Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Hyundai Ioniq Design Trailer

Auto Expo 2016 Day 1: Hyundai Tucson First Look

Hyundai Tucson First Look

Auto Expo 2016 Day 1: Complete Coverage: Auto Expo 2016 started with a bang yesterday as around 30 automobile makers showcased their future concepts and production ready model. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Carlino concept, Tata Nexon & Kite 5 sedan, Toyota Innova, Datsun Go-Cross concept and Honda BR-V were among the biggest products unveiled on the day 1 of the Auto Expo. This year’s Auto Expo is mainly dominated by compact SUVs/Crossovers besides several alternative fuel-run vehicles.


Monday, February 08, 2016

Who Else Besides Toyota Will The Hyundai Ioniq Threaten?

For the past couple years we’ve heard of Hyundai’s pending “Prius Fighter,” and now that the Ioniq will go on sale in the U.S. later this year, in question is what other automakers might also feel the heat?

The Ioniq – its name a merger of ion and unique – is to be three cars in one – hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and EV. It’s already on sale in 52.7 mpg hybrid guise in Korea, and Hyundai projects 30,000 global Ioniq line sales this year, a not insubstantial 77,000 next year, but inquiries surrounding its ultimate potential remain.

For starters, the purpose-built electrified car with which a plug-in hybrid version and all-electric version will share the same platform has plug-in fans hoping/wondering what kind of electric range these variants will achieve.

Teasing everyone along, Hyundai appears to have met or come very close to its goal, at least on paper, of building a legitimate contender to the world’s best-selling green car, the Prius.

The Ioniq’s 1.6-ilter hybrid version utilizing a unique dual clutch transmission already achieves superior fuel economy in Korea than the third-generation Prius and eyes are on whether it will beat the new 2016 Prius.

According to Reuters, the Ioniq is “expected” by Hyundai to achieve 57 mpg in the U.S., although in our direct queries with Hyundai’s U.S. representatives, they said no word or projections are being released here yet.

In any case, its sporty looks also have been praised by some as more fetching than the 2016 Prius which echoes design cues from Toyota’s Mirai fuel cell vehicle as well as the former Prius.

What’s more, that Hyundai is serious about green cars is clear. While reports currently are that the Korean automaker needs to improve to meet stringent fuel economy and CO2 targets, it has said it is well on track.

In fall 2014 it said its global fleet would be 25-percent greener by decade’s end, and the number of electrified cars it has on offer has been estimated at 22 by the Korean Herald, while Reuters says it will be 26.

And, Hyundai said in 2014, it would transform itself into a “global top 2 automaker in the eco-friendly car market by 2020.”

Within these plans, Hyundai is pursuing also fuel cell vehicles, actually beat Toyota’s purpose-built Mirai to market with its converted Tucson FCV and has development reportedly underway of its own purpose-built FCV.

The Ioniq is however a focal point in this effort to green the fleet.

“Our vision for future mobility focuses on choice, with a variety of powertrain options to suit customers’ varied lifestyles, without compromising on design or driving enjoyment,” said Woong-Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center. “Ioniq embodies Hyundai Motor’s vision to shift the automotive paradigm and future mobility; Ioniq is the fruit of our efforts to become the leader in the global green car market.”
Ioniq Overview

Hyundai saved hundreds of millions of dollars in development costs with its three-in-one electrified car.

While making a nod to sportiness, it is no fire breather in hybrid trim, however. Even with the dual clutch tranny – to bypass the “elastic band” feeling Toyota and other automakers’ CVTs offer – its 0-60 time is only 10.3 seconds.

According to Automotive News, the Ioniq is more entertaining than the Prius, especially in sport mode.


Hyundai eyes small SUV segment, to showcase concept HND-14

Buoyed by strong response to its Creta, Korean auto major Hyundai is targeting small SUV segment in India and is working on a concept HND-14.

The sub-four metre concept, which will make it eligible for reduced excise duty rate, will be the entry level model for Hyundai to complete its range in the SUV segment.

"Like Russia and China, SUVs are the right products for India. We will have a concept HND-14 at the Auto Expo. This sub-four metre product is meant for India but will not come immediately," Hyundai Motor India Managing Director and CEO Young Key Koo told PTI.

He said the HND-14 will be positioned below Creta and complete the SUV line up of the company with Tucson, which will be unveiled tomorrow. Tucson is to be slotted above the Creta.

Stating that currently the HND-14 project is at a study stage, Koo did not share a timeline for market launch of the small SUV.

