Monday, October 12, 2015

Welcome back to the greatest show on turf in this coming Australian summer – the Hyundai A-League.

Take a look at the ingredients - 10 great clubs, 135 regular season games, a sudden death finals series, fabulous football entertainment, an array of stars and the best atmosphere in Australian sport.
It all adds up to goosebumps – I hope that’s what you will feel throughout the opening weekend.
Earlier this week we staged a high-tech launch at a Telstra hub. That’s fitting. We say football has the most tech savvy and connected fans.
Whether you have accessed this content in the Weekly Warm Up, on the A-League website or in our social media channels, thanks for being connected.

Season 11 is all about the “hidden gems” who reveal themselves. I’m talking about the players who arrive in the A-League on a foreign visa; little known upon arrival, but often fan favorites in no time.
They are hugely important to lifting the technical standard and vital in the marketing mix.
In seasons past, we’ve seen new arrivals become household names – Broich,  Berisha and Carrusca, to name a few.

Last season, Fahid Ben Khalfallah landed in Melbourne with an interesting CV. Inside a few games, this amazing winger was setting the league alight.
In the past couple of seasons, the likes of Marinkovic and Dimitrijevic have added silky smooth skills to the action.
This season, there are many high-calibre imports – Sorenson, Leonardo, Holosko, Castro, Sarpong, Piovaccari to name a few.

Their stories will be fascinating and some will be stars by season’s end.
There will always be a clamour for marquee players and there will be place for such superstars, but I like the idea promoted by some commentators that it’s better to build marquee teams, than rely on one marquee player.
In May this year, we unveiled the Whole of Football Plan with a very bold and ambitious objective – to become the biggest and most popular sport in Australia.
The turbocharger behind that thinking is the Hyundai A-League…
If we weren’t absolutely convinced that the A-League will one day be the premier sports competition in Australia, we could not and would not be able to dream of that great goal.
In the frenetic progress over the past decade, we maybe lose sight of the big achievements…
  • Each year, about 1.7 million people come through the turnstiles
  • Over 100,000 are rusted-on members
  • A cumulative 12.7 million watch on TV
  • 500,000 are regulars in our digital and social channels
These are fantastic numbers for a “start up” – that’s what the A-League is…
A “start up” challenger to incumbents who have had 100 years head start on us and 50 years of TV coverage to embed their brands in households across generations.
In 10 short years, we have cracked the mainstream of Australian society and that’s a big deal, but we are just at the beginning of the journey.

Our best years are ahead of us. That’s the indisputable truth.
Importantly, recent transactions have shown that the value of Australian sports rights have doubled. The pivotal role of live sport in the free to air business model is more entrenched than ever.
FFA has two years to run in our partnership with Fox Sports and SBS TV. We value their role in the game and thank them for the investment of a combined value of $40m.
When we go back to market, all the indicators are that the value will be someway north of today’s price.
One observation; an investment by networks in the A-League will be transformational on the standard of the product and the entertainment value, unlike any other sport.
For example, the big uplifts for AFL and NRL mean players will inevitably be paid more, but Greg Inglis will still be Greg Inglis, and Gary Ablett will still be the same Gary Ablett.
Those domestic competitions can’t recruit from a massive global market, like football can.
In the A-League, the investment will flow to greater investments in players as well, with a big difference.


