Hyundai Motor Co. unveiled the Genesis G90, the flagship sedan and first of six nameplates for the new premium brand to be rolled out through 2020.
The new brand will have two models initially: The G90 replaces the current Equus, and a G80 succeeds the current Genesis sedan. Those will be followed by a smaller sedan called the G70, a coupe, a midsize crossover and a larger SUV.
Superior safety, comfort and performance are key goals for the G90, as South Korea's biggest automaker targets a bigger slice of the global luxury segment and its fat profit margins.
Under the hood, the G90 offers a choice of three gasoline engines teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission: a twin-turbo, 3.3-liter V-6, a 3.8-liter V-6 or a 5.0-liter V-8. The V-8 can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (0 to 62 mph) in 5.7 seconds.
Engineers tried to deliver sporty and responsive ride and handling by fine-tuning the car at Hyundai's European Test Centre at Germany's demanding Nurburgring racing circuit.
Hyundai announced plans to spin off the new Genesis luxury brand in November after 15 years of refining its luxury cars.
Hyundai began taking orders in Korea for the G90 on Nov. 23. Its sticker price ranges from 73 million won (approximately $61,900) to 117 million won ($99,200).
The outgoing Equus, by contrast, ranges from 67.8 million won ($57,490) to 143 million won ($121,260).
Genesis will be a stand-alone marque that operates alongside its Hyundai brand sibling. Genesis cars will go on sale initially in the North American, Korean, Chinese and Middle Eastern markets. The brand will expand its reach to Europe and other parts of Asia later.
Some 800 people worked for four years on the G90, Hyundai said.
The car, called the EQ900 in Korea, gets a suite of automated driving and safety technologies dubbed Genesis Smart Sense. The package bundles smart cruise control, lane-keep assist and other technologies that aim to reduce driver fatigue. In Korea, it also gets a feature called Highway Driving Assistance.
Among the G90's advanced safety features are an autonomous braking system with pedestrian detection, active blind-spot detection, a driver attention alert system, high-beam assist and an around-view monitor, Hyundai said.
On the comfort and convenience front, the G90's seats deploy what Hyundai calls a world's-first Smart Posture Caring System. The system automatically determines the overall position of the body to ensure optimal seating position.
Up front, the center console gets a 12.3-inch high-definition screen. Air conditioning is divided into three zones.
Hyundai toned down tire noise with a hollow design for the 19-inch alloy wheels that channels airflow more quietly. That, plus sound-absorbing materials throughout the cabin and substructure, produces what Hyundai said is best-in-class sound ratings.
Outside, the G90 debuts a design language called "athletic elegance."