With its lineup now reaching into realms where even Cadillac dare not tread (namely the $65k Equus luxury flagship), Hyundai is filling in the gaps with ruthless focus. Next up: the near-luxury large sedan segment, where Buick’s LaCrosse has been mounting a one-car comeback for GM’s premium brand. But starting next year, the LaCrosse becomes a mild-hybrid model, lifting its base price to near $30k and giving the Azera an opportunity to become a recession-special spoiler. And with handsome Sonata-meets-Genesis Coupe-meets-LaCrosse looks, the next-gen Azera could just be the first luxurious Hyundai to actually bring real sales volume to the brand. The Azera should launch next year as a 2012 model, and as the gallery below shows, it’s already crawling the streets of Korea, bringing the fight to the Daewoo Alpheon [Thanks to Walter Foreman for the spy shots].
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