Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Hyundai Rain Room

LOS ANGELES - A downpour filled a dark room in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Thursday, as if a rainstorm were hitting hit sunny California.

However, when people spread their hands into it, the water fall paused. People could walk through the rain without getting completely soaked. “It is like the miracle of Moses,” an onlooker said.

The 230-square meter room is fitted with a 1,500-liter water tank and a camera and sensor to detect the rainfall and prevent water from dropping on viewers.

The piece, named Rain Room, is an interactive art installation by noted artists’ group Random International, and will go on display until March 6, 2015. “Rain Room is a remarkable work of art, whose creative courage and extraordinary concept have captivated audiences around the world,” said Gary Friedman, chairman and CEO of Random International, a collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art. 

The Rain Room is the first installment of “The Hyundai Project: Art and Technology,” a long-term partnership between Hyundai Motor’s and the global art circle. This includes 10-year ties with the LACMA sealed in March, as well as another 11-year deal with the Tate Modern in the U.K.

Hyundai believes its Mecenat activities will also support the company’s vision to join the ranks of global luxury carmakers with the launch of its premium brand, Genesis.

“Through the partnership with the LACMA, we want to show that cars are more than transportation tools. They are means to a cultural lifestyle, a space to share valuable time with your families and life partners that can show off people’s values in life. The Rain Room is also a good opportunity for us to explore the marriage of art and technology,” a company spokesman stated.

Apart from the Rain Room, Hyundai has also sponsored the museum’s purchase of “Miracle Mile” by Robert Irwin and “Light Reignfall” by James Turrell. An exhibition of the prominent visual artist Diana Thater, “Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination,” will also be held at the museum from Nov. 22-Feb. 21, 2016. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hyundai Genesis Brand Selective, Separate Showrooms Not Forced

LOS ANGELES – Like it already has been doing with the Equus large luxury sedan, Hyundai will be selective about which of its 834 U.S. dealers will carry the six new models under the forthcoming Genesis luxury brand.

“As we bring all this new product out, it will not go to all dealers,” Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America CEO, tells WardsAuto following Hyundai’s press conference at the auto show here.

Hyundai earlier this month announced the establishment of the Genesis premium brand, launching next year with the next-generation Equus, which is being renamed G90. The brand is slated for five more models beyond that, including three in segments new to Hyundai.

Right now only 411 of the 834 U.S. Hyundai dealers carry the Equus sedan, and in the future dealers wishing to carry the Genesis brand will have to meet similar standards as those currently selling Equus do.

That includes more intense training for staff, additional investment to provide a “showroom-within-a-showroom” visual separation for the brand and valet- and concierge-service capability.
However, there’s no word whether those now selling the Equus automatically qualify to carry the new Genesis lineup, or whether further requirements will have to be met.

No doubt quelling Hyundai dealer fears, Zuchowski says the automaker will not force those who want to carry the Genesis brand to build separate showrooms.

“We think the channel itself will evolve organically,” he says. “We don’t see us forcing dealers (to build) separate facilities. We want the products to come out, the products to be well-received, the products to generate good volume, good margin, and the dealers to come to us and say, ‘Boy, I think I’ve got so much potential here I don’t think I can manage all these nameplates on one showroom. I’d like to expand.’”

Contrary to some earlier reports, Zuchowski says all the Genesis-brand utility vehicles will be car-based, with no body-on-frame model planned.

And while the luxury sector is seeing success with smaller vehicles, Hyundai right now has no plan, or won’t discuss it if it does, for a compact luxury car or CUV.

“We do have in our plans more of an entry-level sedan coming, that would be BMW 3-Series-type size, and maybe derivatives off of that with crossovers and stuff, (so) it’s not all larger vehicles,” the U.S. CEO says.

The 3-Series is considered a midsize sedan, while the 1-Series is BMW’s compact car.
Zuchowski uses the press conference for the redesigned ’16 Elantra compact sedan to say all Genesis-brand models will have dedicated platforms and powertrains.

However, he also is quick to point out the automaker will not ignore its bread-and-butter Hyundai brand, saying it must “focus on and protect” its core consumers.

The ’16 Elantra is one of 10 new or refreshed Hyundais planned to roll out over the next 36 months in the U.S.

Further details of the new Genesis brand will be provided at January’s 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.


Hyundai unveils newest Alabama-built car

Hyundai has revealed the latest redesign of its Alabama-made Elantra compact sedan, a key model for the Korean automaker. The new Elantra, which was unveiled Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show, features a slate of upgrades from the current model. This marks the sixth generation for the Elantra, which is Hyundai's best-selling model worldwide. Over the past 25 years, the company has sold more than 10 million Elantras around the globe, including more than 2 million in the U.S.
The Elantra is "an important pillar" for the Hyundai brand, Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer for Hyundai Motor Group, said during the car's debut at the auto show. "For 25 years already, the Elantra has been a key measure of our progress," he said. "As our biggest success worldwide, Elantra is truly the heart of the Hyundai brand." The new Elantra is longer and wider than the current model, for an overall sportier character, Schreyer said.

On the outside, it features a hexagonal grille, slimmer headlights and vertical LED daytime running lights, while the inside is roomier with more premium touches.

Under the hood, there's a new standard four-cylinder engine that delivers up to 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The city/highway fuel economy is expected at 29/38 miles per gallon, Hyundai says. There's also a turbocharged engine option.

The updated car is also lighter than the current Elantra, and its frame is 53 percent advanced high-strength steel, more than double what it is now. Hyundai's Montgomery factory began building the Elantra five years ago, with the launch of the previous generation.

The plant also produces the Sonata midsize sedan, another top seller for Hyundai. Alabama workers are expected to launch mass production of the new Elantra in mid-December, said Robert Burns, a company spokesman in Montgomery. Hyundai also produces the Elantra in Korea. It will go on sale early next year. Pricing has not been announced.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hyundai drives to 4 million domestic sales milestone

Hyundai Motor India Limited, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Korean auto major Hyundai, has become the second company in India after Maruti Suzuki to roll out 4 millionth car. Hyundai also happens to be the second-largest player in the Indian passenger vehicle (cars, utility vehicles and vans) market.

