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The Hyundai company first showed the world its luxury vehicle chops with the release of the first Hyundai Genesis in 2008. This luxury sedan was widely successful, and consumers soon demanded a new luxury brand from Hyundai to rival Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura, the respective luxury wings of Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. In 2015, Hyundai Motor Group answered the call by introducing the Genesis brand. The line made its way to North America last year, and is already sweeping the nation by providing the luxury vehicle experience to a new class of car buyers. Here are some of the most important facts about this new marque.
Fifteen Years in the Making
The concept for the new Genesis car brand came about as early as 2003, when the Hyundai Motor Group was exploring innovative approaches to the modern rear-wheel drive sports sedan. After several years and half a billion dollars in research, the result was the highly successful Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan. In the wake of the vehicle's success, Hyundai launched "phase two" of their plan, which was to lay the groundwork for a new luxury marque. Named after its flagship vehicle, Genesis was officially announced in 2015, and the first Genesis vehicles made their way to the United States by 2017.
Headed by a Dream Team
To help bring the Genesis up to the level of the existing competition in the luxury car market, Hyundai assembled a team that includes engineers and designers with experience at BMW, Audi, Lamborghini, and many other luxury vehicle companies. Executive Vice President of Genesis, Manfred Fitzgerald, used to be Director of Design at Lamborghini. Genesis's own design director, Luc Donckerwolke, used to work as the design director for Bentley and Audi. Finally, Albert Biermann, who used to be in charge of performance engineering at BMW, now fills a similar role for Genesis.
Available at Any Hyundai Dealership
Starting any new car brand from scratch is a tall order. Among the biggest hurdles is establishing a distribution network through dealerships. Finding the real estate and capital necessary for this development can be a huge obstacle for the company, as well as for potential car buyers interested in test-driving its offerings. Genesis has sidestepped that headache entirely by allowing its vehicles to be displayed at Hyundai dealerships. Genesis's lineup may soon grow too large to be accommodated within existing showrooms, but the compromise has allowed them to hit the ground running with their North American distribution.
The Genesis Service Valet
Despite the many benefits of displaying Genesis vehicles at existing Hyundai Motor dealers, it does bring about an unusual disadvantage compared to other luxury vehicle companies. Much of the market for high-end luxury sedans has no interest in shopping around a dealership next to the "common folk" looking at Hyundais. For better or worse, exclusivity is a major part of the appeal of these luxury cars, a fact that has been capitalized upon by other luxury car manufacturers. Lexus, for example, Toyota's luxury wing, has had its own standalone showrooms in the US since the 1980s. This separation has helped Lexus tap into a luxury market that prefers not to associate with less-exclusive car manufacturers like Toyota. Genesis has adapted to accommodate this market by offering a valet service for anything from test drives to maintenance and service needs.
Advanced Safety Features Come Standard
Safety is certainly one of the biggest concerns for most car buyers today. Some of the best safety features on many vehicles, however, are only available as part of a premium package or on upgraded models. This leads many people to forgo the safety features in favor of saving a couple grand on their purchase. Fortunately, Genesis has made the smart decision to check off the ten most important car safety tips every parent should know by making the highest safety measures a standard feature of all their vehicles. The base models of any luxury vehicle in Genesis's lineup include a complete array of advanced safety features including hazard detection, crash-optimized body structures, and an advanced airbag system. Unsurprisingly, all models in the Genesis brand's lineup have earned Top Safety Pick status through IIHS.
A Cloud-Based Service App
The new Genesis car brand has been a pioneer when it comes to taking advantage of smartphones and other modern technologies, utilizing a car feature straight-out of the future. Genesis owners have access to an Intelligent Assistant app that keeps the owner abreast of upcoming maintenance needs, as well as standard measurements like fuel levels and tire pressure. The cloud-based app also allows users to remotely start their car and adjust its internal climate control features. Finally, the app allows you to monitor and control the locks on your Genesis sedan, ensuring you never again have to worry about your car's safety.
Modern Driving Controls
Each vehicle in the Genesis brand's lineup is designed to provide the ultimate driving experience in terms of comfort and ease of use. The V6 engine offers up to 450 horsepower. The adaptive controls allow you to adjust every aspect of the vehicle, including calibrations for throttle, transmission, steering, and suspension. These settings can be programmed alongside pre-defined drive modes, allowing you to completely change the character of the vehicle at the touch of a button.
Cars Will Be Specially Tuned for Their Markets
An oft-overlooked aspect of car manufacturing is how vehicles must be finely-tuned for their environments. The roads and driving conditions in South Korea are different from how they are in the UK, and the concerns of a motorist in the United States are different from those of someone in Germany. No matter where a luxury vehicle is designed and built, it has to be tuned to the needs of where car buyers live. The new Genesis car brand will address these needs by fine-tuning vehicles like the 2017 Genesis G70 and G90 for specific markets. Models distributed locally in South Korea will be tuned for comfort on the country's mostly straight roads while models distributed to North America will be optimized for highway use.
Owing to the larger overall mission of its parent Hyundai Motor Group, part of the Genesis brand's goal is to provide its luxury vehicles at a more affordable rate than comparable models from other luxury car companies. For example, the 2018 Genesis G80 is an executive luxury sedan that competes directly with similarly-classed vehicles from German luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes. By the numbers, the starting price for the 2018 Genesis G80 and G80 Sport is cheaper than the Mercedes-Benz E400 by about 30 percent. Compared to the 2018 BMW M5, the 2018 Genesis G80 provides a comparable vehicle at less than half the starting price.
New Vehicles Are Loaded with Features
I've already mentioned some of the countless features offered by vehicles in the new Genesis car brand's lineup. The dynamic driving controls give you full control over your driving experience while the cloud-based app connectivity ensures you have control over your Genesis brand vehicle even when you aren't inside it. In fact, the luxury service valet ensures you are as comfortable as possible even from the moment you decide to purchase a Genesis. In addition to these advantages, Genesis vehicles offer a wide array of high quality features for a truly luxurious driving experience. These include leather upholstery, a head-up display, climate controlled seats, and adaptive external lights, easily making it one of the most reliable luxury cars to buy.