Hyundai Takes a Swing at the BMW 3 Series with Its First Midsize Sports Sedan

September 15, 2017, 1:51 PM UTC

The midsize sports sedan is a competitive market in the automotive industry, with BMW as its long-reigning king.

But Hyundai wants a piece of the action.

The South Korean automaker announced this week that it will launch its first such model, the G70, under its Genesis brand in its home country next week and in the United States in early 2018. The model will compete with well-known category stalwarts as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C Class, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, and Cadillac CTS.

Hyundai will offer the G70 in three versions—a base model with a 3.3-liter V6 gasoline turbo or a sport model with either a 2.0-liter I4 gasoline turbo or a 1.1-liter I4 diesel. The automaker says the G70 Sport can accelerate from zero to 100 kph (62.5 mph) in 4.7 seconds. The car will start at 3.75 million won, or about US$33,000.

Hyundai Motor Co. Vice Chairman Yang Woong-chul Launches the Genesis G70 Sedan
A Hyundai Motor Co. Genesis G70 sedan stands on display during a launch event in Hwaseong, South Korea, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.Seong Joon Cho/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Seong Joon Cho/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Notably, Hyundai—the world’s fifth largest automaker—isn’t launching the G70 in Europe or China. Europe is of course home to various automakers that excel in this category; meanwhile China has been troublesome for Hyundai thanks to difficult diplomatic relations and plummeting sales (The company insists the G70 will eventually make it to China.)

Hyundai needs a hit. Like other automakers, it has been caught flat-footed as consumer tastes have changed, eschewing passenger sedans in favor of sport-utility vehicles. The G70 will be the third model under the Genesis brand; the company aims to add three more such models, including an SUV, by 2021.