer service and free maintenance for five years or 60,000 miles, which includes free at-home pickup and a loaner Equus or Genesis during the wait.
The Equus Signature features a 608-watt audio system with 17 speakers, electronically controlled air suspension with continuous damping control, a precollision warning adaptive cruise control, high-intensity-discharge headlights, a front and rear parking assistance system with a backup camera, leather upholstery, Alcantara suedelike headliner, driver seat massage, heated and cooled front seats, heated wood and leather steering wheel, and other premium technologies and features.
The Equus Ultimate will start at $64,500 and adds a forward-view parking and cornering camera; power trunk lid; reclining, cooled rear seats with massage, leg support and power head restraints; and a rear seat refrigerator and entertainment system.
Neither price includes a $900 destination charge.
Compared with its ultra-luxurious competition – the Audi A8, Lexus LS 460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series — the Equus cost $10,000 to $30,000 less. In fact, the Equus’ pricing is more in line with a comparably equipped Cadillac DTS ($59,875) or Infiniti M56 ($57,900).
Hyundai has slowly climbed up the automotive food chain over the past few years with the Genesis and Veracruz. However, it’s hard to believe that the Korean brand will have a $60,000 vehicle at its dealerships by December.
We’re still unsure if Americans are looking for a pricey Hyundai. After all, the Genesis hasn’t taken off delivering a similar luxury versus value proposition as the Equus.