SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- On Scottsdale Boulevard we're cruising through the ritzy desert suburb of Phoenix in a sleekly sculpted, fastidiously tailored and immensely powered 2015 Genesis 5.0L, the nearly full-size rear-wheel-drive fine sedan by Hyundai of South Korea in a bigger-and-better second-generation reset tipped toward plush luxury as well as high performance.
Our time logged in the driver's seat of the top-trim edition of Genesis 2015 reveals that it amounts to a dreamboat of a car in the manner of big European sedans and outfitted with more sophisticated equipment for safety, navigation and comfort than you can easily enumerate.
The body, stretching long with a projectile prow and pronounced shoulders yet the graceful arch of roof rails sweeping clear back to the tail, flashes HID lamp clusters ringed by LED accents on front corners flanking a massive pentagonal grille with chrome fins. Below, 6-dot LED foglamps stack over a broad lower air intake duct.
Side panels of the 2015 Genesis are chiseled almost sheer although a character line notched on each side seems to swing upward in swift movement toward the tail. The blunted rump looks clean with wraparound low fascia and dual pipes in chrome on both back corners.
Genesis appears taut and athletic in a sculptural shape, but also smooth and sleek -- and quite sensuous. Hyundai labels the design language for this car as Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. It represents an evolution of the organic fluid styling for the first-generation Genesis of 2009 as inspired by nature to produce the illusion of motion from curvy shapes of rigid surfaces.
Hyundai developed a new rear-wheel-drive unibody architecture for Genesis 2015 with a wheelbase of 118.5 inches and a track width (front/rear) of 64.1/65.3 inches.
The space between front and rear wheels on this new interpretation of Genesis stretches for three inches longer than the previous version, which not only adds room in the elegantly appointed passenger compartment but also creates the visual impression of a much larger vehicle.
Hyundai fills Genesis with serious hardware which includes a powerful engine (choose either V6 or V8 configuration), and electronics governing all aspects of the car's dynamic movements as well as communications, navigation, comfort, even entertainment.
Pop the rear deck and you'll find one of the largest trunk compartments (15.3 cubic feet) among mid-size cars.
Now open any door and slip into a supportive seat that fits like a custom-built lounge chair.
The cabin layout provides two buckets in front and a broad bench in back with indentions for two but room for three. Appointments are lavish, including 12-way power heated leather front seats and trimwork in real matte-finish timber and shiny aluminum metal.
The instrument panel contains electroluminescent gauges with easy-read white numbers on a black background with a 4.3-inch TFT LCD cluster display screen. In the middle of the dash atop the center stack is an 8-inch Touchscreen Navigation System.
Hyundai creates two versions of the 2015 Genesis, each with a different engine and model nomenclature describing displacement of the engine. Each Genesis engine links to a sophisticated electronically controlled 8-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual shift mode.
Genesis 3.8L pulls power from Hyundai's Lambda V6. The DOHC (dual-overhead-cam) 3.8-liter V6 employs CVVT (continuously variable valve timing), and it romps -- delivering 311 hp at 6000 rpm and 293 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm.
The V6 version configures with rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that's always engaged. It earns EPA city/highway fuel economy scores of 18/29 mpg for RWD, or 16/25 mpg with AWD.
Genesis 5.0L with RWD comes with Hyundai's Tau V8 engine. The dual-cam 5.0-liter plant with CVVT equipment surges to 420 hp at 6000 rpm with torque of 383 lb-ft at 5000 rpm when running on premium fuel, and the EPA city/highway fuel-burn ratings tally to 15/23 mpg.
Genesis 3.8L RWD lists for $38,000, while Genesis 3.8L AWD goes for $40,500. Option packages include Signature ($4,000), Technology ($3,500) and Ultimate ($3,500).
Genesis 5.0L RWD brings a $51,500 MSRP, with optional Ultimate package adding $3,250.