The Hyundai Equus is a life-size limousine, manufactured by the Korean automaker, Hyundai. The Hyundai Equus is a four-door sedan, which is designed to accommodate four or five passengers comfortably within its cabin. The current version of the Hyundai Equus is the second generation vehicle and it is the most expensive and the biggest sedan in the lineup of Hyundai.
Hyundai introduced the second generation Equus in 2009, making use of a back-wheel drive platform and contending with the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS, and Audi A8. As of 2014 August, the second generation Hyundai Equus is sold in South Korea, China, Russia, Canada, South and Central America and in the United States, including in the Middle East under the nameplate of Hyundai Centennial.
In 1999, Mitsubishi Motors and Hyundai Motors presented their life-sized sedan. Hyundai claimed that it was constructing a life-size sedan to vie with BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class in the Korean automotive market, but actually, it was contending against its home competitor, the SsangYong Chairman. Hyundai had huge success with the Equus in the Korean market, but only a few were exported to other worldwide countries. One Hyundai Equus sedan was exported for the International Auto Show, held in New York in 2001 to judge the reaction of United States customers. Hyundai named the sedan to the U.S. customers as the Hyundai LZ450 luxury car.
The first generation of Hyundai Equus was planned by Mitsubishi Motors, who had their individual model, known as the Proudia. It was mutually produced by both businesses. The first-generation Equus model was released during 1999 as a front-wheel-drive sedan, with the length of 5.1 meters and a breadth of 1.9 meters.
An extended-wheelbase limousine version was offered exclusively for the Korean local market, as a 2008 model sedan with the only V8 engine. The first-generation Hyundai Equus extended-length limo was also associated with the Mitsubishi Dignity limo mechanically for the Japanese automotive market. This model sedan was sold in China, South Korea, and in the Middle East. A very restricted number, named as the Centennial, were offered to some western European automotive markets during the early and the middle part of 2000s.
In the beginning, the Equus was offered with two engine options, such as a V8, 4.5-liter 8A80 engine and a V6, 3.5-liter Sigma engine. After some months, one more engine, the V6, the 3.0-liter Sigma type of engine was added. The Hyundai Equus was released with 2 models on model as a sedan with 3.0-liter, 3.5-liter and 4.5-liter engines, as a limousine with 3.5-liter and 4.5-liter engines.
The limousine version of Hyundai Equus was sold in the name of Mitsubishi Dignity, whereas the sedan version was sold under the name Mitsubishi Proudia in Japan. In Japan only about 2,000 units of both sedan and limousine versions were sold. The majority of sedans sold were the ones that are equipped with the V8, 4.5-liter 8A80 engine, developed by Mitsubishi Motors. At last, Hyundai modified this engine from a Gasoline Direct Injection Type to a Multi Point Injection type. Hyundai then added curtain airbags during 2001 and dynamic head restraints during 2002 to the then Hyundai Equus model.