Hyundai Equus

Not to be confused with the Equus Bass 770 muscle car.

The Hyundai Equus (Korean현대 에쿠스; RRHyundai Equus) is a full-size luxury car that was produced by the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai from 1999 to 2016. The name "equus" is the Latin word for "horse".

Hyundai Equus
2011 Hyundai Equus -- 02-24-2011.jpg
AssemblyUlsan, South Korea (Hyundai Motor Company Ulsan Plant)
Kaliningrad, Russia (Avtotor, 2013-2016)[1]
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size luxury car (F)
Body style4-door sedan
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive (1999–2009)
Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive (2009–2016)
SuccessorGenesis G90[2][3][4]

In 2009, Hyundai released the second generation utilizing a rear-wheel drive platform and competing with the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 and Lexus LS.[5] As of August 2014, the second generation is sold in South Korea, Russia, China, United States, Canada, Central America, and South America — as well as in the Middle East under the Hyundai Centennial nameplate.

On November 4, 2015, Hyundai officially announced the Genesis model would be spun off into Genesis Motor, the new luxury vehicle division for Hyundai.[6][7] The 2016 successor to the Hyundai Equus has been rebranded as Genesis G90[8] (EQ900 in Korea until 2018).[2] The Equus currently serves as the official state car of the Republic of Korea.

First generation (LZ/YJ; 1999–2009)Edit

First generation (LZ/YJ)
ManufacturerMitsubishi Motors Corporation
Hyundai Motor Company
Also called
AssemblyUlsan, South Korea
Body and chassis
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
  • 3.0 L Sigma V6 (1999-2005)
  • 3.3 L Lambda V6 (2005-2009)
  • 3.5 L Sigma V6 (1999-2005)
  • 3.8 L Lambda V6 (2005-2009)
  • 4.5 L Mitsubishi 8A80 (GDI) V8
  • 4.5 L Mitsubishi 8A80 (MPI) V8
Transmission5-speed automatic
  • 2,840 mm (111.8 in)
  • 3,090 mm (121.7 in) (Limousine)
  • 5,100 mm (200.8 in) (1999-2003)
  • 5,335 mm (210.0 in) (1999-2003 Limousine)
  • 5,150 mm (202.8 in) (2003-2009)
  • 5,390 mm (212.2 in) (2003-2009 Limousine)
Width1,870 mm (73.6 in)
  • 1,480 mm (58.3 in)
  • 1,485 mm (58.5 in) (Limousine)
Hyundai Equus

In 1999, Hyundai Motors and Mitsubishi Motors presented their full-size sedan. Hyundai said that it was making a full-size sedan to compete with Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series in the Korean market. In reality, it was competing against its domestic rival, the SsangYong Chairman. Hyundai had great success with the Equus in Korea, but very few were exported to other countries. One was exported for the 2001 New York International Auto Show to gauge the reaction of U.S. consumers. Hyundai identified the car to the U.S. consumers as the Hyundai LZ450 luxury sedan but it was not sold in the United States.

The first generation was designed by Mitsubishi Motors, who had their own version called the Proudia. It was jointly manufactured by both companies.[9] The first-generation model 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 Equus extended-length limousine was also mechanically related to the Mitsubishi Dignity limousine for the Japanese market. The first-generation 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, there were two engine types: a 3.5 Sigma V6 and 4.5 8A80 (Omega) V8 engine. After a 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 a 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 for premium unleaded gasoline fuel, but there was 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, resulting in complaints from drivers. Finally, Hyundai Motors modified this engine from a GDI Type to a MPI (Multi Point Injection) type to solve the issue. It added curtain airbags in 2001 and active head restraints in 2002.

New EquusEdit

In 2003, Hyundai presented their 'New Equus', changing the hood design and some of interior. A 7 inch screen for the rear seat, Xenon headlamps, front parking sensors, etc. were newly offered. It introduced seat ventilation cooling and heating, climate control with air purifier (2003), Alcantara leather seats (2007). From 2005, 3.0 and 3.5 Sigma V6 engine types were changed to 3.3 and 3.8 Lambda V6 engine types which were designed and developed by Hyundai Motors. But the automatic transmission was not changed. Hyundai officially ceased the production of 1st generation Equus in November 2009. A new bigger, rear-wheel drive Equus was launched in March 2009.[10] Instead of continuing production like Hyundai, Mitsubishi Motors ended the production of the Proudia and the Dignity around the time of the introduction of this model.

