I as of late had the opportunity to drive a 2002 Hyundai Equus. When I advised this to my companions, individuals who are extremely keen on autos, they over and again amended me. “There was no Hyundai Equus in 2002,” they’d say. “The Hyundai Equus turned out in 2011.” And they’re correct, right? The main model year of the Equus was 2011 – and when it turned out, everybody was stunned to learn that Hyundai had these top of the line extravagance desire. It was the first occasion when they at any point entered that market.
Here’s the manner by which: The Hyundai Equus turned out all around in the mid 2010s. In any case, even the most genuine auto lovers frequently don’t have the foggiest idea about that there was a before Equus, an original model, that went at a bargain in South Korea in 1999. I went to South Korea in 2015, and the original Equus was quite normal; preceding that, I had never known about it in my life. And after that, as I was strolling into Tomini Classics in Dubai to film the arrangement of vintage Italian extraordinary autos I brought you throughout the most recent couple of months, there was another – simply staying there, stopped in the worker stopping territory.
At the time, I had a ton at the forefront of my thoughts – I was intending to film four vintage autos in two days, in a new piece of the world, with individuals I didn’t know well – and I just composed it off as one of the numerous odd things I was hoping to find in Dubai throughout the following couple of days. Be that as it may, as I got comfortable with the representatives at Tomini Classics, I took in the auto had a place with one of their business people – a man named Miguel, who had an affinity for the more seasoned extraordinary autos Tomini principally offers. Miguel, who had interminable information of Italian auto generation numbers, yearly changes and catch areas, drove around consistently in this ultra-agreeable, ultra-obscure extravagance Hyundai. He revealed to me he trusts it’s one of the main ones in the United Arab Emirates, if not alone.
What’s more, I trust him. The first Equus was sold from 1999 to 2009, and it was kind of Hyundai’s “practice endeavor” at the genuine article, before going up against full-measure extravagance vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS and Audi A8 (which the cutting edge display planned to do). I’ve never observed one outside of South Korea, or even knew about anybody endeavoring to import one anyplace. It’s really obscure. Strangely, there was a Mitsubishi version, called either the Proudia or the Dignity, contingent upon which wheelbase you got.
Truly, there were diverse wheelbases. Hyundai offered a standard wheelbase and a long-wheelbase “limousine” variant – and there was even an accessible 4.5-liter V8, though the Equus I drove had a much more-common V6. On paper, the whole thing seemed as though it ought to be exceptionally fascinating. Thus I got in the driver’s seat.
The 2002 Equus is, as you may expect given my depiction, remarkably agreeable. Just magnificently rich and unwinding, and sumptuous, and calm, and peaceful. The controlling is light, the ride is floaty, and it’s plainly tuned for comfort as opposed to whatever else. No doubt about it: The Equus isn’t a games auto. It’s not by any means like present day extravagance cars, where they’re an extravagance vehicle first and a games auto second. With the Equus, there was no “second.” There was simply extravagant, spoiling extravagance, and light wood trim, and an immense rearward sitting arrangement with a TV and a chair. Truly, a chair: You can crease away within the front traveler situate backrest, at that point stick your feet through the opening so you can unwind in case you’re situated toward the rear. I am dead serious.
I’m additionally completely serious about the Equus’ solace level. It’s been quite a while since I was in a late-1990s Lexus LS 400, yet I experience difficulty trusting that auto was any more agreeable or more peaceful than the Equus; the Equus was simply so delicate and floaty, and it made such a brilliant showing with regards to of overwhelming any sounds originating from the outside world. The motor was shockingly serene, the transmission was annoyingly smooth, to the point where it unmistakably dulled the auto’s speeding up, and the seats were superbly extravagant – a change over some extravagance auto seats from this time, which utilized hard, awkward calfskin.
To be sure, the 2002 Equus is a noteworthy extravagance auto – in any event, for its day – and I think it plainly equals the most delightful rich extravagance vehicles turning out of Lexus and Cadillac at the time. All things considered, this auto was right around a proving ground; an endeavor to see exactly how well Hyundai could make extravagance vehicles before discharging their full-measure extravagance models on whatever is left of the world. Also, subsequent to getting in the driver’s seat of this 2002 Equus, unmistakably their first exertion was a decent one.