Last month we had an exciting day at RAC DTEC, with the Hyundai team coming out to the track for the day to test the new Hyundai Genesis.

Andy McLeod, RAC DTEC’s training team leader, was given the opportunity to assist Hyundai on the day. He has delivered driver training to a vast range of companies but never Hyundai and never experienced such a radical step up for a company.

“Hey Andy, do you fancy joining the team that is reviewing the new Hyundai Genesis?”

I was aware that the Genesis is to Hyundai what Lexus is to Toyota and really fancied having a look at this interesting new model.

It became clear from the introductory presentation that this event was going to be all about new technology. The Genesis comes with a long list of technology in the ultimate pack, including lane detection, which gently shakes your steering wheel if it thinks you are drifting out of a marked lane and smart cruise control, that locks on to the vehicle in front like a Klingon tractor beam adjusting your speed to that of the vehicle in front and will come to a complete stop if necessary and then start again when the followed vehicle moves off. There is also a head up display showing a range of vehicle data and an automatic emergency braking system, but more of this later.

Following the intro it was time to meet the new star of the Hyundai fleet along with a few of its smaller cousins.  The Genesis gives an amazing first impression. Front grill a little bit Aston Martin. Badge, well, I would have to say a little bit Bentley. Overall, 5 metres of very nicely European inspired shape executive sedan with a bit of a coupe flavour.

The first demo conducted in one of its smaller cousins introduced the auto parallel park mode. Very clever; drive past the parking space you want, press the relevant button, select reverse and let the technology take over. No need to touch the steering wheel again, it will figure out all of the pivot points, turn in, turn out and you end up with a perfectly parked car every time. The Genesis takes this concept one stage further and gives you an aerial screen view of the car showing all of the obstacles for a full 360 degrees around the vehicle when parking. This messed with my head for a little while to the point where I was looking for the drone hovering over the top of the vehicle. I was subsequently told that it’s all done with cameras, radar and clever electronics.

Taking turns to drive, we tried the auto cruise control which worked apart from on the very twisty bits of the DTEC road circuit. Next, it was time to test out the automatic braking system. This turned into a test of nerves as the eighty thousand dollar car approaches the rear of the car in front …but hold your nerve, and yes, the vehicle comes to an effortless stop. I am told that this works up to 50 kph. Next it was time for morning tea and another presentation focusing on statistics versus competitor vehicles and Hyundai’s climb up the vehicular league table. This was followed by a compare and contrast exercise against a couple of perceived competitors.

Following a gourmet lunch organised by eventspace wa, RAC DTEC’s event management company, the afternoon took on a motorsport feel in a timed event to see how well the Genesis accelerated, handled and stopped. Over a short course everyone had a couple of runs with the fastest time recorded. This went down very well and was an exciting finish to the afternoon.

It was great to see the Hyundai team leave on a real high and I have no doubt that they had been motivated and educated as well as having had a good time with plenty of excitement along the way.

So how good was the vehicle?  Will Bentley be worrying about market share? No. Will James Bond be driving one of these in the next movie? Probably not. Will the executives at Ford and Holden be worried? Absolutely. This may well be a very attractive option against vehicles such as the Holden Calais.

It was mentioned that the Genesis may be positioned against a 5 series BMW. In all honesty I would sooner arrive at the executive car park in the fully spec-ed Genesis knowing that I am getting out of a well engineered vehicle with incredible technology, which incidentally has received the highest ANCAP safety score in Australia, and I will still have enough money in the bank to purchase a full set of Ping mega thruster golf clubs I have set my heart on.

Mark Edmonds from Hyundai commented on the day “DTEC is a fantastic facility to showcase Hyundai’s vehicle technologies to our Dealer Network staff in a safe and controlled environment, so they can talk with confidence to customers having actually experienced these technologies in simulated situations”

If you, or one of your team, think that a day at RAC DTEC may be able to improve your team’s knowledge, driving performance and safety we are more than capable of exceeding your expectations.

Alex Forrest, RAC Manager Vehicles & Fuels, has also reviewed the 2015 Hyundai Genesis previously.