Hyundai’s new flagship model, the luxurious Equus, comes with an Apple iPad that docks in the glove box and serves as the owner’s manual. As the hype for the Apple iPad reaches a fever pitch, carmaker Hyundai has entered the fray, introducing an iPad docking station that, at price that will start in the mid-$50,000 range, stakes out a new high end iPad accessory market.
The Hyundai Equus nestles an iPad into its glove box, where Apple’s slate computer serves as an interactive owners manual and a portal for scheduling service and communicating with the dealer. As a benefit, Equus docking station buyers will receive a 4.6-liter V-8-powered rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan that targets flagship prestige sedans like the Lexus LS460 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The Equus builds on much of the hardware developed for Hyundai’s successful Genesis sedan, including the engine, six-speed automatic transmission and chassis underpinnings. The new model stretches that hardware to a size that is bigger than the Lexus LS460 and packs in passenger comforts like a reclining right rear seat, center console drink chiller, and Lexicon stereo system.
All the expected flagship gizmos are present on the Equus, such as automatic radar-controlled cruise control, forward-looking video camera to aid in parking, xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, in addition to the soft leather upholstery and alcantara trim.
Because Apple customers have high expectations after their experience in Apple stores, Hyundai realizes that its current dealer network will need an upgrade to satisfy the finicky black-clad buyers who will be attracted by its iPad accessory. To sell the Equus, dealers will upgrade their facilities with a dedicated area and trained product specialists, but it seems unlikely that they will be able to achieve the disaffected attitude conveyed by Apple store hipsters.