Hyundai, which started the Indian operations in 1996, has achieved this feat in 19 years. Rival Maruti Suzuki, which was set up in 1983, took two decades to touch this number of 4 millionth vehicle. Obviously, the long time taken to reach the milestone of 4 million cars is because the market was small in the first decade of the 21st century.

Indian companies now sell 2.6 million passenger vehicles in a year (FY15) against 1.1 million units in FY05. Maruti, the largest player, alone sells about 1.17 million units (FY15) while Hyundai sold 420,668 units in the same year.

Interestingly, the maximum contribution to Hyundai’s sales came from Santro, a model that was discontinued in January this year. Of the 4 million units, 65 per cent came from the Santro, a model the company launched in 1998. Of the existing models, the largest contributor is from i10 (800,000 units), Grandi10 (250,000 units) and i20-Elite and Active (150,000 units).

Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president and division head (sales and marketing) at Hyundai said the company is identifying white spaces that will be critical for its future sales growth in the domestic market. But a third plant will be critical to the company’s future growth.

The company currently operates two plants in Chennai with a total capacity of 680,000 vehicles. Hyundai also happens to be the largest exporter of passenger vehicle from India. It shipped 191,221 units last year with a 31 per cent market share in exports from India.

The company has achieved sales growth of 16 per cent in the April-October period of the current year. It has also been able to increase its market share from 16.17 per cent in FY15 to 17.44 per cent in the April-October period this year on back strong growth in models like Creta and Elitei20.

Last October, the company consciously decided to scale down exports to meet the growing domestic demand. Its export declined 18 per cent last year and is further down by over 12 per cent in the April-October period of the current year. 


Hyundai Launching Electric-Dedicated Brand — AE

Korea Times reports that Hyundai will launch a new brand tentatively called AE — which may stand for “alternative energy.” The new brand will debut in January 2016 and will focus on hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fully electric cars, and even a fuel cell vehicle. “The first model of Hyundai’s new green car brand will be a hybrid, followed by plug-in hybrid and battery electric editions, aiming to become the world’s first green car with HEV, PHEV and EV types,” the newspaper said. “Such models are part of our vision, suggesting having 22 green cars in our lineup by 2020,” a Hyundai Motor spokesman says.

Hyundai believes that its new hybrid will outperform the Toyota Prius. The five-door hatchback will be equipped with a 1.6-liter Kappa gasoline direct injection engine, an electric motor, and a transmission tailored for hybrid operation. The internal combustion engine boasts 156 horsepower. Total power, with a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and a 50-kilowatt electric motor, is 205 horsepower. Sister company Kia is also about to introduce its own Prius fighter, the DE sedan.

Hyundai Motor Group vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said earlier this year that plug-in hybrids are the answer to the future survival of the company and the industry. The company is expected to offer a plug-in hybrid version of its popular Sonata sedan sometime in 2016. Prototypes began testing in September and have received positive reviews for their performance in both EV and hybrid modes.

Earlier this year, Hyundai and Kia announced they would be bringing eight new alternative fueled vehicles to market between 2016 and 2018, including four hybrids, two plug-in hybrids, one battery electric vehicle, and one fuel cell vehicle. “Of course it would be more eco-friendly if we could have the full electric vehicles because they emit no greenhouse gas at all. But given the situation that EVs are pricier and generally cannot run a long distance on a single charge, PHEVs are considered the optimal product in the Korean market at the moment,” an industry observers told Korea Times.
Hyundai and Kia seem committed to covering all the bases as the automotive market transitions to lower emissions and zero-emissions vehicles.


Monday, November 23, 2015

"Hyundai has been transforming how people buy cars"

The brand's Rockar shopping centre store is a great new way to buy a car, and other car makers should follow suit, says Steve Fowler

For the past year, Hyundai’s Rockar store in the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent – and its accompanying website – has been transforming the way people buy cars. I’m a fan – as I’ve said before, it’s about selling cars where people are, not where they’re not!

Has it worked? Seems so – we can exclusively reveal that Hyundai is opening a second Rockar store next month, this time in the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, East London.

I know that plenty of other manufacturers have been watching closely to see how buyers react to the store and its no-pressure approach from ‘angels’ rather than sales people. Or whether they still prefer to go to the more traditional dealer.

So here are some of the stats that might help persuade them it’s a good idea: while Hyundai won’t reveal numbers, Rockar is in the Top 10 of its dealers for cars sold. 163,000 people have been into the store in the past year. The average age of buyers is 39 – Hyundai’s average at other dealers is 56 (and the industry average is 52). Women account for 54 per cent of Rockar customers – roughly double what it is elsewhere. And half of Rockar’s customers transact online after visiting the store in person.
Hyundai UK’s President and CEO Tony Whitehorn assured me his other dealers are happy about it, too. “They’ve had people buy from them who’ve been into Rockar,” he told me.

And it’s not quite the end of the traditional dealer, either. “The Internet is becoming a vehicle for transacting as well as information, but for us it’s about clicks and bricks – many people still want to go into dealers,” said Whitehorn.

Of course, he has a large dealer network to keep happy, but Hyundai has taken the brave pill and it seems to be working for it. I’ve been there and it’s a great new way to buy a car. Other makers should (and will) follow suit.

Do you think other car makers should do the same? Let us know below...


2017 Hyundai Elantra revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show

Korean automaker Hyundai on Wednesday revealed a redesigned version of its Elantra compact sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show, removing some of the previous generation's distinctive edging as designers transition Hyundai deeper into mainstream styling.
The new Elantra gets Hyundai's hexagonal grille and front-wheel air curtains borrowed from the Sonata Hybrid to improve air flow and thus increase fuel efficiency.

The vehicle's reveal comes as the brand is gradually overhauling its design ethos, moving away from the edgy thematic that characterized past models and maneuvering squarely into the mainstream market. For example, designers ditched the lumpy headlights that defined the previous-generation Elantra in favor of something more mainstream.

The 2017 Elantra, which hits dealerships in January, will face an immediate challenge: gaining attention from consumers who are abandoning cramped cars for roomy crossovers.

In a 3,000-word press release trumpeting the Elantra's introduction, Hyundai spilled plenty of ink on the interior space and cargo volume of the Elantra, bragging that it has more of each than the luxury Audi A4 and Acura ILX.

