Any student of Darwin, or perhaps Pavlov, will know that the secret to exceptionally rapid evolution is simple: short generation gaps.
As the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has evolved since 1910, Hyundai had serious ground to make up with the Equus in 2009 or whenever it launched in the US. This type of goverment limo has always been popular domestically in Asian markets -- but bringing the Equus abroad was always going to be big news for Hyundai.
This Equus for 2015 is perhaps the fourth or fifth generation of updates since the basic bones launches on the previous Genesis chassis a half-dozen years ago. Made extra rigid, lengthened and widened, loaded with tech and sealed in rubber for isolation and road noise suppression, the Equus was a vehicle on a mission.
2014 model-year was all about internal tech updates and touchscreens front and big screens in back. 2015 is about updating the exterior for some major valet panache and golf-club gravitas.
You might think the hypothetical Equus buyer does not exist. We certainly did. But at the Houston Auto Show preview gala, we spotted a live one. This gentleman is a true luxury status-quo rejecter right out of a marketing strategy powerpoint. Someone who does not believe the S-Class is better just *because.*
THE TARGET BUYER
These folks want to make their own decision. They want to find value in even an ultra-lux limousine costing more than $70,000.
SOunds fake, right?
This gent proves it is real. Glass of cabernet in hand, he heard the specs and size of the new Equus with great interest.
Next steps? A test drive loaner for him to sample a few days.
Every conquest in this hyper-drive evolution of Hyundai luxury cars is more than an S-Class conquest. It is someone who will never buy an S-Class again.
Darwin would readily explain that these aberrations are the true mark of an rapidly advancing species.
2015 Hyundai Equus