2015 Hyundai Sonata gets a shadowy preview

March 5, 2014 at 1:35 am

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2015 Hyundai Sonata - teaser

It’s only been on the market since 2010, but such is the hectic pace of the family sedan world that the Hyundai Sonata finds itself as the elder statesmen of the midsize segment. The current, sixth-generation sedan put the Korean automaker in the hunt with its audacious Fluidic Sculpture styling and bold powertrain choices (it was the first to eschew a six-cylinder option), but time has brought with it tough new competitors from the likes of Ford, Honda, Mazda and others, so it’s time for a new model.

Previewed here in this official teaser rendering is an all-new, seventh-generation model, and at first blush, it looks markedly more conservative and refined than its predecessor, with more restrained surfacing and a more traditional six-sided grille. Scheduled for a world premiere in Korea later this month, the Sonata is expected to make its first show circuit appearance at the New York Auto Show in April.

Built atop a platform with significantly more advanced high-strength steel (51 percent vs. 21 percent) and increased use of structural adhesives, the Sonata’s bones promise to be both more rigid (by 40 percent) and lighter. Cloaked in Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 bodywork, so far Hyundai isn’t saying much about powertrain updates, but it is trumpeting a redesigned interior with a new infotainment interface and redesigned seats.

Continue reading 2015 Hyundai Sonata gets a shadowy preview

2015 Hyundai Sonata gets a shadowy preview originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 03:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hyundai Intrado is more than just another fuel cell concept

March 5, 2014 at 1:35 am

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Hyundai Intrado Concept

Hyundai says the Intrado is “relevant to consumers” and is “far more than a styling exercise.”

Just because it’s packing a futuristic powertrain doesn’t mean that the new Hyundai Intrado concept isn’t a preview of a crossover we’ll be seeing on the road in the near future. After all, the hydrogen CUV unveiled today at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is from Hyundai, which is just about to launch the hydrogen-powered Tuscon fuel cell in the US later this spring. The accompanying press release even says the concept is “relevant to consumers.” If that’s not a hint, we don’t know what is.

Intrado apparently means the underside of an airplane wing, and the CUV that bears the inscription tries to lift off with a sleek, lightweight and aerodynamic body that Hyundai says, is “far more than a styling exercise” and the focus “inside and out is on meeting the needs of consumers with busy lifestyles.” That means the interior is as uncluttered as the shiny outside, with lots of carbon fiber accents. Thanks to a next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell stack and a 36 kW li-ion battery, the Intrado has a range of around 375 miles.

As if we needed another hint that the Intrado is previewing a production vehicle, we’ll leave you with a statement from Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman at Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) Namyang R&D Centre, who said the Intrado is, “a vision of how eco-friendly cars will deliver delight to our customers.” Feel free to read more in the press release below.

Continue reading Hyundai Intrado is more than just another fuel cell concept

Hyundai Intrado is more than just another fuel cell concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sonata, Elantra driving down Hyundai quality scores

February 26, 2014 at 10:53 pm

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2011 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai was the butt of many jokes in the auto industry when it first entered the US market, but since then, it has forged ahead and built cars that stand with the best in their respective segments. The 2011 Sonata and 2011 Elantra were seen as the apotheosis of the brand’s forward progress when they were introduced, but falling J.D. Power and Associates Dependability Study results may actually cause them to hurt the company’s hard-earned reputation.

J.D Power’s study examines three-year-old vehicles for problems per 100 vehicles. Since the 2011 study for 2008 model year cars, Hyundai has fallen from 10th overall with 132 problems to 27th in the 2014 survey of 2011 model year vehicles with 169 problems. It was also Hyundai’s second consecutive year of an increase in reported problems. According to Automotive News, many of these problems are due to faults with the Sonata and Elantra, but J.D. Power didn’t identify specifically what issues caused Hyundai’s dependability to tumble so far down the list. However, the study found that, on average, reliability fell throughout the industry for the first time since 1998.

Getting the Sonata and Elantra right are vital to Hyundai. In 2013, they were the company’s best-selling cars. “We’ll be closely going through the data to see where improvements need to be made. Hyundai’s goal is nothing short of quality leadership, and the report shows we have work to do,” Hyundai spokesperson Jim Trainor said in an email to Autoblog.

It took years and huge amounts of capital to build Hyundai’s reputation as a dependable brand, and sustained problems could jeopardize that. “We’ll learn from this study and are confident our dependability scores will be better in the future,” said Trainor. Hopefully, rehiring engineers who left over quality issues does not point the way forward.

Sonata, Elantra driving down Hyundai quality scores originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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IED PassoCorto concept is a student-designed Hyundai we can get behind

February 22, 2014 at 1:38 am

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Hyundai Passocorte Concept

Sometimes the best ideas come from fresh eyes, and a group of design students from Istituto Europeo di Design – better known as IED – are out to prove that sentiment with this striking Hyundai PassoCorto concept. This two-seat thesis project of the Master of Arts in Transportation Design program for the Turin, Italy school will be officially unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show beginning March 4.

