The Hyundai Equus sedan was unveiled at the 2009 NYIAS. Its makers want to measure public reaction to the car as they contemplate taking it over to the US in about two years time.

Hyundai unveiled the Equus grand sedan to a surprised audience at the 2009 New York International Auto Show. The Equus has begun selling in South Korea where it is priced at the equivalent of US$79,000. And therein lies the rub. At that price level it would have to lure customers away from vehicles like the Lexus LS.

A source who spoke to Inside Line on condition of anonymity said the chairman of the US operation wants the Equus in the US but it won't arrive there for at least another two or three years. Instead of the Korea-spec 3.8-litre V6 or the 4.6-litre V8, the US Equus would use a 5.0-litre V8 'Tau' engine mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The Equus features gadgets like lane departure warning system, a 3.5 inch TFT-LCD display inside the instrument cluster, smart cruise control and an electro parking brake.

Hyundai aims to enter the US market at around US$50,000 with the Equus and is keen to gauge public reaction to it, especially in relation to pricing. The Equus would give fans of the Genesis sedan something to move up to when they outgrow the new star.

Although the Koreans will eventually step up to the premium segment and challenge the leaders, for now that goal is still some way from being realised.


Gallery: Hyundai Equus Luxury Flagship Planned for U.S. Entry - report