A SHARP-EYED Wheels reader has caught a future version of Hyundai’s largest luxury limousine, the V8-engined Equus, secretly testing in Australia.
This engineering development mule, spied at rest this week by Rohan Crofton in the sleepy north-eastern Victorian town of Bright, is a long way from its Korean home where it sits at the top of the carmaker’s food chain.
Bigger than Genesis, the exclusively left-hand-drive Equus is due for a significant overhaul after its original unveiling at the New York motor show in 2010.
However, we reckon development work on the Equus is a lot further along the track than this heavily camouflaged car would have us believe. The clue to this is a series of shots snapped in February by another Wheels reader, Michael Joyce, just north of Canberra.
Looking closely, we can see a long, wide saloon with a decent front and rear overhang hidden under a cover that, when we superimpose images of the Equus mule, point to a show-ready concept version of the saloon being photographed and filmed at an airstrip just outside Gundaroo.
We tried following the trail, even resorting to phoning the local post office, hairdressing salon and pub in an effort to find out what was under the covers, but despite knowing that the mystery car had been there for about a week, no one could add anything else to the story.
Development of the Equus appears to be barrelling along, as is testing of the model’s first all-wheel-drive system, all-new active cruise control, and automated emergency braking system.
Even more spy images show yet another development mule snapped in the snowy landscape of northern Scandinavia.
Judging by the nose of the Equus shown bursting through a dummy barrier, the slippery surface of a frozen lake is still a challenge for the self-braking system.
Hyundai has anything up to a dozen test cars in Australia at any one time, generally taking advantage of the country’s arid interior to stress-test air-conditioning and cooling systems while South Korea lies blanketed in snow.
The Korean car maker is believed to have locked in the concept version of the Equus spied in Australia for a reveal at April’s New York motor show.
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