Hyundai A-League Season 11 launch live stream

Football skills and new technology combined to create a stunning launch to Season 11 on Tuesday. See how the event unfolded here.
FFA has joined forces with Official Telecommunications partner Telstra to stage a live video-conference with all ten captains for the new campaign using state of the art technology which will be streamed at and to all Australian TV networks.
Click here to see the Hyundai A-League Season 11 launch
Following the official launch, all ten Hyundai A-League clubs will conduct “virtual media conferences” with selected Hyundai A-League club members utilizing technology from Telstra and BlueJeans, who are the global leader in cloud-based video collaboration services.
The exciting innovation is a departure from past seasons and will ensure football fans across Australia and New Zealand can be part of Season 11 before Round 1 gets underway.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Unique efficiency in 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai has rolled out its second-generation 2016 Sonata Hybrid sedan. The Sonata Hybrid continues to visually differentiate itself from other Sonata models with purposefully unique wheels and front and rear fascia that improve aerodynamics while highlighting Sonata Hybrid’s advanced technology and efficiency.
To be offered in Sonata Hybrid and Sonata Hybrid Limited models, the exterior design is enhanced by a series of functional changes to the front and rear fascia that highlights its efficiency and the advanced technology below the surface. These visual changes also lower the coefficient of drag to an exceptionally low 0.24; the lowest in its class. Visual changes to the Sonata Hybrid’s exterior include a unique larger grille, front and rear bumpers, front fenders, front and rear lights, chrome side sill moldings, Hybrid badging and new eco-spoke alloy wheel designs.
The heart of the 2016 Sonata Hybrid is a downsized 2.0L Nu GDI four-cylinder gasoline engine joined to a six-speed automatic transmission combined with a powerful 38 kW electric motor and clutch. Located in place of a traditional torque converter, Sonata Hybrid’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) delivers the same responsive, engaging driving characteristics Sonata owners expect while improving fuel economy through the use of the larger electric motor. It is possible for Sonata Hybrid to operate solely on electric power at speeds up to 75 mph by decoupling the gasoline engine from the rest of the drivetrain.
The Sonata Hybrid is equipped with a lithium-polymer battery pack with a capacity of 1.62 kWh, which is a 13 percent improvement. The battery pack now fits under the trunk floor, allowing for a flat trunk floor and available 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
Inside the passenger cabin, a distinctive instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch color LCD multi-purpose display provides Hybrid drivers with additional information about the hybrid system’s operation. Hyundai engineers also implemented many active safety technologies to assist drivers and help prevent accidents. No longer reserved for luxury cars, advanced safety technologies such as Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist and a Lane Departure Warning System are all available in this midsize sedan.
The Sonata Hybrid delivers the convenient technology one would expect in a luxury vehicle in an incredibly efficient mid-size hybrid sedan. Hyundai’s hands-free Smart Trunk is now available on the Hybrid as well as an electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, a driver memory seat, rear window sunshades, heated steering wheel, LED interior lights, ventilated front seats, power front seats with four-way adjustable driver lumbar and Smart Cruise Control featuring full stop capability.
The 2016 Sonata Hybrid comes standard with seven airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display and a rearview camera are also standard. Projector headlamps are standard while HID headlamps are available.
Dimensions & specifications
Wheelbase: 110.4; overall length: 191.1; width: 73.4; height: 57.9
All vehicle measurements are in inches.
Engine: 2.0L gasoline four-cylinder – 154 hp at 6,000 rpm and 140 lbs-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm; electric motor – 51 hp (38kW) at 1,770 – 2,000 rpm and 151 lbs-ft of torque at 0-1,770 rpm; Lithium polymer battery – 56kW.
Transmission: six-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC manual shift mode.
EPA Fuel Economy: 40 city/44 hwy. (Hybrid); 39 city/43 hwy. (Hybrid Limited)
Cargo capacity: 13.3 cubic feet

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hyundai first to click with Apple CarPlay

