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Hyundai flagship gets its wings

words - Gautam Sharma
South Korean carmaker's all-new flagship takes a leaf out of the Bentley textbook

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We already showed you leaked pics of Hyundai's all-new rear-drive Genesis flagship (more here), but the South Korean carmaker has now released official images of the car and revealed that it will wear its own nameplate, rather than Hyundai badges.

The new Genesis emblem consists of a 'Genesis logotype', set in a black hexagonal shield framed by a pair of wings.

"The wings, executed in a hyper-metallic silver, symbolise the spirit of flight and soaring above it all," says Hyundai in its official blurb.

We can't help noticing the similarity with the Bentley logo, but there won't be too much in the way of crossover because -- apart from competing in a much lower price segment -- the Genesis emblem will only be seen in the Korean and Chinese markets.

Cars bound for the US are likely to sport the familiar "H" logo that adorns the rest of Hyundai's offerings.

As previously reported, there are as yet no plans to build the car in right-hand-drive configuration, which obviously means it's not on Hyundai Australia's radar. In any case, the local subsidiary says the brand doesn't as yet have the runs on the board to sell a premium car such as the Genesis.

That could change in coming years, as the marque has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent times, and its i30 hatchback has been particularly lauded by the international motoring media.

Hyundai is making bold claims about the Genesis, saying it "redefines luxury by presenting a credible alternative to the premium automobile offerings from Germany, Japan and the United States…. by benchmarking and bettering the competition."

In contrast with the rest of Hyundai's sedan/hatchback models, which use a front-drive format, the Genesis features a rear-drive configuration in a bid to match Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes and BMW. This platform will also form the basis for an upcoming Hyundai sporster.

The range-topper is powered by a new 275kW 'Tau' V8, while lesser versions use the 3.3 and 3.8-litre V6 already offered in the Grandeur.

The V8-powered Genesis will reportedly cost the equivalent of around $45,000 in its home market, while the entry-level model should cost about $10,000 less. It will make its international debut at January's Detroit motor show.

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Published : Wednesday, 12 December 2007

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