To get some additional wiggle room, Hyundai engineers lengthened the vehicle by 0.8 inches and widened it by 1 inch — a not-insignificant play in the auto business. Still, the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Mazda3 — three compact sedans that buyers are more likely to cross-shop — all have more space for passengers.

But Hyundai is hoping to capitalize on significant gains in quality in recent years. The brand ranked fourth overall in the 2015 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study, behind only Porsche, sister brand Kia and Jaguar.

"The new Elantra projects confidence with sculpted body forms complimented by smoothly contoured lines that reveal the underlying inspiration of Hyundai designers," Hyundai said in a statement. "Inspired by the concept of dynamic precision, Elantra’s architecture was a perfect platform for collaboration between Hyundai designers and engineers to blend advanced styling with functional aerodynamics."

The new Elantra's arrival comes as small cars are struggling despite a flourishing U.S. market for auto sales.
Although the vehicle's sales are up 10.9% through the first 10 months of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014, sales are flat compared to the same period in 2013.

Bolstered by more high-strength steel, the 2017 Elantra is stiffer and quieter, Hyundai said.

The standard powertrain is a 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine with up to 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, mated with a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic. That model gets 38 miles per gallon on the highway and 28 mpg in the city for a combined rating of 33 mpg.

An optional 1.4-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine dubbed Elantra Eco is also available, paired with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission that collective delivers 128 horsepower, 156 pound-feet of torque and a fuel economy rating of 35 mpg.
The car will be assembled in Hyundai plants in Montgomery, Ala., and Ulsan, South Korea.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hyundai Plans to Unveil Hybrid AE Sedan & Brand in Detroit This January

In the wake of the Volkswagen diesel scandal, automakers are taking a stand to prove that eco-friendly vehicles are still trustworthy and growing strong.

Hyundai is leading the charge with plans for a Prius-fighting hybrid. A leaked rumor hinted previously that the first -Prius-like hybrid sedan from the Korean automaker would be named the Ioniq–taking the moniker of the concept model shown at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. However, it might have a different name. 

In the wake of its Genesis luxury brand and N Performance division, Hyundai might be unveiling another sub-brand for its line of dedicated hybrid and electric vehicles. According to The Korea Herald, this first plug-in hybrid will be part of the AE line from Hyundai. The AE label reinforces Hyundai’s plan to broaden its reputation through different branding segments.

Hyundai will launch the AE–the project’s current tentative name–line with a dedicated hybrid sedan being unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The model will then go on sale within a year after the 2016 Prius’ release. The first AE sedan will include a hybrid, plug-in, and battery-electric variants.

Rumor is that Hyundai is confident this new Project AE car will outperform the 2016 Prius’ claim of 55 mpg. As reported previously, the model will possess a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a compact lithium ion polymer battery, based on the underpinnings of the next-gen Elantra.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hyundai gears up to push Genesis in U.S.

 FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California -- For quite a long time, Hyundai cars have been perceived as decently-priced high-quality vehicles in the U.S. But many things are about to change now as the company is gearing up to launch its premium brand Genesis in the world’s largest upscale automobile market.

"We will present the first flagship sedan Genesis G90 (to be released as EQ900 in Korea) at the Detroit Motor Show in January. The market is quite robust and we are poised for very strong growth, what we think is the ‘tipping point,’” said David Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, at the HMA headquarters in California on Monday. The G90 will be out in the U.S. market in late 2016.

After the surprise launch of Genesis on Nov. 4 and the unveiling of the first model G90 the following week in Korea, the U.S. subsidiary -- which recently crossed the milestone of 10 million unit-sales of Hyundai cars since 1986 -- has been busy figuring out the pros and cons of introducing Genesis as an individual brand.

Initially introduced as an upscale model in 2008, Genesis has become the symbol of what Korean car makers can do through a luxury slogan. More than 20,000 units have been sold between January and October in the U.S., some 38.2 percent up from the same period last year.

However, readjusting Genesis as a separate luxury brand could be considered risky for the world’s fifth-largest car maker with a strong foothold in the compact and mid-sized sedan segment. The former Genesis competed with mid-luxury sedans such as Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-class and BMW 5-series, but the new one aims to go head-on with Audi A8, Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7-series, the highest end of mass luxury cars. 

However, it is also imperative to get the U.S. market’s approval for the Genesis to be reborn as a global luxury brand -- more than 2 million luxury cars were sold in 2014 in the U.S., outnumbering China’s 1.8 million. Global automotive consulting group IHS expects the U.S. to have more than 10.6 million luxury cars by 2020, about 1.8 times the current size of 5.7 million.

“We continue to conduct surveys on whether Americans are ready to embrace Genesis as an individual luxury brand (like Toyota did with Lexus). About 98 percent of the surveyed Genesis drivers said they are very satisfied with the car and we have quite positive project for the future,” said Harry Han, chief executive coordinator at HMA.

The management admitted that enhancing the brand position from mid-to-luxury to premium would take time.

"I give it five years to refine the dealers’ network -- we will take some of the shop-in-shops for (another Hyundai luxury model) Equus -- and come up with a variety of lineups to meet the market demand,” Zuchowski said.

The customers who already have the Genesis cars -- launched in 2008 and 2013 -- will also be able to benefit from a variety of as yet undecided perks and services given to new Genesis buyers. “We will not forget those who love Genesis,” Han said.

HMA expects the Genesis as well as the new Elantra (American name for Korea’s Avante) to lead the vehicle sales that have been rather stagnant for the past several years.

“Genesis is an evolution. You wait and see,” Zuchowski said.


Friday, November 20, 2015

12 of the Funniest Car Memes - Special from us to you.

Will Hyundai’s Prius-fighting hybrid be called Ioniq?

Over the next few years, Hyundai and Kia plan to launch a slew of new green models as part of a bid to take the number-two slot (behind hybrid powerhouse Toyota, presumably) in green-car sales.
One high-profile addition to the lineup will be a dedicated hybrid model for Hyundai designed to compete against the Toyota Prius. Like the Prius, it won’t be based on any existing model, although a new report claims it could borrow a name from a 2012 Hyundai concept car.