Hyundai New Zealand claims that it will be the first mainstream car brand to bring the Apple CarPlay phone-vehicle interface to the local market.
The system will be fitted as standard to the Korean brand's new Tucson crossover; it's pending local approval and is likely to be given the go-ahead in the next few weeks. It's not active on the first batch of Tucson models that have been imported, but can be retro-installed once the system gets the green light.
Also known as "iOS in the car" when it was announced last year, Apple CarPlay integrates a user's iPhone within the car's own operating system (OS). It's more advanced than the forms of Bluetooth tethering currently used by most carmakers, which simply give you access to certain phone functions via the car's display and controls.
CarPlay makes the mobile device part of the car's own OS, presenting a user interface the same as the phone and giving access to a range of applications on the device. Users can engage with the iPhone's Siri voice control through the vehicle, for example, or see mapping from the phone displayed directly onto the car's screen.
CarPlay currently requires a physical connection to operate, so the iPhone must be plugged into the car. The volume of data involved requires Apple's new-generation Lightning cable, so only iPhone generations 5 and 6 are compatible.
Hyundai is the first, but there's a long list of car brands that have have signed up for CarPlay and some, such as Mercedes-Benz, are also committed to making the system work on older vehicles. Google's rival system, Android Auto, is also on the way. Many car brands have developed compatibility with both.
Systems such as these are seen as the ideal solution to a major problem facing in-car connectivity: the pace of mobile development makes in-car information and entertainment systems obsolete too soon. Shifting the functionality to the device itself ensures that the in-car OS is always up to date.


Friday, October 09, 2015

Hyundai Tucson and Sonata are awarded the IIHS Top Safety Pick Award

The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) has given its 2015 Top Safety Pick+ award to both the 2016 Hyundai Tucson (shown) and the 2016 Hyundai Sonata.
In one of the industry’s most rigorous tests of vehicle safety, the 2016 Hyundai Tucson and Sonata both earned the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) 2015 Top Safety Pick+ award.
This is the first time Tucson, which received a significant redesign for the 2016 model year, has received the highest honor from IIHS.
IIHS rates vehicles for occupant protection based on performance in five tests: moderate overlap front, small overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints.
Winners of the 2015 Too Safety Pick+ award must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a good or acceptable rating in the small overlap front test. Vehicles also need an available front crash prevention system with an advanced or superior rating.
Multiple advanced safety technology options are available on the 2016 Tucson, including AEB with pedestrian detection, Lane Departure Warning System, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Backup Warning Sensors and a standard rearview camera. Standard safety equipment on the 2016 Sonata lineup includes Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System, seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, four-wheel disc brakes and ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with indicators for each tire.

Hyundai Motor's Campaign Receives Clio Award for Third Time

Hyundai Motor’s pioneering ‘A Message to Space’ campaign has won two bronze awards at the international Clio Awards in the Film Technique and Out of Home categories. This latest success completes a triple awards crown for the innovative film following other recent acknowledgement achieved at the Cannes Lions and New York Festivals awards.
Soon to reach 70 million views on YouTube, the ‘Message to Space’ video has been the centre of attention on social media around the world since its launch in April. The creative campaign tells the story of how Hyundai Motor sent a message from a 13-year-old girl to her astronaut father.
In the video, 11 Genesis cars write a huge message, covering about 5.55 km2, on the Delamar Dry Lake, Nevada – an image the girl’s father was able to capture from the International Space Station. In a unique extension to the concept, Hyundai Motor invited viewers to create their own virtual message to share with loved ones, an opportunity taken up by more than 85,000 people around the world.
The Genesis, Hyundai Motor’s premium sedan, which is featured in the film is surprisingly well suited to the terrain of the dry lake in Nevada thanks to its HTRAC all-wheel drive system – available at the push of a button. Customers who drive Genesis appreciate the model’s superior grip in all weather conditions, plus its fun-to-drive performance when the HTRAC system is activated.
On top of its internet popularity, the video was aired more than 800 times on US national TV channels such as ABC, Fox TV, and NBC, as well as being covered by numerous high-profile print and online media including TIME, People and Forbes. The Clio Awards recognition follows four bronze honours at the Cannes Lions and New York Festival events – including the Third Prize Award in the ‘Film: Use of Medium’ category at the 2015 New York Festivals World’s Best Advertising awards.
Commenting on the latest accolade, which was recognised by Guinness World Records as creating the largest tyre track image ever Jin (James) Kim, Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor Company operations in Africa and the Middle East said: “
The Message to Space campaign effectively communicated our company’s ‘New Thinking’ through a number of impactful marketing platforms making its launch a tremendous success.”

