Word is that the big Hyundai Equus luxury sedan will be available from US dealerships in July next year. The likely price tag will probably stay under the US$60,000 mark.

The second-generation Hyundai Equus is apparently headed to the US sometime in July 2010. A Hyundai insider says the Equus will be kept under US$60,000 for the baseline model. The luxury sedan will compete with the Lexus LS 460 on price. That car starts at about US$64,700 with shipping.

Hyundai launched the first Equus in South Korea in 1999 and the new generation car began selling there about three months ago. In Korea it is priced at the equivalent of about US$50,000 minimum and it goes up to US$81,000.

Power is from the same engines in the Genesis, a 3.8-litre V6 and the 4.6-litre V8. Only the V8 is earmarked for the US. A Hyundai dealer with six dealerships says he experienced the Equus last month thanks to Hyundai Motor America President John Krafcik. Rick Case says his experience included tilting rear seats and TV screens at the back.

"It's an incredible car," he was quoted as saying. "It won't be big volume for us. It will be a halo car for the brand."

Another Hyundai fan reckons there is ground for success with the Equus. "We've established a baseline with the success of our Genesis," says Scott Fink, chairman of Hyundai's dealer council. "If the price is in the 50s or high 40s and we can keep the residuals on par with Genesis, we might have something."

There are about 100 Equus units currently being tested by dealers and consumers in the US today.


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