Hyundai Ioniq will be the name of the Prius-fighting hybrid according to AutoGuide, which claims to have discussed the matter with sources aware of Hyundai’s product plans. It also reports that Hyundai registered the name with the Korean Intellectual Property Office on June 5 of this year, and also applied to trademark the name with agencies in Europe, Malta, the U.K., and Canada in July. It reportedly applied for a trademark of the Ioniq name with the World Intellectual Property Organization at that time as well.

The name seems to come from a 2012 concept car called the i-Oniq. This was an extended-range electric car that used a 107-horsepower electric motor for propulsion, with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine acting as a generator. The i-Oniq was a small hatchback, so it’s at least in the same ballpark as the production hybrid, styling-wise. The hybrid is expected to be a five-door hatchback with aerodynamic styling, similar to its Prius rival.

The dedicated hybrid is just one of many new models that will appear over the next few years as Hyundai looks to expand its green-car lineup. The Korean carmaker will launch an all-electric model as well, and continue to sell hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Sonata midsize sedan, and a fuel-cell version of the Tucson crossover (in California, at least).

Meanwhile, companion brand Kia will get its own version of the Prius-fighter hybrid, and an Optima plug-in hybrid that uses the same powertrain as the Sonata. It will also continue to sell its Optima Hybrid (which may get some updates as well), and the Soul EV electric car.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hyundai, Kia Plan to Launch Autonomous Cars by 2020

Above: 2016 Hyundai Genesis

Kia is playing catch-up on autonomous driving technology, with plans to eventually reach SAE Level 2-4 automation and to complete a dedicated Hyundai-Kia autonomous proving ground in California next year. On the way to its goal of full autonomy by 2030, the Korean automaker will spend $2 billion by 2018 for the first of its Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technologies as part of parent Hyundai Motor Group’s effort.
The initial technology available by 2016 will include drive assist, park assist and active safety features. Also in 2016, Hyundai-Kia will open an autonomous driving proving ground in California City, as part of its 10-year-old U.S. proving ground near Mojave, California. 

By Design: Hyundai Vision G Coupe Concept

It was a nice occasion, totally unexpected: a chance to see a new concept car before any public presentation. The invitation was especially attractive since the car was coming from Hyundai, a firm with two top designers in charge, Peter Schreyer overall and Chris Chapman heading the California studio. Even so, my initial reaction to the car was, "How could this happen?"
Reflecting later, I know how: Someone unqualified got between the creators and the car. The best designers in the world can't save a project if an executive with more influence than design sense is somewhere in the decision tree, imposing his uninformed will as a sign of power. I know of a European project where the design's graceless rear was imposed by the chief executive, the awkward front by his successor. The result: essentially unsalable. I suspect something of the sort happened to the Hyundai Vision G.

That there should be a rear-drive coupe equivalent of the V-8 Genesis sedan is obvious, and there is surely a market for a car costing thousands less than roughly equivalent German-name coupes. But I wonder if the Vision G would sell well without a substantial styling cleanup. It has far too many lines, too many odd surface changes, and the derivative grille is too coarse. The glazing is also disproportionately small for such a big, bulky exterior, but that's the style these days, so someone must like it.
Still, I found the interior design really pleasant because of its simplicity and clarity. Colors, materials, and detailing were all superior. The quantity of knobs and buttons and switches was minimized, and if there was no particular excitement about the cabin, there was the strong sense it would be a good place to be on a long trip. 
Others present at the unveiling of this car at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (where Hyundai is a longtime sponsor) before its appearance on the concept lawn at Pebble Beach were nonplussed by something else. It seemed too small to so polarize Southern California's automotive journalists, people more exposed to automotive novelty than any group in the world. But about half freaked out over the location of the door handles. 
They're on the body rather than the door panel itself. That seems very intelligent, as you normally stand outside the opening arc of the door and pull the door itself toward you, so it's between you and the opening. Unfortunately, you would go farther out in the street to go around the door and enter the car. That's not a pleasant prospect in heavy traffic. This door is powered open, like some SUV hatches, so you stand behind it then walk forward to enter, not getting any farther into traffic than the door itself. If manufacturers use a wireless network within a car to operate various functions (which I think will happen soon), the door latch and the handle need not connect in any way, not even by wire. To eliminate yards and pounds of a wiring harness would be a great progress. So the odd detail that caused the most negative commentary may well be the single most important feature of this Hyundai
1. The grille: too big, too Bentley, so too bad. But the perimeter is actually rather nice and integrates with the headlamps better than most grilles do. So apart from the texture, give it a pass.
2.This badge, too, is reminiscent of a certain Cricklewood insignia. Isn't there some graphically resplendent Korean letter or sign that could proudly stand for Hyundai?
3. These lines defining a bulge on the hood are once again evocative of past British practice, this time by Jaguar.
4. This near-vertical wall fades before it reaches the grille rim (forward) or the A-pillar (aft).
5. A pair of confused and confusing lines, with the one on top of the front fender ending just below where one created by an undercut coming off the rear fender fades to nothing.
6. The windshield seems rather small for a big coupe. The lack of anything but a black band defining and separating it from painted surfaces seems a little cheap.
7. The roof profile is more sedanlike than the form that usually describes a true coupe. It does, however, allow really good rear headroom.
8. The flat band around the circular rear wheel opening terminates a bulge that comes from the rear fender profile imposed on the body side and stops at the rear door cut.
9. The defining feature for the naysayers and those not too deeply conservative in their design sense. Yes, I like it and hope to see it again on many cars.
10. The shadow created by the fairly tight radius in the metal above the undercut that starts at the forward peak of the taillight makes for a really nice spear shape on the body side, achieved without appliqué trim.
11. Similar brightwork elements frame the round wheel opening in a soft-topped parallelogram that appears created by the hockey-stick sill trim piece.
12. It's perhaps a bit convoluted, but the bumper brightwork is a rather nice graphic element on the dead-on front end.
13. Four longitudinal ribs in the roof define the CHMSL bump and inset the roof from the body sides before fading into the decklid.
14. A very odd joggle in the skin above the taillight seems more mistake than feature.
15. The back light seems unreasonably small for a fairly big car like this and provides only very poor rearward visibility. A bump-up in the upper profile accommodates the CHMSL.
16. This soggy line from taillight to taillight is hard to understand. It might decrease the liftover height for the trunk, but it clashes with other curves above it.
17. Another really odd line, this flattened arc recalls the imitation "Continental kit" shape embossed on Lincolns for far too long, intersecting with the taillight opening rib.
18. The trapezoidal indent for the license plate is subtle but breaks up what could have been a clear horizontal band on a rather messy rear view.
19. The exhaust outlets under the horizontal bright trim strip look like the unconstrained work of the designers, a nice graphical composition.
20. Two negative surfaces intersect peculiarly. One separates the body sidewall from the bulge; the other, the bumper top surface from the bulge.
21. A pretty big bulge out of the body side to the wheel opening vertical band is not particularly attractive.
22. I don't question the placement. I do question the unusual irregular profile of the bright door command and its orientation, seemingly unrelated to any line or feature of the car.
23. The light-colored headliner gives a sense of spaciousness despite a rather small windshield and backlight.
24. The side panel trim is refreshingly simple but also good in conveying a relaxed dynamic suggesting comfortable movement.
25. The steering wheel center recalls Spielberg's E.T. perhaps, but it's good not to have the perpetual center circle. Good design choice for a non-sports car.
26. Really refreshing main panel with clear horizontal lines to the glare shield and a sensuous wooden section that frames the read-out screens above.
27. So few knobs and buttons! I hope others will copy this drive for simplicity.
28. Apparently a little cubby for sunglasses, gloves, other small items. Good idea.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