Limousine modelEdit

1st gen limousine model

A limousine model was made for the Korean market. Equus Limousines have been used by famous company owners in Korea as well as foreign VIPs.

Second generation (VI; 2009–2016)Edit

Second generation (VI)
Also calledHyundai Centennial
Model years2010–2016
Body and chassis
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
  • 3.8 L Lambda V6 (GDI) (standard buyer)
  • 4.6 L Tau V8 (standard buyer)
  • 5.0 L Tau V8 (GDI) (Sedan, limousine)
Wheelbase3,045 mm (119.9 in) (Sedan)
3,345 mm (131.7 in) (Limousine)
Length5,160 mm (203.1 in) (Sedan)
5,460 mm (215.0 in) (Limousine)
Width1,900 mm (74.8 in)
Height1,495 mm (58.9 in)

Initial versionEdit

Hyundai Equus VS460 GLS (Chile)

The second generation Equus, codename "VI", was unveiled in Grand Hyatt Seoul.[12] Unlike the old Equus, the VI has a rear-wheel drive architecture, a longer wheelbase, and a different engine.[10] The VI is based on an all-new platform, developed in-house by the Hyundai Motor Corporation.

The South Korean domestic market Equus was available as a 3.8L "Prime" and a 4.6L "Prestige." It is the most expensive model in the company's lineup. It launched in the People's Republic of China in August 2009. The Hyundai Equus was listed in the '10 exciting cars for 2010' from Forbes.[13]

US model was announced in 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance,[14] and was unveiled in 2010 New York Auto Show.[15] Early US model includes the same 4.6L V8 engine as the Genesis except with 10 hp (7 kW) more than the current version. This puts the total engine output at 385 hp (287 kW) with 333 lb⋅ft (451 N⋅m).[16] The North American Equus features a badge attached on the hood as opposed to the hood ornament, the grille features a horizontal grid pattern like its Genesis sibling as opposed to the vertical one on international models, and an included iPad device with an Equus user's guide application pre-installed as opposed to a traditional owner's manual.[17]

It was the first Hyundai with an Electronically-controlled Air Suspension (EAS) and Continuous Damping Control (CDC). Also first Hyundai with Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) collision avoidance system that optimally manages Electronic stability control, the electronic parking brake, radar smart cruise control and the seatbelt tensioning system for optimal safety.

Equus LimousineEdit

2010 Hyundai Equus Limousine

The long-wheelbase version Equus was unveiled in September 2009. It is 300 mm (11.8 in) longer than the sedan version. Engine choices include Lambda 3.8L and Tau 5.0L engines.[18][19] The limousine model has an exclusive horizontal cross-bar radiator grille, as well as features such as a power-driven footrest, rear-seat leg support and a massage system.[20]

Hyundai also developed an armoured vehicle based on the limousine, with an enlarged 5.5L version of the V8 engine.[21] On September 2009, Hyundai delivered three bulletproof limousine versions of the luxury sedan Equus to the South Korea Presidential Security Service to be used as the official state car. Hyundai designed this vehicle with a special alloy, with an automatic cooling system in case of fire as well as bulletproof windows.[22]

The first-built armoured limousine was donated to Blue House.[23] A modified Hyundai Equus was donated to Costa Rica and is currently used as the presidential car.

The limousine was available only in South Korea and Russia. The Russian version had the same price tag as the South Korean version.

RMR Signature Edition EquusEdit

It is a concept vehicle customized by Rhys Millen Racing, based on Equus with 4.6 Tau engine. It included bolt-on RMR Signature Edition air intake and stainless exhaust, increased engine power by 30 hp, RMR Signature Edition embroidered headrests and floor mats, and ostrich hide leather seats with suede accents.

The vehicle was unveiled in 2010 SEMA show.[24]

DUB Edition Hyundai EquusEdit

It is a version of 2011 Equus sedan built by Mummbles Marketing and DUB Magazine. It included Trex DUB Design mesh grille, DUB Design custom body kit, tinted windows and tail lights, and a custom two-tone, gloss black-and-matte charcoal body colour, DUB Edition custom suspension, 24-inch TIS modular style 10 wheels with Pirelli Pzero Nero Tires, custom trunk enclosure with Infinity Kappa audio (9 Infinity Kappa Series speakers, KAPPA ONE mono and KAPPA FOUR four-channel amplifiers), DUB Design custom leather and suede upholstery, DUB Design illuminated headliner and custom rear bucket seats.

