Hyundai Genesis challenges luxury turf

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G70 concept car

Hyundai’s luxury play

Newly formed luxury brand Genesis is gearing up for a late-2017 arrival in Australia, where it plans to challenge the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus.

The Hyundai-owned brand will launch with two models, the new G70 mid-sized sedan, priced from about $60,000, and the G80, a large sedan priced from about $70,000, based on the Hyundai Genesis model that has sold in Australia for several years.

But it’s the GV80 concept car revealed earlier this year that provides a clearer insight into the ambitious new brand’s plans.

The GV80 shows the new design direction for the brand – the most obvious styling theme being quad slimline lights front and rear – and will be the first Genesis SUV when the production model arrives in 2019.

Hyundai has amassed a world-class design team to create at least six new Genesis models by 2021. The team includes former Lamborghini and Bentley designer Luc Donckerwolke and ex-Bugatti designer Alexander Selipanov.


Ford Everest

Everest scales new lows

Ford has slashed up to $2000 off its slow-selling Everest SUV, which has been praised for its refinement and driving nous but criticised for being pricey compared with its prime rival, the Toyota Prado.

As part of the realignment of the range, Ford has replaced the tiny 4.2-inch colour screen on the entry-level Ambiente with a sizeable 8.0-inch unit that provides more functionality and better suits the overall interior layout. The Ambiente, now available as a rear-drive model with five seats priced from $47,990 (a seven-seat model adds $1000) also picks up side steps, dual-zone ventilation and a 10-speaker sound system.

All Everests are powered by a 143kW 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.


Chinese SUV eyes Australia

Australia is shaping up to be a key market for the latest new arrival from Chinese brand LDV.

Sister brand to the formerly British brand MG – part of the giant SAIC car maker – the D90 is LDV’s first SUV, set to arrive here later in 2017.

Sporting some Hyundai-inspired styling around its nose, the seven-seat large SUV is expected to come out swinging on value in a market segment dominated by the likes of Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai.

LDV even chose Australia as the location to reveal the car, which has undergone some local testing to tailor it to Australian tastes.

Holden Commodore

Tourer for Commodore

Holden has confirmed its worst-kept secret: that the first imported Commodore, due in February, will include a high-riding version of the wagon.

To be called Tourer, it will take on the popular Subaru Outback and will get unique bumpers and black wheel-arch surrounds, as well as suspension that rides 20mm higher to allow for light-duty off-roading.

Holden has initially opted for a V6 engine mated to a clever all-wheel-drive system.

Later, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel will join the line-up, providing a more fuel-efficient alternative.


Kona to join small suvs

Hyundai has confirmed it will sell a new small SUV to be called Kona. It will compete with the Toyota C-HR, Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V, and will be priced below $30,000 when it arrives around September.

Meanwhile, Hyundai has ushered in its all-new i30 hatchback, a better-equipped offering than its predecessor.

The entry-level Active model, priced from $20,950 (plus on-road costs), picks up 16-inch alloy wheels, auto headlights, a tyre-pressure monitoring system and sat-nav.

Gone is the 1.8-litre engine of the old model, with a 120kW 2.0-litre now gracing entry models.


Mercedes’ all-rounder

Mercedes-Benz has added a light-duty off-roader to its E-Class range. With chunkier tyres and raised suspension, the All-Terrain rides 29mm higher than a regular E-Class wagon and at the push of a button the air suspension can increase that a further 20mm to create “a flexible all-rounder”.

There are also styling changes, including black wheel-arch flares and a unique body-coloured two-slot grille.

The All-Terrain is powered by a 143kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel matched to a nine-speed auto driving through Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. It is priced from $109,900.

Written by Toby Hagon
May 29, 2017

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