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Yesterday, Hyundai unveiled the 2011 Sonata Hybrid and 2011 Sonata 2.0T. Today, they brought us the 2011 Equus luxury sedan which makes us take Hyundai a little more seriously than we have before. It will compete with models such as the Lexus LS 460 and the Mercedes-Benz S550 and will go on sale with a starting price in the mid $50,000 range.

The 2011 Equus shares the same architecture as the Genesis sedan, but it’s 7.2 inches longer. It is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 385 HP and 333 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual control.

The exterior design is defined by a subtle horizontal radiator grille, well-proportioned headlamps, LED turn signals, bolder lower air intakes, bold taillights, strong shoulders, fully-integrated asymmetrical exhaust tips an,d rear LED turn signal indicators. In the interior, Equus adds leather upholstery, Alcantara headliner, natural wood trim, and a leather-wrapped French-stitched instrument panel.

Updated 10/20/2010: Hyundai today announced prices for the new Equus luxury sedan that will go on sale this December. The lavishly contented Equus Signature will be priced at $58,000 and the top-of-the-line Equus Ultimate at $64,500.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

Hyundai aims to break down the barriers of owning a luxury car with the introduction of its all-new flagship, the 2011 Equus. Equus will compete with the best luxury sedans in the world on all levels including amenities, performance, advanced technologies, design and ownership experience when it arrives at select Hyundai dealerships late this summer.

“Equus takes Hyundai’s formula for intelligent luxury to a new level,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “We’ve applied the lessons in engineering excellence we’ve learned with Genesis to the Equus, while adding a new level of customer experience that will further differentiate our take on luxury from the traditional premium brands.”

Equus broadens Hyundai’s lineup of premium vehicles and like Genesis, is built on Hyundai’s world-class rear-wheel-drive architecture. It is powered by the award-winning 4.6-liter Tau® V8. The Tau inside the Equus will produce an estimated 385 horsepower using premium fuel and 378 horsepower using regular fuel. With technology rivaling more expensive luxury sedans, Equus showcases features such as a lane departure warning system, electronic air suspension, smart cruise control and a Lexicon® audio system. 


2011 Hyundai Equus High Resolution Exterior
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When Genesis was introduced, Hyundai promised that its rear-wheel-drive architecture would spawn more products in other segments. Equus is the third of those products, this time riding on a lengthened Genesis architecture. Equus is 7.2 inches longer (203.1 inches vs. 195.9 inches) than Genesis. Equus boasts an excellent 52/48 front-to-rear weight distribution for exceptional handling and more refined steering characteristics. 
Equus reduces interior noise levels and improves ride and handling with a stiff, light weight body structure. The use of high-tensile steel in critical areas in the unibody provides Equus with significantly higher dynamic torsional rigidity and a lower body structure weight despite having a spacious interior cabin.


2011 Hyundai Equus High Resolution Drivetrain
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Headlining the Equus’ performance capabilities is Hyundai’s Tau 4.6-liter V8 engine, a two-time Ward’s 10 Best Engine winner, mated to a ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual control. The Tau V8 delivers an estimated 385 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque (378 horsepower and 324 lb-ft using regular fuel) to fit the demands of luxury consumers. This powertrain combination will launch Equus to 60 miles per hour in less than 6.4 seconds. On premium fuel, the Tau V8 produces more horsepower than the powerplants found in the Lexus LS460, Mercedes-Benz S550, and Audi A8 and nearly the same power as these competitors on regular fuel. 


 The design of the Equus is handsome and pleasing to the eye. The rear-end treatment is progressive with bold taillights, strong shoulders and an overall look of precision. This look is accomplished through fully-integrated asymmetrical exhaust tips and rear LED turn signal indicators. The side silhouette is refined, with character lines that accent the rear fenders. Up front is a subtle horizontal radiator grille and well-proportioned headlamps with jeweled detailing. LED turn signals are inside the HID headlamps along with an adaptive front lighting system with white LED position lamps. The lower air intakes are bold and add to the positive reaction of the overall design. To assist in parking, and navigating blind corners and alleys in urban driving, there is an optional forward-view cornering camera integrated into the grille. 


2011 Hyundai Equus High Resolution Interior
- image 356128

The busy executive as well as the couple heading out on the town will feel right at home in the 2011 Equus due to abundant luxury touches and passenger comfort features. This ambience begins with superior quality of materials and design layout. The leather upholstery, Alcantara® headliner, natural wood trim and leather-wrapped French-stitched instrument panel showcase the richness of the Equus interior.

The seats are designed with adjustable driver thigh support, plenty of width, great range of adjustment, and heated and cooled functionality. Thermoelectric devices located in the seat backs and bottom cushions provide control for heating, cooling and humidity. There is ample leg and head room for drivers over six-feet tall and an optional massaging driver seat. In fact, Equus has more leg, head and shoulder room in the front and rear seats than the Lexus LS460. 

The driver’s cockpit boasts an abundance of features and premium services. The Driver
Information System (DIS) provides navigation, XM Satellite Radio, HD Radio technology, hands-free Bluetooth telephone system and much more.