The vehicle was unveiled in 2010 SEMA show.[25]

Body styleEdit

Model Sedan (VSxx0) Limousine (VLxx0)
Lambda 3.8 MPi 2009-2016 2009-2016
Tau 4.6 MPi (366PS) 2009-2016 N/A
Tau 4.6 MPi (390PS) 2010-2016 N/A
Tau 5.0 MPi N/A 2009-2016


Petrol engines
Model Years Type/code Power/rpm Torque/rpm
Lambda 3.8 MPi 2009-2011 3,778 cc (230.5 cu in) V6 (G6DA) 290 PS (213 kW; 286 hp) at 6200 36.5 kg⋅m (358 N⋅m; 264 lbf⋅ft) at 4500
Tau 4.6 MPi (366PS) 2009-2011 4,627 cc (282.4 cu in) V8 (G8BA) 366 PS (269 kW; 361 hp) at 6500 44.8 kg⋅m (439 N⋅m; 324 lbf⋅ft) at 3500
Tau 4.6 MPi (390PS) 2010-2011 4,627 cc (282.4 cu in) V8 (G8BA) 383 PS (282 kW; 378 hp) at 6500
390 PS (287 kW; 385 hp) at 6500 (Premium fuel)
44.8 kg⋅m (439 N⋅m; 324 lbf⋅ft) at 3500
46.0 kg⋅m (451 N⋅m; 333 lbf⋅ft) at 3500 (Premium fuel)
Tau 5.0 MPi 2009-2011 5,038 cc (307.4 cu in) V8 (G8BB) 400 PS (294 kW; 395 hp) at 6400
(Premium fuel)
51.0 kg⋅m (500 N⋅m; 369 lbf⋅ft) at 3500
(Premium fuel)

South Korean models include Lambda 3.8 MPi, Tau 4.6 MPi (366PS), Tau 5.0 MPi engines.

US models include only the Tau 4.6 MPi engine for the 2011 model year (390PS). The Tau 5.0 GDi was installed from 2012 forward.


All models included ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual control.

2012 model year updateEdit

2012 model vehicles include 8-speed automatic transmission, introduction of GDI engines.[26] It was also revealed that the Hyundai Equus will be receiving a 5.0L V8 with 429 hp (320 kW) and 376 lb⋅ft (510 N⋅m).[27] This engine will be an option for the Equus after January 2011. This engine will also be placed in the facelifted 2012 Hyundai Genesis.[27]

South Korean models went on sale in 2012.[28]

Equus by Hermes (2013)Edit

It is a limited (3 units) version of 2013 Hyundai Equus limousine built in collaboration with French fashion label Hermès.[29]

The vehicle was unveiled in 2013 Seoul Motor Show.[30]

Body styleEdit

Model Sedan (VSxx0) Limousine (VLxx0)
Lambda 3.8 GDi 2011-2016 2011-?
Tau 5.0 GDi (416PS) 2011-2016 2011-?
Tau 5.0 GDi (435PS) 2011-2016 2011?-?

US, Canadian models include only sedan (VS500).

South Korean models include sedan (VS380, VS500) and limousine (VL380, VL500).


Petrol engines
Model Years Type/code Power/rpm Torque/rpm
Lambda 3.8 GDi 2011-2013 3,778 cc (230.5 cu in) V6 (G6DJ) 334 PS (246 kW; 329 hp) at 6400 40.3 kg⋅m (395 N⋅m; 291 lbf⋅ft) at 5100
Tau 5.0 GDi (416PS) 2011-2013 5,038 cc (307.4 cu in) V8 (G8BE) 416 PS (306 kW; 410 hp) at 6400 52.0 kg⋅m (510 N⋅m; 376 lbf⋅ft) at 5000
Tau 5.0 GDi (435PS) 2011-2013 5,038 cc (307.4 cu in) V8 (G8BE) 430 PS (316 kW; 424 hp) at 6400 (Regular)
435 PS (320 kW; 429 hp) at 6400 (Premium)
52.0 kg⋅m (510 N⋅m; 376 lbf⋅ft) at 5000

United States and Canadian models include only the Tau 5.0 GDi (435PS) engine.

