The Genesis brand has officially arrived in North America as Hyundai’s premium marque is currently exhibiting the Equus-replacing G90 in Detroit.

The Genesis brand has officially arrived in North America as Hyundai’s premium marque is currently exhibiting the Equus-replacing G90 in Detroit.

Hyundai is trying to compete with the big boys in the fullsize luxury segment with the G90, which is more than just a facelift for the Equus. For starters, the wheelbase has been stretched by a significant 11.4 centimetres (4.5 inches) and the engineers significantly reduced noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels by using extra sound-deadening material.

The 2017 Genesis G90 will be available with a selection of only two engines. The first one is a newly developed bi-turbo 3.3-litre V6 developing 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 376 lb-ft of torque from 1,300 rpm. The other motor is a larger naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 pushing out 420 hp at 6,000 rpm and 383 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm. Rear-wheel drive is going to be standard, but Genesis will also sell its range-topper with an optional H-TRAC all-wheel drive system. Regardless of engine choice, the model will be available exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

While the exterior is not a significant departure from the outgoing Equus, the cabin is where Genesis showed its expertise by implementing a lot of luxury appointments. It has basically everything that you could think of, from a 12.3-inch (312 millimetre) screen for the infotainment system to a 22-way electrically-controlled power driver's seat. There’s also a 17-speaker Lexicon sound system with a subwoofer, along with a plethora of safety & assistance systems like Pedestrian Detection, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, and Lane Keep Assist, just to name a few. The list goes on with full LED headlights, heads-up display, and multiple configurations for the rear seats, along with a rear-seat entertainment system featuring dual 9.2-inch (233 millimetre) screens.

Will the Genesis G90 really have an impact on Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and Audi A8 sales? Probably not, but it’s really not a bad first-time effort. It’s only the tip of the iceberg for the Genesis brand as five more models will be out within the next five years.

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