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Stifle that yawn! Hyundai’s 2015 Genesis pumps in fresh air when you need it

Read our full 2015 Hyundai Genesis review.

With the original Genesis sedan, Hyundai tried to upset the auto industry balance of power by offering a full-size luxury car at a (somewhat) affordable price. That mission continues with the second-generation model, which was unveiled in Hyundai’s homeland, Korea.

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis will emphasize luxury over affordability, though. Hyundai hopes this new model will be taken more seriously as a premium-class contender, and will further distance the brand from its humble origins.

That all starts with the styling. As seen in previous teaser images, the 2015 Genesis borrows heavily from the HCD-14 concept. The new car features a bolder front end and more formal lines with some dramatic sculpting. It’s definitely an improvement over the old Genesis, but does still seems more like an imitation of other luxury cars than a unique design.

Hyundai will offer the 2015 Genesis with a total of four engines. U.S. buyers will probably get to choose between a 3.8-liter V6 with 333 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque or a 5.0-liter V8 with 429 hp and 376 lb-ft, just as they do with the current model.

Other markets will get smaller 3.0-liter and 3.3-liter gasoline V6s.

The only transmission option is an eight-speed automatic, but the Genesis will now be offered with a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Hyundai’s new H-TRAC all-wheel drive system features electronic front-rear torque modulation, and several driving modes.

Like the exterior, the interior is classy but restrained. Tech highlights include a 9.2-inch center-stack display for the BlueLink infotainment system, and a head-up display. Hyundai has already signed on with Apple to offer Siri Eyes Free; the Genesis may be one of the first models to get it.

Another novel feature is an onboard CO2 sensor, which cycles the climate control from recirculating air to outside air to prevent drowsiness.

Other safety features include the seemingly-obligatory lane departure warning system, lane-change assist, smart cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring.

While Hyundai is only showing the Korea-spec model so far, a North American version of the 2015 Genesis will probably appear at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January. Hyundai says it will go on sale here in Fall 2014.

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