The concept is said to be 161 inches long, 74 inches wide and 45.7 inches tall. It rides on a 96.5-inch wheelbase, which makes sense since passo corto means “short wheelbase” in Italian. The engine is tipped to be a mid-mounted, twin-turbo, 1.6-liter four-cylinder pumping out 266 horsepower. Judging by these images, we think the design looks fantastic, with all those sharp lines and creases drawing to a point in the rear. It shows a wonderful balance of being wild enough to draw attention, yet it almost looks realistic enough for the road.

The styling comes from 16 IED students coordinated by Luca Borgogno, lead designer for fabled Italian design house Pininfarina. The students were given a design brief by Hyundai to create a vehicle aimed at young, connected people like them. All of the students submitted a proposal, and two were selected to be merged together in a final look. The entire class contributed to bringing the design to full scale. Scroll down to get the full scoop on the little sports car concept.

Continue reading IED PassoCorto concept is a student-designed Hyundai we can get behind

IED PassoCorto concept is a student-designed Hyundai we can get behind originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Feb 2014 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Does this Hyundai Intrado concept preview the next Tucson?

February 22, 2014 at 1:38 am

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Hyundai Intrado Concept

The second generation of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design language has arrived a bit early, thanks to these leaked images of the Korean automaker’s Intrado Concept. Set to make its big debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, the three-door crossover is based on a next-generation version of the hydrogen powertrain used in Europe’s ix35 Fuel Cell (that’d be a hydrogen Tucson, for anyone who’s wondering).

We can see some 2015 Genesis Sedan in the grille, but the sharp, narrow LED headlights are something different. The c-shaped LED taillights also look good, although we’re less sure about the odd fairings around the wheel wells. Overall, it’s not a terrible design in our minds, but it probably won’t be the pretties vehicle to debut in Geneva.

But instead of focusing on the design, let’s talk about what impact the Intrado may have on Hyundai. Aside from the hydrogen powertrain, it seems as if the Intrado’s design is too conservative to be a pure concept. Instead, and as you may have guessed from our headline, we’re thinking this could be a preview of the next-generation Tucson. Considering the Tucson and its cousin the ix35 are the oldest vehicles in Hyundai’s lineup (not counting the Sonata, which is getting replaced at the New York show) and it’s a vehicle sold worldwide, previewing its replacement on a stage as big as Geneva doesn’t strike us as a bad idea.

What we can say for certain is that we should expect to know a lot more about the Intrado when it debuts at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show – if not sooner. Have a look up top at the four images of the latest concept from Hyundai and let us know what you think in Comments.

Does this Hyundai Intrado concept preview the next Tucson? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Feb 2014 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog Podcast #362

February 8, 2014 at 11:56 pm

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Autoblog Podcast logo

Episode #362 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth and Chris Paukert cover the year-end news, including the surprise resignation of Hyundai Motor North America CEO John Krafcik, strong early sales for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, and 2015 Ford F-150 rumors ahead of its expected Detroit Auto Show debut. Dan also had a chance to look back at 2013 and ahead to 2014 with Autoline’s John McElroy. We start with what’s in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along after the jump with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #362:

Topics:

In the Autoblog Garage:

Hosts: Dan Roth, Chris Paukert
Guests: John McElroy
Runtime: 01:58:19
Rundown:

  • Intro and Garage: 00:00
  • John McElroy: 17:43
  • John Krafcik resigns: 54:01
  • Jeep Cherokee sales: 01:07:07
  • 2015 Ford F-150: 01:16:15
  • Matt Edmonds of Tire Rack – Manufacturer-Specific Tires: 01:26:01
  • Q&A and close: 01:35:25

Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #362

Autoblog Podcast #362 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Jan 2014 11:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hyundai-Kia forecasts slowest sales growth in 8 years

February 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

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2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan, front three-quarter view

Even with the arrival of the new Hyundai Genesis Sedan (above) and the expected introduction of at least two other new vehicles in 2014, Hyundai-Kia is estimating its sales will only increase by about 4.1 percent this year. Bloomberg has found that figure, which works out to a total of 7.86 million vehicles worldwide, to be lower than average analyst estimates of eight million vehicles. If the automaker is correct, that figure will represent the most sluggish growth for the Korean brands since 2006.

Based on an exchange rate of 1,050 won to the dollar – right now it’s trading at anywhere from 1,050 to 1,052 depending on where you look – Hyundai is predicting a 3.8-percent uptick for sales of 4.9 million units, while Kia is expecting a 4.7-percent uptick for sales of 2.96 million units. That exchange rate is predicted to be part of what will hamper sales this year, with a stronger South Korean won making Japanese cars more price-competitive when cross-shopped. It’s unclear how Hyundai derived its exchange rate, but 1,050 won to the dollar almost matches the 52-week high for all of 2013.

