Hyundai Equus (1999)

Hyundai Equus

In 1999, Hyundai Motors and Mitsubishi Motors presented their full-size sedan - the Hyundai Equus. Hyundai said that it was making a full-size sedan to compete with Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the Korean market. Hyundai had great success with this car in Korea, but very few were exported to foreign countries.

The first generation was designed by Mitsubishi Motors who had their own version called the Dignity. It was jointly manufactured by both companies. The first generation car was introduced in 1999 as a front wheel drive car measuring 5.1 metres (200.8 in) long and 1.9 metres (74.8 in) wide. A long-wheelbase limousine model was available exclusively for the Korean domestic market, and at 92,510,000 South Korean won for the 2008 model with a V8 and no options, was the most expensive model in the company's lineup. The first generation Hyundai Equus was also mechanically related to the Mitsubishi Dignity for the Japanese market. The first generation Hyundai Equus were sold in South Korea, China, and the Middle East. A very limited number, badged as the Centennial, were made available for some western European markets in the early and mid 2000s. At first, were the engines only two types - 3.5 Sigma V6 and 4.5 8A80 (Omega) V8 engine. After few months, the 3.0 Sigma V6 engine type was added. Two versions were available: a sedan (3.0, 3.5 and 4.5) and limousine (3.5 and 4.5). In Japan, under the name of Mitsubishi Dignity (limousine version) and Mitsubishi Proudia (sedan version), about 2,000 units were sold. Specifically, the 4.5 8A80 (Omega) V8 engine was a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) type engine which was designed and developed by Mitsubishi Motors. This engine was optimized with premium unleaded gasoline fuel, but there were little opportunity to get this type of fuel in Korea at that time. So, most of these engines used normal unleaded gasoline fuel, and then had significant performance issues, about which drivers of this engine-type complained. Finally, Hyundai Motors modified this engine from a GDI Type to a MPI (Multi Point Injection) type to solve the issue.

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