HYUNDAI TUCSON GROWS UP: A little bit bigger, a lot more style, new turbo power boost compact SUV’s desirability

If you were asked to pick a distinguishing feature of the 2015 Hyundai Tucson, you might choose its reliability. After all, Hyundai surprised the industry with the vehicle by topping the recent J.D. Power study of initial quality.

Or, you might mention the vehicle’s good value relative to its peers. But the second-generation crossover’s generically Asian appearance, didn’t endow the Tucson with much of an image or reflect its true quality.

That changes with the third-generation Tucson, the 2016, which wears the crisp, conservative clothes of its larger siblings, the Santa Fe Sport and Santa Fe.

All three now share similar design cues, with bold grilles up front, bookended by projector-beam headlamps or optional LEDs.

The sculpted side panels feature smaller glass openings and crisp lines that surge up as they sweep back across the body. In the rear, LED tail lamps and chrome exhaust tips complete the look.

The Tucson’s new presence is helped by its more generous dimensions. The 2016 model is 3 inches longer, 1.1 inches wider and rides atop a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase. This pays dividends inside, with greater passenger space and more cargo room. In fact, there’s a generous 31 cubic feet of cargo room, an increase of more than 5 cubic feet compared to the 2015 model.

Farther forward in the cabin, you will appreciate the vehicle’s feeling of spaciousness, but it’s the upgraded craftsmanship that impresses most. Touch points such as the steering wheel and shifter are covered in leather. All seats can be heated, while front seats can be cooled as well.

Infotainment is handled through an 8-inch touchscreen; base models get a 5-inch screen. Navigation, Pandora and Apple Siri Eyes Free are optional.

The new Hyundai Tucson’s turbo engine is sufficiently powerful, with plenty on tap for a quick burst of acceleration. The new dual-clutch transmission is smooth and responsive.

Steering is quick and nicely weighted. The all-wheel-drive system uses torque vectoring to enhance handling as well as to ensure good traction. Body lean is well-controlled in corners, and bump absorption is firm yet forgiving. The ride is remarkably quiet.

Optional safety features include blind spot monitor, lane departure warning, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert and automatic emergency braking.

It all adds up to a sophisticated package in a small SUV that’s big on value.


New Hyundai cars on show

Bahrain: A car show was held by First Motors which included test drives for Hyundai cars.

The Centennial and Genesis models were on display at the Bahrain Royal Golf Club, where guests were briefed on the main features of the cars and offered the chance to test drive along a planned route. 

“It is with great pleasure that we are hosting this kind of an event where guests can experience first-hand the elegance and class that the Hyundai Centennial and Genesis offer,” said a First Motors spokesman.

“With a chance to test drive these vehicles, one can be fully assured of their performance and versatility.” 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hyundai's Augmented-Reality App Helps You With An Oil Change

Trying to navigate your car's engine just got easier (if you have a Hyundai Sonata, anyway). The company revealed an augmented-reality owners manual.Finding your way around one of these isn't easy.

And a hard-to-navigate manual doesn't make it any easier. Hyundai wants to make understanding your car a little less challenging. “While Hyundai is not quite ready to ditch the owners manual, this is a glimpse of things to come,” said the narrator in a Hyundai advertisement.

So it's launching Hyundai Virtual Guide, an augmented reality app and owners manual. The app packs in 82 how-to vids, six augmented-reality overlays and 50 informational guides. Using your phone or tablet's camera, the guide can show you augmented info about your air filter, clock, engine oil, fuse box and more. It currently only works for the 2015 Sonata, but more models will be supported in the future.


Hyundai committed to lifting Tucson to five star safety

Hyundai engineers will consider structural changes to the recently released Tucson SUV after an embarrassing four-star result in local ANCAP crash testing.

The company was shocked by the unexpected result, which came after the car was awarded the maximum five-star score in European NCAP testing. The European car was left-hand-drive, while the local car was right-hand-drive.

The four-star result effectively means Hyundai has gone backwards in the five years since the Tucson's predecessor, the ix35, was tested.

In a 2010 test, the ix35 scored 15.15 out of 16 points in the frontal offset crash, while the Tucson managed only 11.46, with testing showing that the structural integrity of the driver footwell was compromised. There was also excessive movement of the brake pedal.

Despite the negative publicity, the South Korean maker has resisted the temptation to fire back at ANCAP and has sent engineers to Australia to study the findings in detail.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia fully supports the work ANCAP does

"Hyundai Motor Company engineers are currently examining the data from the ANCAP 64km/h frontal test in order to determine what changes may be necessary to achieve a five-star score," the company says.