The company chairman mentioned a “low growth era” in the world economy, and weaker US sales are rumored to at least part of the reason John Krafcik recently vacated the post of Hyundai Motor America CEO, a post that has been filled by executive vice president of sales, David Zuchowski. That unexpected news capped a year in which two top execs resigned over quality issues and recalls and Hyundai agreed to settle a consolidated lawsuit over inflated fuel economy ratings for $395 million.

Things are going better in China, at least, where both brands have posted double-digit gains. In addition to the expected unveiling of the next-generation Hyundai Sonata and Kia Sorento, the company will increase its spending on safety and technology. And at least one analyst still believes that Hyundai-Kia will achieve eight million sales worldwide this year.

Hyundai-Kia forecasts slowest sales growth in 8 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Jan 2014 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Hyundai Genesis to offer Google Glass integration

February 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

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2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan

Hyundai announces Google Glass integration for 2015 GenesisWe suppose it was simply a matter of when (rather than ‘if’) wearable technology would infiltrated automobiles, and apparently that time has come. Hyundai has just announced that its new-for-2015 Genesis Sedan will be compatible with Google Glass thanks to its Blue Link infotainment system.

“As a leader in connected car technology, we’re always exploring new ways to use technology to enhance the ownership experience for our customers. Wearables are a great way to extend the experience outside of the vehicle by leveraging these small screens to quickly access remote features and deliver timely vehicle information,” said Barry Ratzlaff, the executive director of Customer Connect and Service Business Development for Hyundai.

Customers will need to download a Blue Link Glassware app to manage their new Genesis, but once that’s sorted, owners will be treated to little “cards” that pop up on the Google Glass interface. Push notifications will show when maintenance is due and customers will even be able to schedule service via Glass. Features like remote start, remote locking and a vehicle finder will also be available, while points of interest will be selectable and loadable into the navigation system via Google Send-to-Car.

“In 2013, we saw millions of commands sent to Hyundai vehicles from our Blue Link mobile application,” said Ratzlaff. “As new screens emerge, we see a real opportunity to expand our app strategy to provide added convenience for our owners.”

Of course, on some level, this new compatibility presupposes that using Google Glass and similar technologies while driving is legal – and that’s something that’s clearly up for debate right now on local, state, and federal levels.

Either way, there’s a short press release from Hyundai below, highlighting some of the features and benefits of having Google Glass in the Genesis. Scroll down to take a look.

Continue reading 2015 Hyundai Genesis to offer Google Glass integration

2015 Hyundai Genesis to offer Google Glass integration originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 Jan 2014 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Automakers teaming with Google to bring Android to cars this year

February 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

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Open Automotive Alliance

Remember how we mentioned that Hyundai would be offering a BlueLink infotainment app for Google Glass? And how last week, we told you about a rumored partnership between Audi and Google? Well, both of these things were just part of a much bigger deal.

Google has teamed up with Audi, General Motors, Hyundai and Honda to form the Open Automotive Alliance. With the help of chipmaker NVIDIA, the group aims to bring Google’s Android operating system to the auto industry on a large scale. While the speed with which Android will be adopted by the industry remains unclear – the OAA’s own press release says “timing for each automaker will vary” – we could see the first Android-equipped vehicle by year’s end.

For those that keep their ear to the ground in the automotive tech world, this is a big deal for more than just one reason – Honda, GM and Hyundai are all partners in the Siri Eyes Free program from Apple. The future of that relationship now that three of its automakers are in bed with Apple’s arch-rival, though, could be under threat.

We’ll stay with this story as more information becomes available. Until then, scroll down for a press release from the Open Automotive Alliance.

Continue reading Automakers teaming with Google to bring Android to cars this year

Automakers teaming with Google to bring Android to cars this year originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Jan 2014 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan can be yours for under $40K [w/video]

February 8, 2014 at 2:39 am

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2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

While we’ve already tested Hyundai’s all-new, second-generation Genesis Sedan in its home market, the Korean brand unveiled the American-spec luxury car to the sleep-deprived journalists of Detroit.

The big sedan isn’t wildly different from its KDM counterpart, boasting the same pair of engines that have done so well in the first-generation car. The 5.0-liter V8 still produces 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, while the 3.8-liter V6 returns 333 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the current cars, the standard eight-speed automatic can send power to all four wheels, if so optioned. Rear drive remains standard.

The big piece of news surrounding the new Genesis is that Hyundai is aiming to keep the luxury sedan’s starting price below $40,000. We knew official pricing hadn’t been released, but according to a report from Automotive News, the company is confident the entry level models should remain quite reasonably priced.

We’ve been trolling the floors of Cobo Hall in Detroit, and have a range of images direct from the Genny Sedan’s unveiling. Take a peak at those at the top of the page, and then scroll down for the press blast from Hyundai and our images from the Korean drive event.

Continue reading 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan can be yours for under $40K [w/video]

2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan can be yours for under $40K [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Jan 2014 19:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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