Hats off to Hyundai for the new top-of-the-line Equus, a stunningly beautiful and technologically excellent automobile.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a Mercedes S Class sedan, Lexus LS 460 or a BMW 7 Series, but the price tags have kept your wallet in your pocket, then take a look at the Equus with a starting price of under $60,000.
Hyundai has had the Equus on the production boards for several years as engineers worked to come up with the company’s initial offering in the large luxury car segment. With its European design, comfortable interior and leading edge automotive technology, the 2011 Equus is Hyundai’s signal to the world that it can engineer, design and build world class vehicles.
Equus is offered in two models — Signature and Ultimate.
Equus Signature has a starting price of $58,000 and comes with leather seating surfaces; Alcantara suede headliner; dual automatic temperature control with air quality system; a 608-watt, 17-speaker Lexicon stereo system; heated and cooled front seats; heated steering wheel trimmed in wood and leather; illuminated scuff plates; illuminated door handles and door armrest, and all the bells and whistles you find in similar luxury sedans.
Equus Ultimate, with a base price of $64,500, has everything that the Signature has and more, including separate rear seats that have elaborate massage technology, power headrests and footrests, separate entertainment controls and even a small refrigerated cooler in the center console. A forward-view camera allows for better visibility and a power trunk lid is standard.
Equus is powered by Hyundai’s vaunted 4.6-liter Tau V-8 engine with variable valve timing and mated to the six-speed ZF automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. The combination is amazingly quick, quiet and smooth and the handling is precise.
The Equus is designed on what Hyundai calls its “Fluidic Sculpture” principle.
Up front, the grille is taken from the Hyundai Genesis and it has been neatly integrated with the headlights, which wrap around and blend into the fenders. The shortened front overhang allows the auto-cornering HID headlights to swivel effectively as the car turns.
Along the side the car has a fast roofline and a contour crease across the top of the front fender, arcing through the doors and over the rear door handle to the taillights. Large 19-inch wheels and tires fill the wheelwells.
On the inside, there is huge space, lots of legroom and headroom and abundant luxury complemented by plush leather and inlaid wood trim.
Both models come with abundant interior equipment, including a heated wood-and-leather steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescopic adjustment, heated and cooled front seats, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with massage, dual automatic climate control with separate adjustment, 60/40 power-reclining rear seats, power rear and side sunshades and an auto defogging system with rain-sensing wipers.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.