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Hyundai Genesis (2008): First official pictures

Published: 16 January 2008

It’s not coming to the UK, but it doesn’t mean that Hyundai won’t crow about it. This is the Genesis, the Korean company’s latest attack on the premium brands, and designed to make us forget about previous attempts like the XG30. But concurrently it’s also because of the Genesis’ predecessors that we won’t get the new car.

This time around though that seems a pity. To our eyes the Genesis looks smart, and our hearts like the idea of a new 375bhp 4.6-litre V8. Designated ‘Tau’, the V8 will be joined by 3.3 and 3.8-litre V6s. There's no diesel, so don't start to even hope for future UK sales.

Despite the heavy V8 lump up front the Genesis boasts a 53:47 front-rear weight distribution, while Hyundai claim the interior is more spacious than a BMW 7-series.

Proof that the Genesis is primarily for other markets (the US in particular) is the ultraviolet-reflecting steering wheel, designed to stay cool whatever the weather. Hyundai also sings the praises of the 500 watt stereo, which is by Lexicon - the same brand you’ll find inside a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Looks wise, the Hyundai is a smart and classy affair, if unoriginal. Shades of Lexus and S-class can be seen throughout, but it is one of the brand’s most handsome and convincing efforts yet. The US will likely lap it up, and it could even have managed a bunch of sales across here – given a price to reflect the badge-kudos.

Hyundai America say it will compete with the Chrysler 300C on price, despite their claims of benchmarking the quality against Mercedes, BMW and Lexus. Expect prices to start at around $28,000 (sub-£15k) for the base V6, rising to around $36,000 for the 4.6 V8.

Incidently, the rear-wheel drive Genesis platform will also form a basis for the forthcoming Coupe, and the two-door should feature all three engines as well.

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