Hyundai will launch its Lexus and Infiniti-chasing concept GENESIS at the New York motor show on 4 April 4. The concept “heralds the future architecture and design of a rear-wheel drive premium sports sedan scheduled to grace the Hyundai lineup in 2008”, the automaker said in pre-show publicity.

“Concept Genesis extends our product range into new territories from a performance, design and packaging perspective,” said Steve Wilhite, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor America. “When it arrives in 2008 it will catapult Hyundai into competition against some potent rivals, and Genesis is up for the challenge.”

Concept Genesis rides on a prototype of Hyundai’s all-new rear-wheel drive platform powered by the automaler’s newly developed Tau DOHC 32-valve V-8 powertrain with six-speed automatic gearbox.

“Concept Genesis is a manifestation of Hyundai’s extraordinary desire to deliver world-class products across all model segments,” said John Krafcik, vice president, product development and strategic planning, Hyundai Motor America. “With Genesis, we’ve got a unique product position – an all-new, highly capable, rear-wheel drive platform; a high-performance powertrain; and premium, progressive design – all at a price starting well under $US30,000.”

Using ultra high-tensile steel in critical areas in the unibody provides the concept with a claimed 12-14% higher dynamic torsional rigidity and a lower body-in-white weight than the BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-class.

The front five-link suspension features upper and lower arms and this articulated arrangement creates a virtual king pin axis which reduces unwanted kickback through the steering wheel as well as improving responsiveness. The five-link independent rear suspension is also sophisticated, enabling precise suspension geometry. Driver selectable settings allowing tailored ride and handling characteristics.

Safety technology includes electronic stability control (ESC) with traction control, eight airbags and active headrests.

The specification also includes four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist and electronic brake distribution (EBD). The 12.6-inch front rotors have single-piston floating calipers and the rear brakes feature 12.4-inch rotors with single pistons.