Hyundai going after BMW with a 3 Series rear-wheel drive competitor

Rumors | February 28th, 2011 by 17
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From a small automaker geared towards the general masses, the South Korea-based Hyundai has been shifting their strategy towards premium products. Company’s Genesis Coupe model …

From a small automaker geared towards the general masses, the South Korea-based Hyundai has been shifting their strategy towards premium products. Company’s Genesis Coupe model has received several accolades and awards and driven by its success, Hyundai is said to be aiming in the future at BMW’s top seller, the 3 Series.

According to Automotive News, Hyundai may add a rear-wheel-drive sport sedan to its growing lineup of upscale products in the United States. The sedan would go head-to-head with BMW’s 3 series, but also with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 or Acura TL.

The rumormill churns out that the sedan will be using a rear-wheel drive platform now used for the Genesis coupe and sedan models.

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Genesis Coupe featured here

The design is said to be closer to the Genesis Coupe’s look, a far more attractive design when compared to its sedan sibling. “The Genesis Coupe is in the same segment, really, as the 3-series coupe,” Hyundai CEO John Krafcik said. “One of the things we’re thinking is: Should we do something that’s a sedan version of that?”

For the same auto publication, Krafcik did not offer more details or say whether the car is approved for production. Other sources say the vehicle has been in Hyundai’s future strategy since 2006 and it is referred internally as the “RK”.

Since their introduction in 2008, respectively 2009, the Coupe and Sedan achieved combined sales of 29,122 units.

Only in the U.S., BMW sold 5,763 3 Series units in January 2010.

17 responses to “Hyundai going after BMW with a 3 Series rear-wheel drive competitor”

  1. JakeM says:

    The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is by all means a great car, but I just can’t get past the styling.

  2. Laszlo says:

    on paper it might be in a same segment, in real life, its more of a E36 competition then anything. But uglier.
    I drove the Genesis Sedan and was un-impressed. Sort of a cheap imitation of a 1 gen behind us Lexus GS , except the Lexus had a better, more solid feel. I used to own a 2002 GS300 and the Genesis was similar in many aspect.
    As far as being a competition to a 3 series ? in their dream. very far off !

    On paper it seems like a close rival, but once you drive them both, you realize no matter how they try, they will create a 90% BMW car at 80% cost. If that is what you need, buy a pre-owned BMW with less then 20k miles and money issues solved.

    Certified BMW pre-owned vehicles have excellent warranty and the car will feel much better then the Hyundai.

    depreciation is an another trouble, the Hyundai will loose the value to a junk-yard warrior price tag in 10 years.
    Smaller BMW’s holding the values higher and people still buy and drive them. Who WANTS own a 10 y/o Hyundai and feel happy about it ? on the same time how many people want to own a 2001 BMW 330i ?
    aha, that’s it people, BMW’s at 10 years are still holding a prestige and image what Hyundai will never do. After 3 years all the appeal and value is gone.

    • Daniel says:

      But truth is that Hyundai is building some compelling products lately and their engines have won several awards

    • Daniel says:

      But truth is that Hyundai is building some compelling products lately and their engines have won several awards

  3. StraightSix says:

    I agree with JakeM, the styling maybe really isn’t on BMW level (its not ugly though) but overall quality I think will be pretty close to the much more expensive rivals. Of course all the haters will never agree but what do I care.

  4. 335xi BJC says:

    It is not too much to say Genesis is the greatest achievement Hyundai’s gotten so far. But it is not very integrated car in many ways; design, engine, chassis, sportyness, and dynamic. I assume it is a bit insulting for BMW owners to see the article comparing Genesis coupe with 3 coupe and Genesis sedan overstated by comparing 5 series. Not just little, but quite much, honestly.

  5. jude says:

    @Laszlo I agree with you on the prestige of the BMW name, myself being the proud owner of my 3rd 3-series, but I think the gap is shrinking. Hyundai should have released the new Genesis sedan & Equis? under a premium brand a la Toyota/Lexus, but there is no doubt they have come a long way in a very short time. Competition is a good thing!

    The one thing I’m not happy about each new 3 series being hevier than the one it replaces. The current 3 series is heavier than a 911! The 1-series should be cheaper than it is & lighter if the 3 is going to continue to gain weight.