"Hyundai Motor Company Australia fully supports the work ANCAP does to improve the safety of motor vehicles on Australian roads," it says.

The company is promising any necessary changes to make the grade, just as Kia upgraded its Carnival people mover after a four-star ANCAP score.

"Hyundai's intention is to re-test the Tucson with ANCAP as soon as possible," says company spokesman, Bill Thomas. "While the Tucson performed well overall, and is inherently strong and safe, it is not the maximum five-star result the vehicle was designed to achieve."

The result is disappointing and unexpected

ANCAP says most new cars now easily clear the bar for a five-star rating.
"The result is disappointing and unexpected for a new vehicle in this competitive class," says the new chief executive, James Goodwin.

But Goodwin acknowledges that Hyundai has reacted positively to the setback. "It is encouraging ... that Hyundai has taken immediate steps following the test to make design and production changes to improve the safety of the model".

ANCAP has agreed to test the vehicle once the design changes are in production and it's hoped the countermeasures will improve the vehicle's overall rating," he says.

The Tucson is not alone in getting a four-star result this year. The Audi TT, Kia Carnival, Mini Cooper, BMW 2 Series and Suzuki Celerio all failed to get the maximum rating.

The Tucson is an SUV favorite that was totally updated for 2015 to challenge the class-leading Mazda CX-5. It even grew slightly to qualify as a mid-sized SUV. The crash rating applies to the 2.0-litre petrol two-wheel-drive variants.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Hyundai released a touching video that shows one big way driverless cars will make the world a better place

Hyundai, like many other auto companies, is working to have a driver-less car on the market by 2020, and the company released a video over the weekend that shows the amazing potential of autonomous vehicles.
The video chronicles the story of a young, blind boy in Korea who loves cars and plays with toy versions of them in his home.
But, unfortunately, his blindness prevents him from having a true driving experience. As the video shows, the boy is unable to participate in go karts with other kids his age.
So the child's parents meet with Hyundai engineers, who seat the boy in a miniature version of a Hyundai Sonata. The boy presses the engine button and the car takes him around a race track. It shows the car's ability to turn around corners and stop at a red lights without any driver intervention.
The car also gives verbal instructions while stopping or when an obstacle is in the vicinity. When the car approaches a yellow barrier, it swerves around it with plenty of time.
The video ends by showing how Hyundai cars use sensors to detect curves in the road or objects they must navigate around.
It's a unique way to show how autonomous driving technology will become advanced enough that, eventually, drivers won't need to be present when a vehicle is operating.
It's a model we are already starting to see in some corners of the world. Citymobil2 —a pilot program for automated transportation systems funded by the European Union — has installed electric, driverless shuttles in several countries that are transporting passengers on public roads without any driver present.

Here's the video. It's in Korean, but you don't really need to speak the language to understand what it's trying to convey.


Hyundai unveils an augmented-reality owner's manual

If you're a bit overwhelmed at the length of today's modern owner's manual, which can stretch longer than a "Harry Potter" novel, you're not alone. Heck, even automakers are realizing that it's not terribly efficient. Hyundai's devised a solution that incorporates augmented-reality technology, and the result requires nothing more than a smartphone or tablet.
Hyundai Virtual Guide, available later this year on Google Play and Apple's App Store, whittles hundreds of pages of information into an app that recognizes dozens of your vehicle's features. So long as your vehicle is a 2015 Hyundai Sonata, that is -- additional models will be made compatible with the app following its launch.
This info-dense application includes 82 different how-to videos, covering everything from oil changes to air filter replacements to Bluetooth phone pairing. There are 50 or so additional informational guides that can help you get the most of your car without having to thumb through a paper index that spans 100 pages on its own.
Augmented reality comes into play by way of six 3D images built into Hyundai Virtual Guide. After scanning an area of the vehicle, like the engine bay or the dashboard, the app will point out different parts and offer up any relevant information. If you scan your engine and click on "Engine Oil," it'll start by showing you how to look at the dipstick to measure the oil level. Pretty clever.
To figure out which components were worthy of inclusion, Hyundai polled buyers on the most difficult features to figure out. Considering an ever-growing segment of the population is constantly staring at one type of screen or another, this is one of the best ways to supply information to new buyers.
This isn't Hyundai's first foray into expanding the owner's manual outside the bounds of paper. The automaker included an iPad loaded with a digital manual on its Equus flagship luxury sedan. It also has an app that will display the owner's manual inside the vehicle on the infotainment system's touchscreen.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Hyundai returns to Super Bowl ad lineup

 Hyundai, which sat out last season's Super Bowl telecast, is coming back to the game in a big way.
The automaker will run two in-game advertising spots and another ad in the so-called pre-kick pod, right before the Feb. 7 game starts.
The Super Bowl advertising plans come as the automaker finishes the first year of its new NFL sponsorship.
"It's fitting that our most strategic Super Bowl marketing program ever at Hyundai is happening during Super Bowl 50 and what is anticipated to be the most-watched TV event of all time," Hyundai Motor America Chief Marketing Officer Dean Evans said in a statement.
Hyundai had run Super Bowl spots for seven straight years before sitting out the 2015 game.
For Super Bowl 50, the automaker will run 30-second spots in the first and second quarter.
The pre-kick spot is a 60 second ad, while another 60-second spot will run during the pre-game show on CBS. Innocean Worldwide, Hyundai's advertising agency, is creating all four of the ads.
Thirty-second ads for the telecast are fetching between $4.6 million and a little north of $5 million, Ad Age recently reported.
Hyundai is also planning "a strong digital media presence, experiential activations in the San Francisco Bay Area and more than 400 Hyundai vehicles serving as promotional cars throughout Super Bowl week," the company said.
Hyundai is the second automaker to confirm plans for an ad during the Super Bowl broadcast, following Kia, which is returning to the game for the seventh straight year.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hyundai 'AE' Hybrid To Beat 2016 Prius On MPG? Detroit Debut On Tap

