2011 Hyundai Equus Priced at $58,900 to Start
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California — It’s official: The 2011 Hyundai Equus will be the most expensive Korean vehicle in the U.S. market when it goes on sale in December. Hyundai on Tuesday said the base Equus Signature model will start at $58,900, while the uplevel Equus Ultimate will start at $65,400. Prices include a $900 destination charge.
The top-of-the-line Equus Ultimate undercuts its chief competitor, the 2011 Lexus LS 460, by $855. The LS 460 starts at $66,255, including an $875 shipping charge.
There are no options on the Equus, said Hyundai spokesman Miles Johnson in a phone conversation with Inside Line. When asked if the automaker expected any negative reaction to the Equus and its Lexus-like pricing, Johnson said no.
“Everything we’ve seen shows people are surprised at how much you get for the price point,” Johnson said. “Besides, everyone said we couldn’t sell a $40,000 [Hyundai] Genesis. And we’ve been able to do that.”
He said the main point of the Equus is to “test the water” in the U.S, in order to gauge whether American consumers are ready for a Korean luxury vehicle. “We’re not trying to sell it in large volumes,” Johnson said. “We are targeting a total of 2,000-3,000 units annually in the U.S.”
Both trim levels of the Equus come with a standard Apple iPad. The iPad has an interactive owner’s manual and can also be used to schedule maintenance pickup and delivery on the car.
The list of standard equipment in the base Equus includes 19-inch chrome wheels; a pre-collision system; adaptive headlights; adaptive cruise control; 12-way power driver and 10-way power passenger seats (with heating and cooling, plus massage for the driver); reclining rear seats (with heating); a leather-wrapped dash; real wood interior trim; a 608-watt, Lexicon 7.1 surround-sound audio system with 17 speakers; and a navigation system with XM traffic updates.
The 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate drops passenger count to four via twin bucket seats in the rear. This layout includes a “first-class passenger-side rear seat” with leg support and a massage system. Both rear seats are cooled. Additional features on the Ultimate include rear-seat vanity mirrors; a rear entertainment system with an 8-inch monitor; a refrigerator; a power trunk lid and a forward-view cornering camera.
Both trim levels of the Equus come with a standard 385-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 linked to a six-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. All maintenance is covered by Hyundai for the duration of the sedan’s 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, and the automaker says it will pick up and drop off your Equus, providing either a Genesis or an Equus as a loaner car.
Inside Line says: Hyundai’s pricing strategy on the Equus should make for one interesting horse race versus its Japanese competition. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent
See the Equus and the full lineup of Hyundai’s award winning cars at Glenbrook Hyundai, the Happy Car Store 4801 Coldwater Road Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825