A surprise hit in the U.S., the Hyundai Equus has shown that there is a market for a $60,000 to $66,000 Korean flagship luxury car here. Without delving into a trite “Gangnam Style” joke, here’s what we can tell you: It’s gained popularity because of its opulence and elegance without being flashy–or too expensive. It undercuts the Japanese and German competition by five figures, feature for feature, and still comes with a 10-year warranty like every other Hyundai out there.
Hyundai has just revealed a teaser of the 2014 Equus, giving us a quick glimpse at the refreshed luxury sedan. Using the wonders of Photoshop, we’ve brightened it to what you see above, highlighting some subtle upgrades and what look to be more dramatic differences towards the rear of the car.
Up front, changes we can see include a center-mounted camera on the grille for what we assume will help with both parking and collision-avoidance technologies. The Equus’ grille has thinly connected bars on its sides, mimicking what has become a hallmark design feature on the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. Its headlights look like they’ve been freshened, but their shape remains the same. Every change appears to be subtle.
The arcing character line running down the back makes the car look more like a bustle back like the HCD-14 concept that debuted in Detroit, but it could just be an illusion from the dimly lit picture. When we saw a prototype of the 2014 Hyundai Equus in person several weeks ago with heavy camouflage wrappings, the trunk shape looked the same as the current model. And, as we saw on the prototype testing, new aggressive-looking turbine wheels replace the dull nine-spoke chrome rims on the outgoing model.
We don’t have much information about the 2014 Hyundai Equus quite yet, but rumors circulating suggest it will continue with its current 5.0-liter V-8 engine in the U.S., packing 429 horsepower. But whereas the Hyundai Equus has an eight-speed automatic transmission, the new car is rumored to have a 10-speed auto, designed in-house by Hyundai. There’s a strong chance all-wheel drive could be offered for the first time.
Hyundai will reveal the 2014 Equus on March 27 at the New York Auto Show, keeping us guessing on its details for the better part of the next three weeks. Our best guess is that this car will be sleeker, less traditionally conservatively Korean and more American-oriented, more luxurious, and heavier on technology (we saw prototypes for its new infotainment system at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show) to compete even more strongly with the premium competition.