South Korean models include the Lambda 3.8 GDi and the Tau 5.0 GDi (416PS) engines.


All models have an 8-speed automatic transmission.


On 17 December 2012, an armoured Equus Limousine was delivered to Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters in New York, U.S.[31]

2014 model year updateEdit

Changes include new 19-inch, turbine-blade polished silver wheel design, new front bumper fascia and grille design, new side mirrors and tail lamp graphics, standard LED fog lamps, new Night Shadow Brown exterior color, completely redesigned instrumental panel and center stack, redesigned center console and shift lever design, revised steering wheel control layout with vehicle settings, new ivory leather interior colour, new genuine wood trim selections, redesigned rear seat center console controls, revised tuning for both enhanced ride comfort and handling, sport mode receives crisper damper tuning for improved body control, normal mode receives enhanced ride comfort, snow mode added to drive mode system, revised front suspension bushings, standard Assurance Connected Care & Blue Link, larger 7-inch TFT LCD cluster display (Signature), 12.3-inch fully digital TFT LCD cluster display (Ultimate), larger 9.2-inch upper center stack LCD display, climate control system offers three distinct cabin temperature zones, standard smart cruise control with stop/start (from 0 mph), proximity smart key with both key fob and card-key types, dual 9.2-inch rear seat entertainment monitors, power door closure, power lumbar for rear outboard seats, standard Assurance Connected Care (3-year complimentary services), standard Rear Cross-traffic Alert, standard Blind Spot Detection (BSD), heads-up display, vehicle multi-view camera system.

The vehicle was unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show.[32] US models went on sale in 2013 as 2014 model year vehicles. Early models included Tau 5.0 GDi.[33]


In 2013, a shipment of 61 2014 Hyundai Equus sedans carried by Korean freighter Morning Spruce destined for the United States was adrift for days after the ship had lost engine power in Pacific Ocean.[34]

On 11 March 2014, an Equus sedan was used in the Chilean inauguration ceremony.[35]

Body styleEdit

Model Sedan (VSxx0) Limousine (VLxx0)
Lambda 3.8 GDi 2013- 2013-
Lambda 6.5 GDi 2013- 2011-
Tau 5.0 GDi (416PS) 2013- 2013-
Tau 5.0 GDi (423PS) 2013?- na
Tau 5.0 GDi (430PS) 2013?- na
Tau 5.0 GDi (435PS) 2013- 2013?-

US, Canadian models include only sedan (VS500).

South Korean models include sedan (VS380, VS500) and limousine (VL380, VL500).


Petrol engines
Model Years Type/code Power/rpm Torque/rpm
Lambda 3.8 GDi 2014-2016 3,778 cc (230.5 cu in) V6 (G6DJ) 334 PS (246 kW; 329 hp) at 6400 40.3 kg⋅m (395 N⋅m; 291 lbf⋅ft) at 5100
Tau 5.0 GDi (416PS) 2014-2016 5,038 cc (307.4 cu in) V8 (G8BE) 416 PS (306 kW; 410 hp) at 6400 (Premium) 52.0 kg⋅m (510 N⋅m; 376 lbf⋅ft) at 5000
Tau 5.0 GDi (423PS) 2014-2016 5,038 cc (307.4 cu in) V8 (G8BE?) 423 PS (311 kW; 417 hp) at 6400 50.5 kg⋅m (495 N⋅m; 365 lbf⋅ft) at 5000
Tau 5.0 GDi (430PS) 2014-2016 5,038 cc (307.4 cu in) V8 (G8BE) 430 PS (316 kW; 424 hp) at 6400 52.0 kg⋅m (510 N⋅m; 376 lbf⋅ft) at 5000
Tau 5.0 GDi (435PS) 2014-2016 5,038 cc (307.4 cu in) V8 (G8BE) 430 PS (316 kW; 424 hp) at 6400 (Regular)
435 PS (320 kW; 429 hp) at 6400 (Premium)
52.0 kg⋅m (510 N⋅m; 376 lbf⋅ft) at 5000

US, Canadian models include only Tau 5.0 GDi (435 PS) engine.

South Korean models include Lambda 3.8 GDi, Tau 5.0 GDi (416 PS) engines.


All models have an 8-speed automatic transmission.


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External linksEdit