It appears Hyundai USA might have its sights set on a large SUV slotted above the popular Jeep Grand Cherokee in both size and price. The SUV would utilized the platform currently underpinning Hyundai’s full size sedan, the Genesis.

The news comes from Hyundai Australia’s public relations general manager Bill Thomas telling motoring quotes of David Zuchowski, Hyundai USA’s CEO. “The American boss has been quoted as saying that they’re looking at an SUV,” Thomas said. “[Or] it might be just a planning thing, it might be studies into the possibilities of it…”

More specifically on the SUV itself, Thomas said the Genesis-based SUV would be “maybe a little bigger” than the Grand Cherokee, indicating it would likely include three-row seating. “It’s an interesting subject,” Thomas continued. “How do you take the Genesis brand – and move it and expand it? You can see that premium SUVs are doing very well.”

Thomas has a valid point. Hyundai does have room in its market for a full-sized SUV ranked as a luxury vehicle – perhaps even on par with the range-topping Equus. Surprisingly the Hyundai brand has done decently well at revamping its image form dismal commuter cars to high-quality sedans and crossovers. Adding a large SUV would only further these efforts.

However, Thomas isn’t completely sure the project will get the green light, but is sure Hyundai CEO Zuchowski will fight for the vehicle. “It would only take the CEO there to thump his fist on the boardroom table and demand a larger SUV – and it would happen,” motoring surmises from Thomas.

Hopefully these rumors hold true and Hyundai is preparing a Genesis-based large SUV that pushes the brand’s luxury image even further.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Hyundai is perhaps the best success story the automotive world has seen in the last 20 years. The automaker went from building absolute piles of crap to desirable, reliable, and competitive sedans and crossovers in such a relative short time. Adding a large SUV to its portfolio in the U.S. market would surely bring it even more attention and sales numbers.

In order to compete, Hyundai will have to attack the segment hard, giving the SUV the impressive 5.0-liter V-8 from the Genesis and luxury equipment from the Equus. Perhaps Hyundai’s new SUV would directly compete with Jeep’s upcoming Grand Wagoneer – a rumored seven-seat SUV with loads of luxury. Who would have ever though Jeep would be going head to head with Hyundai?

Hyundai Genesis

2015 - 2016 Hyundai Genesis High Resolution Exterior
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Source: Motoring

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