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by Jay Traugott
South Korea is going after Germany in the segment where the latter does best: the luxury sport sedan.
If all goes to plan, then BMW will soon face another automaker looking to take on their benchmark 3 Series sport sedan. Automotive News is reporting that Hyundai is currently at work on a new rear-wheel-drive model that'll be smaller than the Genesis sedan with the intention to become a direct competitor to the iconic BMW. This could be yet another significant step forward for the South Korean automaker as it continues to move its way upmarket with aggressive development programs.
Although we shouldn't expect to see such a 3 Series rivaling Hyundai until 2015 at the earliest, it's clear that the South Koreans are confident enough to enter such a fiercely competitive segment. Details are still vague for now, but Automotive News reports that the new model will utilize an updated version of the Genesis Coupe's rear-drive platform. At the same time, development is continuing on the next-generation Genesis sedan, due to arrive in late 2013 as a 2014 model. Expect for it to have optional all-wheel drive and updated styling inside and out. The Equus flagship will also receive a refresh in the summer of 2014.
If Hyundai continues these aggressive tactics combined with their proven track record of attractive pricing with plenty of standard features, then upscale automakers such as BMW will be forced to take notice.