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Hyundai’s New $50k Owners Manual on an iPad Comes With a Car!

Hyundai Equus

Didn’t we say it was only a matter of time before someone gave away a car with an iPad? Wednesday saw the start of the New York International Auto Show, and Hyundai unveiled a very tasty little crudité to go with the 2011 version of its Equus luxury sedan. The firm is to do away with the traditional printed paper manual that tells you how the car works and will replace it with an iPad.

The CEO of Hyundai North America, John Krafjik, put it bluntly. “Who reads* a 300-page manual, anyway?” he said at the launch. “Instead, they’ll have a gorgeous color touchscreen loaded with the manual electronically, as well as photos of the whole Hyundai lineup.” Ah! So, instruction manual as brand awareness device, then.

Equus owners will also be able to book a service online with the tablet, and there will be additional apps on it. This also means that sat-nav firms must be queueing up to ink a deal with Hyundai to provide GPS to their drivers.

It’s not clear whether the device on offer will be a genuine iPad, or something a little less Apple-y, but the presentation showed an almost identical device. My money, however, is on it being a lookalike, as the Equus will also have an in-car entertainment system that is iPod- and USB-friendly. Krafjik was also careful to use the phrase “multi-media tablet” rather than iPad. Top marks for ingenious marketing, I say.

The car will be on sale in the States towards the end of the summer and be priced somewhere around the $50,000 bracket.

*My dad does.

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