2011 Hyundai Equus High Resolution Exterior
- image 356136

Driving dynamics are a critical element in every luxury sedan, and the Equus offers first-rate ride and handling characteristics without traditional compromises. Equus’ electronically controlled air suspension meets the challenge of the wide variety of road surfaces drivers face everyday. For drivers who enjoy a firm ride and more stability when cornering there is a sport setting with additional body control. For customers who wish their ride to be a little on the softer side there is a normal setting for more ride compliance.

In urban areas, the Equus is easy to maneuver and park, thanks to excellent steering and its electronic parking assist feature. While the Equus is large, it doesn’t feel over-sized or clumsy, that’s due to its 37.7 foot turning circle and variable-effort steering system.

On winding country and mountain roads, Equus benefits from the precise wheel control delivered by its five-link front and rear suspension geometry. This geometry is maximized through Continuous Damping Control (CDC) which continually monitors road and driving dynamics and adjusts damping force accordingly. The standard 19-inch chrome alloy wheel and tire package with staggered width (P245/45R19 front P275/40R19 rear) tires offers excellent gripping power and precise control.


2011 Hyundai Equus High Resolution Interior
- image 356117

Maintaining Hyundai’s emphasis on delivering leading safety technology, Equus boasts world-class active and passive safety features to help prevent accidents, and maximize the well-being of its occupants in the event of a collision. The Equus continues the Hyundai tradition of offering key safety technologies, with features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), nine airbags, electronic active head restraints, lane departure warning system and smart cruise control. Equus even has a Vehicle Stability Management system (VSM) that optimally manages ESC, the electronic parking brake, smart cruise control and the seatbelt tensioning system for optimal safety. 

Equus’ total of nine airbags include advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants and a driver’s knee airbag.

Hyundai’s lane departure warning system offers a warning light and chime after a one- second lane departure, and adds a haptic warning via the seatbelt after a three second lane departure.

Smart cruise control automatically manages the Equus’ speed through the braking and throttle systems to maintain a specified following distance selected by the driver.

The electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold enables the parking brake to hold the vehicle automatically when the vehicle stops, and deactivates as soon as the gas pedal is pressed. Equus has an optional camera located on the front grille and a standard camera on the rear decklid. These cameras help detect how close objects are when parking. Distance is indicated on the in-dash LCD monitor. Equus is brought to a halt by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). The 13.6-inch front rotors have four-piston fixed calipers and the rear brakes feature 12.4-inch rotors with single floating piston calipers.

The Equus will launch with a starting price in the mid $50,000 range.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (412) posted on 03.23.2011

Well, IMO, I agree with you CollinGronholmn,Equus is far better than Hyundai. And i think even if both cars have an extremely good interior, when it comes to reliability Equus won over it.

  (379) posted on 03.17.2011

wow! I want to congratulate Hyundai Equus for combining the sportiness and luxury in this car. I think one of the best features in this car is the center console, and the interior is made of carbon fiber that has high quality materials.

  (531) posted on 02.15.2011

One thing I did note was a bad brake squeal but I’d love somebody to show me an AMG who’s brakes don’t squeal, but then again the AMG has the excuse of high friction compound "racing" pads.

  (762) posted on 02.15.2011

As for everyone saying Hyundai should delay this or spend more money elsewhere, you do realize the world does NOT revolve around the US car market anymore? This car was engineered and built for south Korea if it was to be sold in the US or not.

  (528) posted on 02.15.2011

One thing I did note was a bad brake squeal but I’d love somebody to show me an AMG who’s brakes don’t squeal, but then again the AMG has the excuse of high friction compound "racing" pads.

  (619) posted on 02.15.2011

Saying ANYONE with enough money to buy a 7 series wont buy this is not true. You have the new money types and the look at me people that wont buy this car just because it does not cost enough. if they charged more for it and changed nothing else it would sell better to those people who just want to show off how much money they have.

  (613) posted on 12.28.2010

2011 Hyundai Equus is just a fraction of an inch longer than a Lexus LS 460 L and nearly 2 inches shorter than an S-Class

  (406) posted on 11.2.2010

The Equus is technically better car than current Lexus LS460. Engine(hp, fuel economy), Size, wheel base length, Interior space
volume, Car Audio(car audio for Rolls Royce Phantom), ZF tyranny(BMW tyranny), etc, It is impossible to tell it is a ’copy’. It is more advanced car than current LS460.

  (807) posted on 04.5.2010

Looks more bolder and more muscle than the sonata. Well i guess its competing with the MB S-Class.

  (1332) posted on 04.5.2010

Cool, one of the first Sedan from Hyundai that kinda gave an impression for me. Usually, I look at Hyundai for some good utility vehicles – SUV, vans, etc.. As they have a pretty neat line for those kind of cars, never imagined myself looking at the car maker for a luxury ride.

  (708) posted on 04.4.2010

It’s too early to say if the Equus will top the Lexus LS460 or Mercedes Benz S Class. But we think it’s in the hunt—and that’s a major achievement for Hyundai. The only thing it’s missing is, of course, the premium image.

  (18) posted on 04.1.2010

Lexus LS smiley , for office workers )

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