Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The Korean manufacturer Hyundai already had the Genesis premium brand but it still made a car that could compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in 2012.
It was the Hyundai Equus, a bargain luxury car.
Some cars were so impressive that nobody asked for the brand and just assume that it was expensive and it might be something special. Or an exclusive unknown brand. Hyundai cannot be called an unknown brand for normal people. But the Equus, doesn’t show the italic H badge on it. It just said Equus. Or not even that, if the buyer chose to remove the badges.
On the outside, there was a bit of confusion if the big, luxurious, sedan was a Lexus or a special series of Mercedes-Benz or something else. That something else was closer to reality. The headlights shape can be considered a mix between those found into an S-Class and those installed on an LS series. The Equus was available with a 3045 mm (120”) wheelbase or, a 3345 mm (131.7”) long wheelbase. That was more than enough legroom. The rear seats were available with a bench for three or with two places and a refrigerator in between the occupants.
Under the hood, a big V8 gasoline engine was installed and it had the same power output as a Mercedes-Benz S500. Would that be a coincidence? The car was great, but people didn’t buy it, and, in 2016, it was stopped from the production lines.
Hyundai tried to upscale their cars with the Equus, which was launched in 2010 as a 2011 model on the U.S. market. It was meant to be a competitor for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Lexus LS.
The 2010 Equus was at its second generation. Its predecessor was based on the Mitsubishi Proudia, but the car was not sold on the U.S. soil or in Europe. In 2010, Hyundai unveiled the second generation at the New York Auto Show.
The car’s design had various inspirations from the Nissan Altima, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS, and the BMW 7-Series. The car had only one Hyundai badge, on the trunk lid. The car’s symbol was a bird showed on the hood and on the wheel’s center caps.
Inside, the Equus offered almost everything fitted as standard. The 8” infotainment unit was controlled via a rotary knob located between the front seats. The walnut wood trim and leather all around the cabin were just part of the equation. All the seats get heating and massage functions. For the right-rear passenger, the seat was a recliner, with feet support. From the rear, the passenger could control the climate control unit and it had a dedicated infotainment unit with a screen attached in the back of the center console, between the front seats. In the rear armrest, there was a refrigerator with enough space for two cans and a couple of sandwiches.
Under the hood, the Equus was launched with a 4.6-liter V8 mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, but that setup was replaced a year later with a 5.0-liter V8 mated to an 8-speed automatic.