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2012 Hynudai Equus continues to refine intelligent luxury
Question of the Day
Hyundai’s flagship Equus successfully competes with the best sedans in the world, while adding a new level of customer experience to luxury car ownership. Since its introduction, Equus has outpaced its sales and market share expectations. Enhancements to the 2012 model build upon this momentum. Most notably, the 2012 Equus will now feature Hyundai’s most powerful engine ever, the new direct injection 5.0-liter Tau V8 engine. The new engine produces 429 horsepower and is mated to a new in-house eight-speed transmission providing Equus drivers more power and refinement.
The 2012 Equus is powered by Hyundai’s new 5.0-liter Tau DOHC V8 engine, producing 429 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 376 lb-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm, with a higher specific output (85.8 hp/liter) than its normally-aspirated premium luxury competitors. Maintaining its industry leadership position in 2011, the Tau V8 engine family was again named to the prestigious Ward’s Ten Best Engines list for the third consecutive time.
The 5.0-liter cylinder bore was increased from 92 mm to 96 mm for a total displacement of 5.0 liters (5,038cc). In addition to the large displacement, direct injection technology has been added. This high-pressure direct injection system (over 2,200 psi) dramatically increases power and torque while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Compression ratio has been increased from 10.4 to 11.5:1 for greater thermal efficiency and output. The Tau also receives a revised bed plate for improved block rigidity and lower NVH as well as camshaft carriers and a roller timing chain to improve valvetrain stability.
This new V8 engine still offers all of the premium engine technology from the 4.6-liter V8, including Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), a tuned variable induction system, and low-friction diamond-like coatings (DLC) on piston skirts, rings and tappets. Even with these impressive power increases, fuel economy is estimated at 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.
The Tau 5.0-liter V8 engine is coupled with a new Hyundai-developed eight-speed transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual shift capability. The new transmission adds two additional ratios to enhance acceleration, shifting smoothness, and transmission efficiency by more than six percent compared to last year’s six-speed.
Equus is the third rear-wheel-drive product in Hyundai’s lineup and boasts an excellent 52/48 front-to-rear weight distribution for exceptional handling and more refined steering characteristics. Equus reduces interior noise levels and improves ride and handling with a stiff, light-weight body structure. The use of high-tensile steel in critical areas throughout the unibody provides Equus with significantly higher dynamic torsional rigidity and a lower body structure weight, despite having a spacious interior cabin.
Driving dynamics are a critical element in every luxury sedan, and the Equus offers first-rate ride and handling characteristics without traditional compromises. Equus‘ electronically controlled air suspension tackles the wide variety of road surfaces drivers face every day. For drivers who enjoy a firm ride and more stability when cornering, there is a sport setting with additional body control. For drivers who wish their ride to be a little on the softer side, the normal setting offers more ride compliance.
In urban areas, the Equus is easy to maneuver and park, thanks to excellent steering and its electronic parking assist feature. While the Equus is large, it doesn’t feel over-sized or clumsy due to its 39.6 foot turning circle and variable-effort steering system.
The Equus benefits from the precise wheel control delivered by its five-link front and rear suspension geometry. This geometry is maximized through Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which continually monitors road and driving dynamics and adjusts damping force accordingly.
The design of the Equus is handsome and pleasing to the eye. The rear-end treatment is progressive with bold taillights, strong shoulders and an overall look of precision. The side silhouette is refined, with character lines that accent the rear fenders and a new satin chrome side window daylight opening finish. Upfront is a subtle horizontal radiator grille and well-proportioned headlamps with jeweled detailing. LED turn signals are inside the HID headlamps along with an adaptive front lighting system with white LED position lamps. The lower air intakes are bold and add to the positive reaction of the overall design. To assist in parking and navigating blind corners and alleys in urban driving, there is an optional forward-view cornering camera integrated into the grille.
The seats are fully adjustable with plenty of width and support. Thermoelectric devices located in the seat backs and bottom cushions provide control for heating, cooling and humidity. There is ample leg and head room for drivers over six-feet tall and a massaging driver seat.
The Driver Information System (DIS) provides navigation, XM Satellite Radio, HD Radio technology, hands-free Bluetooth phone system and much more.
Named a 2011 “TOP SAFETY PICK” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Equus continues the Hyundai tradition of offering key safety technologies, with features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), nine airbags, electronic active front head restraints, lane departure warning system and smart cruise control. Equus even has a Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system that optimally manages ESC, the electronic parking brake, smart cruise control and the seatbelt tensioning system for optimal safety.
Hyundai’s lane departure warning system offers a warning light and chime after a one-second lane departure, and adds a haptic warning via the seatbelt after a three second lane departure. Smart cruise control automatically manages the Equus‘ speed through the braking and throttle systems to maintain a specified following distance selected by the driver. Equus has an optional camera located on the front grille and a standard camera on the rear decklid. These cameras help detect how close objects are when parking. Distance is indicated on the in-dash LCD monitor.
Equus is brought to a halt by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). The 13.6-inch front rotors have four-piston fixed calipers and the rear brakes feature 12.4-inch rotors with single floating piston calipers.
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