A long-wheel-base Hyundai Equus has been spied in South Korea. The upper luxury model will aim to compete with the Germans at their own game. A short-wheel-base Equus is due out in the US in 2010.

The first spy pictures of the Hyundai Equus sedan in long-wheel-base mode have been unleashed. They were taken in Ulsan, South Korea. Hyundai is apparently not satisfied with merely using the upcoming Equus to challenge the Germans in the upper luxury crest but also wants to match them pound for pound. These pictures of the LWB underline Hyundai's belief that competitor customers are willing to move into its upmarket brand. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all have LWB versions of their most expensive sedans. Closer to home, Lexus also sells the longer LS460 L.

The spied model features a different front grille which is speculated to be a mere recycled prototype design. It also has LEDs at the front. At the back of it is a badge designating VL500 which clearly ranks higher than the VS460 badge worn by the current Equus range-topper.

Planted into the engine bay is the new 5.0-litre Tau V8 engine worth over 400hp (294kW). The interior should boast class-equalling amenities and a high quality finish.

The standard wheel base Equus is expected to debut in the US in 2010 as a 2011 model where prices should exceed US$50,000 a pop. Whether Americans will be ready by then to trade in their status limousines for a Korean badge remains to be seen.


Hyundai Equus LWB with 5.0L V8 spied