The Hyundai Equus is also known as the Hyundai Centennial in the Middle East and is a full-size luxury sedan that makes up this carmaker’s flagship model of Hyundai Motor Company on an international level its name is derived from the Latin word for “horse”. This vehicle is the both the largest and most expensive sedan from this company. A new version of the Equus with a rear-wheel drive platform was released in 2009 and it was meant to compete directly with the BMW 7 Series as well as the Mercedes S-Class, Lexus LS, and Audi A8. The Hyundai Equus became available in a number of different countries in August of 2014, including Russia, China, South Korea, the United States, Canada, and the Middle East.
Hyundai Motors as well as Mitsubishi Motors both presented their full-size sedans in 1999, and Hyundai claimed it was making a full-size sedan in order to compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class as well as the BMW 7 Series in Korea. The reality was that this vehicle was going up against a domestic competitor named the SsangYong Chairman. Hyundai experienced a great deal of success with this vehicle in Korea, though there were few that were ever exported to foreign countries.
The first generation of the Equus was designed by Mitsubishi Motors who had built their own version, named the Proudia. The Equus was released in 1999 with a front-wheel drive design and measures 5.1 meters long and 1.9 meters wide. There was a long-wheelbase model of this vehicle which was just for the Korean and domestic market, and the 2008 model which did not come with a V8 engine or any other options was the most expensive vehicle in the company’s lineup at the time. The first generation of this vehicle was sold in the Middle East, South Korea, and China.
The 2003 model Equus came with a whole new hood design as well as some minor interior changes. There was a 7” screen added to the rear seat, as well as Xenon headlamps and front parking sensors. Ultimately though, Mitsubishi Motors ended production of the Proudia and the Dignity. Starting in 2005, the 3.0 and 3.5 Sigma V6 engine types were changed to 3.3 and 3.8 Lambda V6 engines which were both developed and designed by Hyundai Motors, though the automatic transmission did not receive any changes whatsoever. Hyundai stopped production of the first generation Equus in November of 2009, and a bigger and better rear-wheel drive Equus took its place in March of 2009.
A limousine model of the Equus was introduced to the Korean market, and these limousines have been used by a number of different company owners in Korea as well as foreign VIPs. The second generation of the Equus was given the codename “VI” and was unveiled in Grand Hyatt Seoul. But unlike the previous Equus, the VI uses a rear-wheel drive architecture as well as a longer wheelbase and a different engine. The VI uses a design that is based on a completely new platform which was developed entirely by Hyundai Motor Corporation.
The Equus that was released in the Korean domestic market comes equipped with a 3.8 liter “Prime” as well as a 4.6 liter “Prestige” in South Korea. This is by far the most expensive model in the company’s lineup The US model of this vehicle was officially announced in 2009 at the Beach Concours d’Elegance and was introduced to the public in 2010 at the New York Auto Show. Some of the early US models of this vehicle include the same 4.6 liter V8 engine as the Genesis.