The Clio Awards have been rewarding excellence in advertising, design and communication since the first ceremony in 1960. Categories are judged internationally, adding to Hyundai Motor’s worldwide acclaim for its ‘A Message to Space’ video, reaching viewers across the globe, and connecting with those further afield, too – like the astronaut in the story.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Students tour Hyundai for Manufacturing Month

Manufacturing Month kicked off in Montgomery with local students getting introduced to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing facility and Hyundai Power Transformers.
Two separate groups of students from Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies (MPACT) were each taken to one of the two facilities Friday. There, students such as 12th grader Zakia Muhammad were shown the possible careers available to them.
Zakia has already decided her path past high school. She will attend Auburn University - Montgomery and wants to be a nurse. For her classmates that don’t have an idea of what career to pursue yet, Zakia said the visit was a “cool” experience.
“It’s something new,” Zakia said. “It’s exciting, and I hope I get a chance like this again.”
Most young students hear about jobs, but it is often difficult to imagine the day-to-day life of working those jobs. By touring the facility, MPACT students were able to form a concrete idea about a viable, local career option at Hyundai’s manufacturing facilities.
Mayor Todd Strange and County Commission Chairman Elton Dean were on hand to sign a proclamation officially making October Manufacturing Month with Friday being Manufacturing Day. After, Strange spoke with the students about the career opportunities available at Hyundai.
“You’ve got a chance to see what high-tech, high-quality manufacturing is all about,” Strange said to the MPACT students Friday. “If you want to be on the technical side, this is an opportunity to see that these jobs are high paying, high skill jobs.”
The tour was especially relevant following reports over the summer that Hyundai did not see Montgomery as a suitable source of trained employees. By introducing students to the plant at an early age, the city is hoping to grow the local work force. Montgomery Public Schools Career Tech Director Cindy Veazey says it also supplements the lessons learned in the classroom.
“Not only for specific manufacturing skills, but also what we call soft skills or employable skills,” Veazey said. “Work and collaborate with people, be on time, dress well and those kind of things. It’s very important. For them to come see what people are doing inside the plant and what is required of them says a lot more.”
The idea was a collaboration between the Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Technology Network and Alabama Industrial Development Training. The Chamber of Commerce then approached Veazey with the idea, and the MPS saw it as an opportunity to provide the students with important information. Veazey said the most important lesson for the students to learn is that they have choices.
“There are great jobs available that pay well, and they have choices,” Veazey said. “It doesn’t always have to be a four-year degree, or it may be a four-year degree. They can still come back, give back to their community and build the local work force.”

