During the New York Auto Show, Hyundai announced the 2010 Equus luxury sedan would come with a multimedia tablet PC rather than the standard owner’s manual noting that in addition to being a traditional manual, the tablet would serve as a digital liaison between an owner and his/her Hyundai dealership.
Today, Hyundai sources announced Equus owners will be provided with a 16 GB WiFi Apple iPad with a custom landscape style leather case with embossed logo, kickstand, and suede-like interior.
The interactive manual will show off all the usual text and images, and will also show videos to explain vehicle functions.
All the Equus specific programs will come pre-installed on the iPad, and it will function like a stock iPad via iTunes. Hyundai will update the Equus app(s) through the App Store.
What is the Equus?
Hyundai will launch the 2011 Equus to compete against the Lexus LS 460, Jaguar XJ, and Mercedes-Benz S550, but at a price point $12,000 to $35,000 less than the competition. While reminiscent of the doomed Volkswagen Phaeton, Hyundai America CEO John Krafcik believes Hyundai has one the proper groundwork to launch a premium sedan, unlike Volkswagen. VW left a large gap between the Passat an the Phaeton, while Hyundai slowly moved upwards with the Azera and Genesis sitting between the Sonata and upcoming Equus. The Genesis sedan verifies that consumers are willing to pay $40,000 plus for a Hyundai.
Still, there is no guarantee consumers will pay $55,000 to $60,000 for a Hyundai, but it seems more plausible than the $80,000 Phaeton. The serious question is whether anyone who could afford a $55,000 Hyundai would opt for one over, say a Lexus GS or Mercedes-Benz C class.
Krafcik also believes other luxury automakers have gone in the wrong direction glossing up their dealerships. The coffee bars and fancy seating areas look nice, but it would be better if nobody ha to visit their dealer. Rather than upgrade the look and feel of their dealers, Hyundai plans to remove the dealership from the Equus experience. Owners will schedule service appointments on their iPad, and Hyundai will send a driver to the Equus owner’s home or office with a loaner then return the Equus when the work is done. Krafcik believes the ultimate luxury is never having to visit the dealer at all. Sounds good to me.
Pick up your 2011 Hyundai Equus this fall.ll.