While we don't yet know the model name, we do know Hyundai is expected to launch its first dedicated hybrid vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show in January. That car--codenamed 'AE' for now--will go on sale within a year of the fourth-generation Toyota Prius, the car that has defined hybrid efficiency for more than a decade. And in its domestic market, Hyundai appears very confident of the car's likely fuel efficiency ratings.
According to an article in the The Korea Herald (via ChargedEVs), the 'AE' hybrid will "outperform" its global competitor, the Toyota Prius--implying that it will beat the 55-mpg combined fuel economy expected for the new 2016 Prius.
The claim was not directly attributed, and the bulk of the article deals with a suggestion earlier this year by Hyundai chairman Chung Eui-sun that plug-in hybrid vehicles will be "the answer to the future survival of the company and the industry."
The subcompact 'AE' will be the world's first vehicle model with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric variants.
(Honda is planning to take the same approach with its upcoming Clarity mid-size sedan, which will be launched with a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain but eventually spawn both a plug-in hybrid and a battery-electric variant.)
The 'AE' uses some under-structure from the next generation of Hyundai's Elantra model, but has its own dedicated design and body.
It will be fitted with a 1.6-liter Kappa direct-injected gasoline engine, a single electric motor, and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Remove the electric motor, and it's the same powertrain used in 'Eco' models of the current Sonata sedan and new Tucson crossover.
The single-motor Hyundai hybrid system represents a different approach than the longstanding Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive, which uses a pair of motors that act as an electric version of a continuously variable transmission (or eCVT).
Using two motors (as Ford, GM, and Honda also do) allows one motor to provide torque to the drive wheels while the other acts as a generator, recharging the battery from either excess engine power or regenerative braking.
The Hyundai single-motor system (also used by its sister company Kia) can power the car or recharge the battery--but not both at the same time.
Hyundai has maintained that its earlier generations of hybrids--used in the Sonata and Kia Optima mid-size sedans--provide a more natural driving experience, complete with transmission shifting, than does the Toyota system.
It's at least possible that the third-generation hybrid system to be used in the 'AE' (and its plug-in hybrid sibling) will be able to match or beat the fuel-efficiency ratings of the base 2016 Toyota Prius.
It's worth keeping in mind, however, that the Hyundai hybrid is expected to be a subcompact--two car classes down from the Prius, which is defined as a mid-size car by the EPA.
Either way, both vehicles seem likely to face more of an uphill sales battle in an era of $2-per-gallon gas prices than they did when gasoline was higher and more volatile.
Green Car Reports will bring you all the latest news on fuel-efficient and plug-in vehicles from the Detroit Auto Show when it kicks off in January.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Hyundai previews new Equus-replacing Genesis G90

Hot on the heels of the announcement of the new Genesis luxury brand, Hyundai is rolling out the first model in its lineup, the G90. Previewed in this image, the sedan will replace the Equus at the top of Hyundai's lineup and launches next month in Korea. It will wear the EQ900 badge in its home market.

Penned in the company's new Prestige Design Division, the styling has obvious links to the new Genesis sedan (which will also get an alphanumeric nameplate) and the Vision G Coupe concept (which will likely lead to a production two-door). That means more straight lines than the curvier Equus, along with more upscale details. From the limited angles at which we're viewing it, the design appears to bear some similarities to other luxury automakers like Audi (around the headlights), Mercedes (at the tail), and even Bentley (towards the back of the greenhouse).

The G90 will kick off the launch of the new Genesis brand much in the same way that Toyota launched the Lexus brand, Honda begat Acura, and Nissan gave birth to Infiniti. The G90 will be the first of six new Genesis models to launch by 2020.

Press Release
'New Luxury' Takes Shape - Hyundai Motor Unveils Rendering of New G90

Hyundai Motor has revealed the first rendering of its new range-topping G90 luxury sedan, which is named EQ900 in Korea. The elegantly designed, technology packed G90 hints at the recently-launched Genesis brand's design identity and future direction.

Woong-Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center and Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor, said, "Genesis' new large luxury sedan G90 will deliver a concept of 'New Luxury' to our customers. The G90 sits at the pinnacle of the Genesis brand and demonstrates how we apply our human-centered values to give our customer true satisfaction in every aspect of the vehicle ownership experience."

As the Genesis brand's flagship model, G90 is a blueprint for change and innovation that will distinguish the Genesis brand. Majoring on 'human-centered' technology combined with engaging driving dynamics, G90 boasts a raft of world-best safety features and technological innovations to set itself apart in the luxury market.

G90 also showcases the Genesis brand's hallmark design style 'Athletic Elegance', interpreted by the newly-formed Prestige Design Division to bring graceful and profound elegance to G90's significant proportions. Crowned by the Genesis emblem, the grand radiator grille combined with sophisticated headlamps communicates the car's dynamic, future-orientated character. A theme that flows along a body-length character line to the long and agile rear lamp cluster completes the Athletic Elegance of G90.

Hyundai Motor created the Genesis brand for a new generation of discerning consumers. Capitalizing on its success in the fast-growing global car market, Hyundai Motor will launch six new Genesis models by 2020.

The launch of G90 is scheduled for early next month in Korea.

Hyundai Genesis twin-turbo test mule spied in Korea

A car that is said to be a test mule from Hyundai has been spied in Korea and word is that it may be the next-generation Genesis Coupe. The car is said to place some interesting power under the hood with a 3.3L V6 engine featuring twin-turbos. That's not all the car is expected to have either, the next-gen Genesis may be quite impressive if these alleged specs turn out to be accurate.

The car in these images was wearing a sticker on the windshield that read, "test car- 3.3T 8AT AWD." That would decipher to a 3.3L turbo engine, all-wheel drive, and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Word is that the car will be offered with three different engines.
If the twin-turbo V6 is really coming, it would be an upgraded engine sitting at the top of the line. The base engine is said to be a 2.0L turbo and the mid-range a 3.8L naturally aspirated engine. Unnamed sources claim that the twin turbo Genesis will be sold under the N Performance designation.
Other rumors claim that the car will have about 480hp. The engine isn’t expected to make it to market until the 2017 or 2018 model range. Hyundai American's CEO said recently that the engine would have power around the 420hp mark of the 5.0 V8 Hyundai uses, but weigh much less.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hyundai to unveil self-driven car in December

South Korea's top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. is set to unveil its first self-driven vehicle in December, a media report said on Monday.
Hyundai plans to roll out the latest version of its "Genesis" luxury sedan equipped with the so-called highway driving assist (HDA) system.

