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Aiming to build on the success its luxury sedan already enjoys, Hyundai's Genesis luxury sedan will graduate to a second generation for the 2015 model year.

The South Korean company will still offer both a 3.8-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter V8 model, but there will be an all-wheel drive model for the second generation. All-wheel drive models are only available with the V6, which is downgraded 22 hp to 311, but gets a tiny bump in torque to 293 lb-ft.

Similarly, the V8 is slightly less powerful with 420 hp but at 383 lb-ft, makes more torque than it did before. In both cases, Hyundai says it has optimized the torque curve for more useable power.

But the big news is in how it looks. When it reaches dealers this spring, the 2015 Genesis will be the first to wear Hyundai's new Fluidic 2.0 design language. Expect to see the same style cues spread across the Hyundai line with the Sonata next in line for a visual overhaul.

The eight-speed transmission carries over from the first generation with identical gearing ratios and while it still uses a five-link independent suspension setup, Hyundai says the rear components are new. In fact, the entire platform is new to accommodate the added all-wheel drive capability. Hyundai says the Genesis is significantly stiffer on its new platform with 16 percent improved torsional rigidity and 40 percent stiffer bending rigidity.

The all-wheel drive system uses an electronic torque split system to divide power between the front and rear wheels variably depending on which mode is selected. "Normal" mode is geared toward comfort, while "Sport" mode sends more torque to the rear wheels while an Eco mode helps save fuel. Hyundai is also offering a continuous damping control suspension in the V8 model.

Fresh safety and technology features also come in with the second generation including a head-up display, lane keep assistance and a cabin CO2 sensor. An automatic braking system will be able to fully stop the car between five and 50 mph. After the 50 mph mark, the car will only be able to apply partial braking. There is also radar-based blind spot monitoring for 2015. The system will warn drivers with indicators in the side-view mirrors as well as offering an audible alert if the car is moving into a lane with a detected object. There's also a C02 sensor in the cabin that monitors oxygen levels to help drivers stay alert.

Aside from the new sheet metal, Hyundai also promises reduced NVH levels compared to the first generation. A quieter cabin isn't the only interior improvement. Hyundai simplified its center stack, used higher grade seat upholstery and a new panoramic sunroof. The second generation of Hyundai's Blue Link infotainment system also debuts in the Genesis with destination searches by Google, automatic emergency service notification after a crash and more.

Hyundai hasn't offered detailed pricing for the car yet, but says that it will start below $40,000. The current rear-wheel drive V6 base model starts just over $36,000 including delivery, but it won't be surprising to see Hyundai ratcheting the price closer to $39,000 given the new content.

More: 2015 Hyundai Genesis is Literally a Breath of Fresh Air on AutoGuide.com
 
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