While President Obama is rumored to be replacing his current Cadillac limo — affectionately nicknamed "the Beast" — his Chilean counterpart, recently re-elected Michelle Bachelet, is setting the pace in a 2014 Hyundai Equus. That was her choice for the country's inauguration ceremony anyway, and it was just one of a fleet of 186 vehicles that Hyundai provided to help support the event.
Said Ricardo Lessmann, president and CEO of the parent company of Hyundai Motor’s Chilean distributor: "It is a great honor that Hyundai models were the official means of transport for the important dignitaries attending the change of command in Chile. It is an extremely important recognition to the excellence and quality of our brand and the serious and professional work we have been doing with the brand since 1986, delivering excellent products and undisputed quality. We welcome this new distinction from the Chilean government."
The brand's range-topping sedan makes an excellent choice for VIPs from all fields, of course, especially as the 2014 Hyundai Equus was significantly refreshed for the current model year with fresh exterior and interior design cues, including a more refined grille and front fascia, new 19-inch polished-silver wheels, ivory leather cabin appointments and "ultra-premium" wood trim, and a restyled instrument panel, center console and center stack. A particular highlight here are larger displays, for both the driver and rear-seat customers.
For example, the 2014 Hyundai Equus now offers a new standard 9.2-inh LCD display for the center instrument panel and an also-new 7-inch TFT LCD center-cluster display for Signature models, while retaining the 12.3-inch, fully-digital screen for the Ultimate trim level. In addition, back-seat customers can enjoy dual 9.2-inch entertainment monitors that replace the single-screen unit from 2013.
Engineers also went to work on the 2014 Hyundai Equus' multi-mode drive selector, providing sharper reflexes in the Sport mode, improved ride comfort in the Normal mode and an additional Snow mode for rough-weather situations.
The 2014 Hyundai Equus is on sale at U.S. dealerships with pricing that starts at $61,250; that MSRP includes a standard 5.0-liter V8 engine capable of making 429 hp and 376 lb.-ft. of torque, with the powerplant mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that features Hyundai’s SHIFTRONIC technology.
As for President Bachelet, this actually marks her second term at the helm of Chile’s government, having served as the country’s first female president from 2006-2010.