Auto review: Hyundai’s next-generation Tucson crossover

Hyundai has redesigned its compact Tucson crossover utility vehicle for 2016, giving it a sleek new look based on the company’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design theme. The re-do has made the Tucson a bit larger than the previous model, but also lighter, in an attempt to boost fuel economy.
Prices for the new model begin at $22,700 (plus $895 freight) for the base SE six-speed automatic with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive; and $24,100 for the same vehicle with the optional all-wheel drive.
In the middle are the Eco and Sport models. The Eco with the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and seven-speed EcoShift dual-clutch automatic gearbox starts at $24,150 with front drive, or $25,550 with all-wheel drive. The Sport model, with the same drivetrain configuration, begins at $26,150 with front drive, or $27,550 with all-wheel drive.
At the top of the line are the two Limited models, both with the 1.6-liter engine and seven-speed gearbox. With front drive, the Limited starts at $29,900, and with all-wheel drive, $31,300. The manual transmission from the previous generation is no longer available, but the EcoShift transmission offers nearly the same experience without having to fool with a clutch. It’s essentially a manual gearbox shifted automatically by servos, and on our Limited front-drive tester, it felt as though someone else was shifting gears in a manual transmission for us as we drove down the road. It’s sometimes a bit jerky, which takes a little bit of getting used to.
This minor annoyance isn’t limited to this Hyundai transmission, though. It’s a hallmark of virtually all of these new automatic-manual transmissions, which originally appeared in Porsche vehicles, and now are found in Volkswagens and Audis and are beginning to appear in other brands.
The advantage is that this gearbox eliminates the need for a torque converter, which wastes power and fuel. The EcoShift gearbox helps give the Tucson slightly better fuel economy, especially when paired with the 1.6-liter turbo engine.
EPA fuel economy estimates for our front-drive Limited tester with this engine and transmission are 25 mpg city/30 highway/27 combined. During our weeklong test, with about a 30-70 mix of city-highway driving, we averaged a respectable 27.9 mpg, even with my somewhat heavy right foot.
This is quite decent mileage for a roomy and comfortable crossover that can handily carry five people and their luggage. There are bucket seats up front and a three-person bench in the rear.
On our Limited tester, power was impressive, which is a testimony to what automotive engineers are achieving these days with small turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
There was never a lack of power even when I needed bursts of acceleration to pass or merge with traffic from uphill freeway on-ramps. But I did need to use the cruise control to keep from inadvertently speeding once I got onto free-flowing highways.
The Tucson is based on the chassis of the Elantra sedan, and shares its architecture with the similar Kia Sportage. It competes in the popular compact crossover segment that includes the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, as well as the Ford Escape, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Cherokee and Volkswagen Tiguan. With this newest Tucson, Hyundai continues its practice of offering more value than most of its competitors.
It has an “edgy” new exterior design, Hyundai boasts, and that’s true. It’s the next generation of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design theme, whose first version was included on the previous generation of the Tucson, which arrived for 2010.
It’s not at all boxy or station-wagon-looking. But it’s not entirely original, either — it looks a lot like the RAV4, CR-V and Escape. I wonder sometimes if the designers for vehicles such as these all work together in the same room.
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The large hexagonal grille is impressive, though, and helps make the Tucson stand out from the crowd. It’s similar to the grille on the newest Infiniti vehicles.
As with most of the newer vehicles on the market, the redesigned Tucson is offered with a host of advanced, high-tech safety features previously found only on luxury vehicles. These include Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Backup Warning Sensors and Automatic Emergency Braking. All of these came at no extra charge on my Limited model.
We also had the Hands Free Smart Liftgate, which Hyundai has been promoting heavily in TV ads. It opens automatically when you get within a few feet of it with the key fob in your possession.
My grandson loved the full-length panoramic sunroof, allowing both front and rear passengers day or night skyward visibility. We enjoyed it while stargazing on a nighttime drive in the country, and also when watching some spectacular fireworks. Although our tester didn’t have the optional all-wheel drive, that’s something I would add if I were buying this vehicle.
The Tucson also has the next-generation of the Hyundai Blue Link system, with enhanced safety, service and infotainment telematics. Navigation and audio were combined, with a satellite radio premium audio system with eight speakers.
The Tucson is offered in eight exterior and three interior colors. Six of the exterior colors are new: Chromium Silver, Coliseum Gray (included on our tester), Ruby Wine, Mojave Sand, Sedona Sunset and Caribbean Blue. Carried over are Winter White and Ash Black. Interior choices are black, beige and gray with cloth seats, and black or beige with leather. Our Limited had the black leather.


Wednesday, October 07, 2015

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Long-Term Update: Drivability

