Hyundai planning Mercedes AMG-rivaling, V8-powered Genesis Sedan? You bet

hyundai genesis performance model could be in the works dt detroit 2015 02

Read our full 2015 Hyundai Genesis review.

It’s a full-size luxury sedan with a V8 engine and all-wheel drive, built for performance. No, it’s not the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG; it’s a Hyundai.

At least, it could be. At the Detroit launch of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis last week, a company spokesman told Auto Guide that Hyundai is considering a performance version of the big sedan with a 5.0-liter “Tau” V8 and the new HTRAC all-wheel drive system.

The project hasn’t received the green light, but Hyundai reportedly believes there is market demand for such a model.

HTRAC, which features electronic front-to-rear torque modulation and a choice of driving modes, will only be available with the 3.8-liter V6 at launch. With 311 horsepower, it’s not much of a screamer.

Neither is the 5.0-liter V8, for that matter. With 420 hp, it’s about adequate for a large sedan like the Genesis. Hopefully the performance model will get a power bump, if it makes it to production.

At the very least, a performance model would benefit from the 2015 Genesis’ all-new platform, which is much stiffer than the previous model’s thanks to extensive use of high-tensile steel.

The Genesis has always been pitched as a bargain alternative to established luxury barges like the Mercedes S-Class. Mercedes offers AMG performance versions of its flagship, so why shouldn’t Hyundai do the same?

In fact, Hyundai is in the midst of launching its own version of AMG.

Like AMG, Hyundai’s new N (apparently all the good letters were taken) division will be a sub-brand for performance versions of the company’s existing models. Hyundai is tapping its World Rally Championship team for technical know-how, and will announce production plans later this year.