    • “The gap is shrinking”

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Hyundai is developing as a car maker in leaps and bounds as of late. While it may not be prestigious as a marquee, they’re actually churning out a respectable car these days. Definitely not something you would have seen me type a couple years ago…

  6. Sajan says:

    This may seem harsh, but it’s true. Here in the UK, badge is extremely important. It doesn’t matter whether this Hyundai is as good to drive as a BMW. If people are willing to splash out hard earned cash on a brand new car, they will go for the BMW for it’s image. Nobody can deny this as we have already seen the 3 series outsell the cheaper ford mondeo, a car that is praised for being ”the king of the front drivers”

  7. Laszlo says:

    To : Jude

    Yes, they are heavy compare to the older models, but they are light compare to a similar product from the current competition. Heavier then the 911… well, sure but the price tag ? The 911 is heavy on that department !

    Besides, it does not really matter that much for the buyers. The cars keep handling better and better despite the weight increase. Weight is only an enemy if you have no weapon against it and apparently BMW does a very good one. Its a suspension and drive-train setup that tackles that weight and makes the car feel lighter then it is.
    Sure the refinement on the Hyundai will be on the exterior and interior, maybe even the engine will be quiet and strong, but the overall feel will be off. Not just Hyundai, most makers struggle to make a good all around car. They can be a winner in one or two aspect but loose to BMW in general overall feel.
    I and many people rather have a smaller engined, less HP BMW for the same money then a full loaded Hyundai or Kia or whatever.
    It rewards you many ways, better resale value, better overall feel and the prestige which elevates you to a smarter men category.
    Hyundai Kia and the likes are oke if you care nothing about the driving experience just wants an another machinery. it gets you from point A to B but no excitement.
    Nothing wrong with this, but some people want more then that from a car and can afford it. Those should look at a BMW’s.

    as far as BMW 1 series being cheaper ? Well it is 92% 3 series in room and 92% of 3 series in price.
    What throws you and many people off the price line, that you feel that a smaller car with only 2doors should be cheaper. The 1 series is a full line with 4 different body style and marginally smaller then the 3 series hence the elevated price.
    it is a good seller in Europe where you can buy them with basic setup. Small 4 cyl engines (most of the time diesels) 3 or 5 door, cloth seat, no sunroof, etc. That segment (sport compact hatch) is a strong one in Europe and BMW created the premium hatch with RWD which did not exist before. They played it well and created a good enthusiastic followers.
    The 1M is a testament for that and a well executed one. The 1M will sure be a collectible car down the line.
    The new 1 series might be a FWD as the sport compact hatch is more and more competitive and BMW wants a bigger margin. In order to get that they need to make the car less expensive and more compact. FWD is a simple and easy answer. Its sad but majority of the buyers could not care less weather its FWD or RWD anyway.

  8. Jefff says:

    I’m in the demographic that BMW is targeting. BMWs are yawners. They have nothing of interest to me. Hyundai has one of Ward’s ten best engines in their GDI 429 HP Tau. I am interested in Hyundai’s upscale vehicles. What’s not to like? A better warranty than the BMW. Better engine technology and a much better overall value. Hyundai also makes it’s own sheet metal.

    It truth, however, BMW has much less to fear from Hyundai than does Lexus. BMW owners are pretty passionate about their cars. Admittedly, Hyundai doesn’t inspire the same type of passion. However, for practical people like myself, I find Hyundai’s offerings a better overall value.

    • Torpedo of Truth says:

      Better Engine Technology!?!?
      That is the most false statement I have EVER heard. If you knew anything about cars you would know that BMW is a leader in engine technology and have been a pioneer in engine tech for years, they win around 40% of the international Engine association awards which is more than any other company and is the most official word on engines in the world. Hyundai hasn’t even won one award.

      BMW’s engines are so much more advanced than Hyundai’s it’s almost unbelievable that someone could make a statement like that and think people would actually consider it to be true, it’s not just my opinion it’s pure FACT.

      I’m not one to knock Hyundai as I think they have come a very long way and are doing very well however all this comparing them to ACTUAL luxury brands is just a ploy that the Hyundai marketing team started in order to artificially raise their persona and their status against their actual (Honda, Chrysler 300, Toyota) competitors. I have driven BMW’s for years along with other luxury brands and I have taken out a Genesis sedan that a friend owns and their is absolutely no comparison between the two. Although the car was not bad every part of it was of sub-luxury standard and it was very evident I really wonder to myself if some people who are trying to convince others that the Genesis is on level with BMW’s and MB’s have ever driven any of those cars (which are not generation or two old) and are not just making those statements out of a desperate desire to believe that they too can have some champagne on a beer budget!

  9. X5SoB says:

    This just goes to show how heavily BMW is identified with REAR WHEEL DRIVE! Front wheel drive is folly of the highest order, but may work as a sub-brand, like “i”. Isetta is still a good name for a sub-brand!

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