The mark of a really good car is that when it comes to the driving experience, you don't have to give it much thought. As opposed to those cars that are a challenge to handle in everyday commuting simply because it takes a lot of effort to interact with the vehicle control systems. Our long-term 2015 Hyundai Genesis falls into the former category-it's a car you just don't have to think about when you're behind the wheel. It's that intuitive.
This rear-drive sedan has great balance and while the Korean automaker offers a 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8, we haven't felt that we've sacrificed any drivability by opting for the smooth and powerful 311-horse 3.8-liter V6. It's backed by a seamless shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. Slide behind the seat, punch the engine start button and use a traditional gear shift lever into drive and go-there's no push button transmission or small stalk-mounted lever, just a straightforward layout that has worked well for so many manufacturers for a very long time.
Sharper steering pleases
The latest generation of Genesis pays particular attention to dynamics, with steering that has a bit more edge than the previous model which felt a bit vague on center. Whether in normal or sport mode, the steering action is smooth and linear with good feedback. Both the throttle and the brakes also have a solid linear feel to their application. Visibility from the driver's seat is good and the blind spot warnings in the mirrors are easy to pick-up and subtle in their display-especially the blind spot warnings which turn from amber to red if you actuate in the turn signal and you get a slight warning shake through the steering wheel in lieu of some loud audio signal. The head up display also works quite well and picks up speed limits which are shown in your line of sight.
The best way to describe the Genesis' character is that there is a sense of calm to the way the car performs and reacts in everyday driving situations. That you don't have to think about the way things work is one of the car's strong points. The controls are straightforward, the rotary knob to handle functions displayed on the center screen is simple to use and the redundant switches in the steering wheel allow a number of different options when it comes to doing everything from changing a radio station or volume to toggling through the various menus on the instrument panel.

