Hyundai Guns For Germany With The New Genesis

Posted by: Matt Iasenzaniro onJanuary 14th, 2014

A review on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis reads more like a gadget article than an automotive piece. The only thing Hyundai wants to talk about is the technology inside, which is a shame because I think there’s a great car surrounding it. But hey, who am I to argue if their marketing team thinks the tech is more important? So let’s start with that.

I suppose you know a car is going to be packed with nifty new features when it makes its North American debut at CES instead of a car show. It all starts out normally, Hyundai has updated their BlueLink system to include Google destination search, along with remote start/stop, climate control and defrosting. It also allows you to send a destination to your car from your smartphone, making it much easier to plan a route in comfort. They’ve also added Sensory Surround Safety, their version of collision detection and avoidance. As with similar technologies, the car detects whether you’re about to hit something and whether or not the driver knows they’re about to hit something and applies the brakes to avoid or mitigate the collision. If a collision can’t be avoided then Automatic Collision Notification will notify a customizable list of contacts immediately, a handy feature for the concerned parent. I like ACN as a parenting feature a lot more than GM’s Teen Driver.

But looking past BlueLink gets us to the really cool new tech, specifically the Genesis Intelligent Assistant app. Program the app with your normal commute and it will constantly monitor traffic and temperature before you’re scheduled the leave. If traffic is bad, it will send you a message, alerting you to leave earlier. If the temperature goes above or a below a certain threshold it will also ask you if you want to start the car and turn on climate control. This app is smarter than I am. I’ll wake up, see that it’s snowing and still decide to spend 15 minutes browsing Beyond instead of leaving early. In addition to these “Why can’t all cars do that?” features, you can monitor vehicle health and status on the app, and even book maintenance through it if a problem is found. The app integrates thoroughly with BlueLink and gives owners an unprecedented level of control with their new Genesis. Hopefully we see more of this tech in the rest of their lineup soon.

Now, moving on, we’ve still got a car to review. And there’s a lot to talk about.

We’ll start with the fact that not one part from the outgoing model can be found in the 2015. Everything on the new chassis is just that. A wider wheelbase, shorter overhangs and more rearward A-pillars all enhance and highlight the rear-drive platform that Hyundai is pushing with the Genesis. The new design, combined with higher strength steel throughout, provides 16% stiffer torsional rigidity and 40% stiffer bending rigidity. The goal of the new chassis is not just to be in the same segment as the BMW 5-series, but to legitimately compete with it.

The all new independent multilink suspension is stiffer than the outgoing model, but with more travel, allowing better wheel articulation and bump absorption. Camber and caster angles have been adjusted to provide increased grip and improved steering feel, while the optional Continuous Damping Control on the 5.0L V8 version dynamically adjusts body roll for a comfortable and stable ride.

Both the 5.0L V8 and 3.8L V6 engine options remain the same, though they’ve both received some tuning. The Tau V8 bumps up to 420 horsepower, matching or exceeding the power of the E550, M56, CTS and A6. That power is sent through an 8-speed automatic with Steptronic manual shifting to all four wheels. A new HTRAC AWD system allows for the car to be rear wheel drive under ideal conditions, but push whatever power is necessary to the front wheels under low grip conditions.

The outgoing Genesis sedan felt like it belonged alongside the Infiniti M and Lexus GS in a segment where the Germans dominate with cars that are both luxurious and fun to drive, while the others just have their luxury. Even the Genesis R-spec couldn’t quite push them into 5-series and E-class territory. Clearly Hyundai wants to change that, and they’ve put a lot of work into it. Here’s hoping that it drives as well as they want it to. I can’t wait to find out.

When he’s not busy writing about cars or travelling the auto show circuit, he’s reviewing apps and video games related to the automotive world. In his spare time, Matt is a motorcycle enthusiast, trying not to kill himself riding along with the crazy local drivers. He is also a weekly contributor in the Motor Mondays segment on News Talk 770.

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