The HDA system is designed to keep a car within the lane, maintain a safe distance from the car ahead and provide a navigation-connected system that gives warnings of maximum and minimum speeds on highway sections, Yonhap News Agency reported.
It is designed to enhance the driver's ability to cope with diverse situations that could happen on highways.

A Hyundai official said the company's launch of the model will usher in the era of autonomous driving in South Korea.

According to the official, Hyundai plans to apply the autonomous driving function to its other vehicles from 2020, which will "maximize" the safety for drivers in numerous road conditions.
The planned launch is part of Hyundai Motor's efforts to develop next-generation smart cars that combine automated driving with high-tech features.


6 Genius Winter Car Hacks from Gary Rome Auto Group


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veteran's from Gary Rome Hyundai

Come to Gary Rome Hyundai at 1000 Main Street, Holyoke MA to check out all the great deals on our vehicles today. As a special thank you to all of those who have served our country, we have a $500 Military Rebate available. To see more details, visit us at, call us at 1-888-637-4279 or come on in and check us out! Happy Veteran's Day!

VIDEO: Hyundai teases i30 N hot hatch

Hot i30 N teased in new video explaining how Korean car-maker will develop its N division cars
Hyundai’s N performance division has released a video that teases its i30-based Golf GTI-rival that arrives in 2017.

The footage, that sees the i30 N testing at the Nurburgring, also features the i20 rally car and the wild mid-engine Veloster-based RM15 concept. That car is powered the Theta 221kW/380Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol that drives the rear wheels.

The same engine is expected to power the production i30 N, although instead of rear-wheel drive the fast hot hatch will come with all-wheel drive. this should make the small hot hatch the fasted car Hyundai has ever made with a 0-100km/h time of around 5 seconds.

As well as the teasing glimpse of the i30 N, the video is narrated by N’s new boss Albert Biermann who was poached for the job from BMW M.

Biermann explains how all future N models will be developed in Europe at the Nurburgring and will be as good to drive on the race track as they are on the street.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Poll: Which Hyundai Concept Is Hotter?

Hyundai has been pumping out some amazing concepts lately, and here we have two of the sexiest ones the Korean automaker has unveiled recently.

You know something has shifted when the word “sexy” can legitimately be used to describe a Hyundai, and these two concepts definitely deserve it. One is the Hyundai Vision G Concept, which was unveiled this summer during the prestigious Monterey Car Week. The big grille, classy and purposeful design and super luxurious interior surprised a lot pf people when the car was unveiled and it found a lot of fans.

A bit more extreme, the Hyundai HND-9 Venace has some amazing butterfly doors and an aggressive, sporty look. If real, it would be powered by a 3.3-liter turbo V6.
Which Hyundai concept do you think is better looking? Take a vote in the poll.

Hyundai sees brighter future for exporting its cars here

Hyundai Motor, the biggest auto maker in South Korea, is set to boost its efforts to boost sales volume in Asia including in Thailand and hopes to see higher demand in the Kingdom next year, when its expects the economy to rebound.
"We are eyeing Thailand closely as this market is one of the important [ones] for us along with other countries in Southeast Asia. With marketing reason, we will continue to export small and medium size [vehicles] to Southeast Asia," company spokesman Seokjoong Kang said.

Kang said the company would export luxury models to huge emerging market like China. He said Hyundai's assembly plant in Bangkok closed due to a decline in sales, so the company's presence in the country revolved only around marketing.

Models exported to Thailand include the H1 mini van, the Elantra passenger car, and Santa Fe multi-purpose vehicle.

"We expected that the Thai economy would rebound next year and that would affect our exports," Kang said.

The company ships cars from South Korea to more than 200 countries globally.

At the group's major production base in Ulsan City, Hyundai produced 1.5 million units last year and more than 70 per cent of production - about one million cars - were exported overseas.

Of the million exported cars, 34 per cent went to North America, 28 per cent to the Middle East, 15 per cent to South Africa, 10 per cent to Europe, 6 per cent to Asia, and 7 per cent other markets.

While current production is 1.5 million units per year, the Ulsan plant can increase its capacity to nearly two million units per year if required.

"In 2016 we hope to increase [our] production capacity here … [but] that depends on market demand outside," Kang said.

He said the group produced 4.9 million cars a year at 15 manufacturing bases in 18 countries and had 15 models.

Domestically, Hyundai dominates the market with a share of more than 90 per cent.

Aside from South Korea, Hyundai's other main factories are in India, China, the US, Turkey, Russia, and Brazil. Hyundai is one of the world's top 10 biggest car manufacturers, ranked behind Toyota, Volkswagen, General Motors, and Nissan. 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Hyundai launches luxury car brand

South Korea's Hyundai has launched a high-end brand named after its Genesis sedan as it looks to expand its presence in the fast-growing luxury market.

Hyundai, which together with affiliate Kia is the world's fifth largest car-maker, said its premium Genesis brand — starting with its two existing sedans — will introduce four new models by 2020, including a large sedan to be unveiled next month.

The company has boosted its high-end lineups including Genesis and Equus in recent years in a bid to shed its image as a cheaper alternative to bigger rivals such as Toyota.

"High-end cars account for only 10 percent of the global market but... the sector is leading the industry in terms of technology and design," Hyundai vice chairman Chung Eui-Sun said at a press conference.

"I am confident that the launch of the new brand will play a major role in our future growth," he added, saying consumer demand for luxury cars is growing faster than the overall auto market.

The brand's new vehicles, including a luxury SUV and sports coupe, will not carry the Hyundai label but simply the Genesis logo, in the same way that Toyota's Lexus brand only carries its own logo.

Hyundai has meanwhile hired as head of its global design Luc Donckerwolke, a famed designer who previously worked for top automakers such as Bentley and Lamborghini.

The latest announcement came as South Korea's top car-maker struggled with eroding profit stemming from a strong won that has blunted its price competitiveness overseas.

The firm last month reported a 25 percent drop in its third-quarter net profit — a seventh consecutive drop in quarterly profit — warning of "many challenges" ahead with slowing demand in Chinese market and uncertainties about the US economic outlook.