Monday, October 05, 2015

2016 Hyundai Veloster Rally Edition: Does it have the cool factor?

For 2016, Hyundai has dialed up the Veloster with the Rally Edition, a proper special edition intended for the enthusiast. While that may sound like an ambiguous name for this trim level, it represents what should be the most coveted Veloster built to date.
The Rally Edition is available in one specification, starting with the striking and unusual matte blue paint, and contrasted by an abundance of black trim. The black, 18-inch RAYS wheels lend a purposeful look, with their straightforward, race-like design. Cool factor +1.
You can’t miss the large, black front grille, and whether you love it or hate it, it’s distinctive for the category. The dark grey, faux carbon fibre front spoiler and rockers contrast the blue paint, but Hyundai’s not fooling anyone with these obvious imitations of the real thing. Cool factor -1.
At the back, the hatch itself contains two pieces of glass that give it some real heft, and you’re reminded of its mass every time you open and close it. The highlights of the Veloster’s tail are the LED tail lamps and the central, twin tailpipe. Sure it would have been easier to put a boring tailpipe exit at one side, but this gives the Rally Edition a premium look. Cool factor +1.
As stunning as the paint is, before buying a Rally Edition make sure you understand that it requires special care to maintain that flat finish. It’s definitely a commitment.
The first time I sat behind the wheel I was impressed with the Veloster’s simple and effective cabin. Secondary controls are straightforward and the learning curve was non-existent. Other manufacturers should really take lessons on interior design from Hyundai. One of the only hints that this car was designed a full life cycle ago is its thin-rimmed steering wheel.
Seating position is always critical for me, whether it’s comfort, sightlines, or the fundamental human-to-car interface, and this Veloster is excellent in every way, save some loss of rear vision through the hatch. The seat, pedals, wheel, and shifter are perfectly positioned in relation to one another, and there’s more than adequate adjustment from the seat and steering column to find that ideal driving position. Cool factor +1.
However, as much as I enjoy sitting in the excellent driver’s seat, a hot hatch just should not have leather upholstery, nor should it have bold, juvenile “Turbo” scripting on the outboard bolsters of both front seats. Give me a choice of cloth, please, and I don’t need to be reminded that I’ve got a turbo every time I open the door. Cool factor -1.
The rear seats are best-suited to less-than-adult-sized humans and that one door on one side, two on the other set up is akin to an automotive mullet. As the Veloster rolls down the street, I imagine it saying to passersby, if it could speak, of course, “Hey, I’m a sporty coupe on my left side, but I’m also a functional hatchback on my right.”
At this modest price point – $26,999 – this isn’t the priciest Veloster you can buy, but there aren’t any options, and that’s alright because you really don’t need any more than what’s here. There’s a decent sound system, Bluetooth, and a key instead of a start/stop ignition button.
While it’s not a twin scroll-type of turbocharger, it is integrated into the exhaust manifold for quicker spool up, and that results in virtually non-existent turbo lag. Very impressive.
The engine is unchanged from Veloster Turbo spec, and makes 201 horsepower and 195 pounds of torque, with peak torque available from a low 1,750 RPM. The Rally Edition is specified with just one transmission which is, thankfully, a six-speed manual.
Perhaps the highlight of driving the Rally Edition is the superb B&M short shifter that’s fitted to the six-speed box. Everything about it is fantastic – feel, throws, and precision – making it one of the best front drive shifters I’ve used in a long time. Cool factor +1.
The Rally Edition hits a home run with its thoroughly revised suspension, with unique anti-roll bars, springs, and, most importantly, dampers. The last Veloster I drove had an average, at best, suspension set up, but this Rally Edition is on an entirely different level, and that’s really due to the dampers. You see, you can make the platform as rigid as you like, but if the dampers aren’t valved to match the suspension’s dynamics, you might as well throw it all away.
In the Rally Edition, the dampers do a superb job of controlling wheel and body motion, and I didn’t encounter a single situation where I felt less than complete confidence behind the wheel. That said, I didn’t test it on track to perfectly deconstruct its on limit handling, but I can’t imagine many owners tracking theirs, either. Still, the chassis’ overall on-road manners are impeccable.
At just over 1,300 kilograms, The Velsoter Rally Edition doesn’t feel as lithe as the Ford Fiesta ST (which weighs in at over 100 kilos less), but that’s not entirely bad because the additional weight does the car some favours, keeping the power-to-weight ratio in check.
Unless you’re a complete hoon, torque steer is minimal and you’ll rarely overtax the front tires under acceleration. Speaking of which, the faux limited slip system works unobtrusively. Instead of using a mechanical limited slip differential, the brake system slows the inside front wheel under acceleration to mitigate wheelspin. It’s as subtle as the Fiesta ST’s system, and that’s a compliment.
Great feel and modulation from the brakes, as well as precise steering, lend the driver even more confidence. This is one Hyundai that’s a total blast to drive.
Speaking of the Fiesta ST, the Veloster Rally Edition is a near match in terms of power-to-weight, however, the Fiesta ST rolls out of the showroom at $3,000 less than the Hyundai. At $26,999, the Rally Edition’s pricing aligns it with the Focus ST at its price of $27,806. However, the Veloster doesn’t suffer from tragic torque steer like the Focus. On the other hand, a base Volkswagen GTI, the gold standard in hot hatches, costs just $1,500 more than the Rally Edition.
Potential owners will want to consider that the Rally Edition requires only regular fuel and its impact on running costs. To determine if this was indeed true and without ill effect, I ran my tester on regular fuel in the heat of summer and found no downsides. Plus, in mixed driving, both foolish and restrained, the Rally Edition averaged 11.6 litres per 100 kilometres during the test. Both Fiesta and Focus ST used more fuel on average during my previous tests.
While I never thought I’d say this, the Veloster Rally Edition is a Hyundai that delivers decent all around performance with satisfying handling. For all the conversations I’ve had about this car, there is one common thread and that is that the Rally Edition is what the Veloster should have been in the first place.
By way of its key virtues, those being its competent and enjoyable dynamics, excellent seating position, and fantastic shifter, this is car that’s worth considering if you’re looking for an enthusiast oriented hot hatch.
Net Cool Factor? +2.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

New Hyundai NFL Ad “Field Goal” Has Father Screaming in Car

It’s officially fall, and football season is in full swing! Now that Hyundai is the exclusive automotive sponsor of the NFL (replacing GM), two new commercials have been released. The first, a funny ad about Arizona Cardinals fans and a stolen fence, was released earlier this month.
The second commercial, entitled “Field Goal,” aired over the past weekend, promoting the automaker’s #BecauseFootball campaign.
The commercial features a married couple on their living room couch watching a Houston Texans game. The air is tense; it doesn’t look like the Texans are going to win.
In a last-minute effort, the team makes a long-shot field goal and takes the victory. The wife, clearly a fan, quietly expresses her excitement so she doesn’t wake the baby her husband is holding.
However, the husband’s reaction is unexpected. Instead of leaping for joy and spiking the baby (what you’d expect a football fanatic to do), he gently kisses its forehead, passes the infant to its mother, and leaves the house.
VIDEO New Hyundai NFL Ad Field Goal Man Screaming in Car
Upon entering his blue 2016 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T parked in his suburban driveway, he goes nuts–screaming and honking the horn with overwhelming excitement. Needless to say, he ends up causing a disruption to his neighbors, which seems to happen often.
The 30-second spot will run during this season’s broadcast NFL games and emphasizes Hyundai’s support of the emotional reactions football gives us.

Hyundai Santa Fe is Aiming High

With far sharper styling, some fantastic equipment on offer and a punchy 200PS 2.2-litre diesel engine, the latest Hyundai Santa Fe punches its way upmarket on merit.
Customers choose between five and seven seats, manual or auto transmissions and get standard four-wheel drive. It’s hard not to be impressed.
The latest Santa Fe is undoubtedly a good looking thing. It has that inherent rightness to its proportioning that’ll make it tricky not to throw a glance over your shoulder when you lock it and walk away.
Road presence is enhanced by smarter front and rear bumpers, with redesigned foglamps and LED daytime running lights, framed with smart silver trim. At the front, a different layout for the xenon projector headlamps has been applied, while the rear lamps feature a fresh LED graphic.
Inside, the Santa Fe remains a refined and comfortable place to be, with updates to the console cluster and audio visual navigation system part of the car’s intended upmarket image.
A long, wide, single-frame panoramic sunroof allows high levels of natural light into the cabin.

Luggage space is decent – 534 litres with the front five seats upright. Passengers in the second row of sliding seats will benefit from greater legroom.
As before, the Santa Fe rides on a specially UK-tuned suspension and there’s self-levelling suspension as standard on seven-seaters.
Drivers can choose between normal, sport and comfort steering modes and all models have a responsive 4WD system.
It’s front-wheel drive most of the time but when sensors detect slippage, up to 50 per cent of drive can be diverted to the rear wheels.
In especially slippery conditions, such as muddy off-roading or driving on snow or ice, four-wheel-drive can be selected with the push of the “lock” button, delivering a 50/50 power split at speeds up to 25mph.
The UK gets only the 2.2-litre CRDi desel version, with 200PS and a healthy 440Nm of torque. Customers get to choose between a six-speed manual or auto gearbox, both fitted with an extra tall cruising gear for economy.
As before, prices sit in the £31,000 to £38,000 bracket and there’s a premium of around £1200 for the seven seat layout most buyers will want.
All variants are well equipped, with even the entry-level version getting 18in alloy wheels, reverse parking sensors, daytime running lights, self-levelling suspension on the seven-seat version, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and a multi-function steering wheel.
New safety systems now added to the range include Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection with Lane
Change Assist and a Rear-Cross Traffic Alert system reduces the risk of collision with approaching traffic when reversing out of narrow areas with low visibility.
Hyundai say the manual is good for an average 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 
161g/km, while the automatic’s figures are 42.2mpg and 177g/km.
Both have a top speed of 126mph and the sprint to 62mph takes nine seconds for the manual and 9.6 for the auto.
The Hyundai Santa Fe has improved fast, with even slicker styling and better safety tech.
All of this makes this Korean contender probably a very good choice for someone who’s never even really considered an SUV before.
It’s not showy or offensive and marries all the best bits of models of this kind – space, versatility and ease of ownership.
If you’ve got a family and need a car that’ll discreetly go the distance without a hiccup then it’s well worth trying one of these. Do that and, who knows, you might once again start to believe in Santa.