The product is meant for the Indian market but could also be exported just like the Creta. It could have a 1 litre turbo engine.

HMIL Senior Vice-President Sales and Marketing Rakesh Srivastava said Indian engineers will have a much bigger role in the development of the new product.

He said with HND-14, Hyundai's family of SUVs will have five products, including Santa Fe, Tucson, Creta, and Active i20.

Bullish on the growth of SUV segment in India, Koo said the HND-14 will play a strong role in Hyundai's overall growth in India.

Commenting on the Creta, he said in 2015 the company had sold over 40,000 units and this year it is targeting between 80,000 to over a lakh units.

"There is a waiting period for three months on the Creta, which is not good for customers. So, we will be increasing the production of the model to 10,000 units a month from June from the current 7,000 units," he said.

The booking orders of Creta is over 90,000 units.

Terming India as the fastest growing market where all auto makers can exploit the potential, Koo said the company is aiming to sell five lakh units in the domestic market in 2016, the company's 20th anniversary.

"It will be the first time we will be crossing half million mark since our inception," he said.

When asked if HMIL would be looking to set up a new manufacturing plant, he replied in the negative, stating that the company has enough capacity for the next three years which can be stretched to 7.2 lakh units annually from 6.8 lakh units at present.

On the export front, Koo said slowdown in the Middle East, HMIL's largest overseas market, South America and Asia Pacific has hit shipments.

"We would however be looking to maintain leadership in this segment," Srivastava said.

HMIL, which currently accounts for 13 per cent of the overall global sales of its parent, is looking for 10,000 unit sales of its three 'power brands' -- Grand i10, i20 and Creta.


Sunday, February 07, 2016

New car sales up 34% as Hyundai topples VW from top spot

Hyundai is the best-selling new car brand on the Irish market this year, with the Tucson being the most popular model on the market last month.
New car sales rose 33.6 per cent in January compared to the same month last year, with 39,812 new 161 registrations.

Hyundai finished the month as the best-selling brand with 5,062 registrations, ahead of Toyota with 4,852. Ford took third place with 4,383 but Volkswagen has slipped down to fourth with 3,748. The German brand, at the centre of an emissions scandal since last September, previously led the Irish car market for several years.

Of the rest, Nissan takes fifth place with Renault in sixth and Skoda - another brand in the VW Group - slipping to seventh.


Saturday, February 06, 2016

Hyundai Releases Super Bowl Ad Featuring Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds may be under the Merc with a Mouth’s mask for much of Deadpool, but his face is on everyone we meet in this Super Bowl 50 commercial from Hyundai.

Dubbed “Ryanville,” Hyundai’s ad for the 2017 Elantra features two women driving into the star’s eponymous town, only to find that every citizen looks like Ryan Reynolds. To their left, police officer Ryan Reynolds gives classic car-driving Ryan Reynolds a ticket; to their right, a family of Ryan Reynolds plays football on the front lawn. There’s also the car’s pedestrian-detecting brakes on display to make sure the women don’t get into an accident, sure, but the ad’s real attraction comes back into focus when another Ryan Reynolds strolls by walking a group of adorable dogs.

Watch what it would feel like to live in a town of Reynolds above, and see his Deadpool co-star T.J. Miller — only one of him — in his own Super Bowl commercial for Shock Top. The two can then be seen together in Deadpool, which hits theaters on Feb. 12.


Friday, February 05, 2016

Hyundai Genesis: Competition for other luxury vehicles

The 2016 Hyundai Genesis brings new beginnings. The Genesis, having fully been renovated for 2015, now boasts a completely different look.

For 2016, the Hyundai Genesis has secured its place among many luxury vehicles — even with its appealing price ta — by bearing an elegant interior and various technological features.

While this year’s Genesis is not completely new, having already been redesigned last year, there are some minor but apparent changes to its exterior. The headline has changed as well as its headlights, which now come standard as HID as well as daytime LED lights. Additionally, the grille has been lowered and set wider. The most eye-catching feature of the Genesis’ exterior is its beautiful winged badge, which states its model name but does not allude to Hyundai.

What is most impressive is the Genesis’ interior. Everything in the Genesis is beautifully laid out and presented, which includes the controls. The driver can easily decipher the purpose of each of the buttons and can control them easily from the driver’s seat. Using high quality materials and simple, clean lines gives the interior an undoubtedly elegant and sophisticated feel.

Within the beautiful interior, which includes leather upholstery, you also will find a plethora of technological features that include: keyless ignition and entry, heated twelve-way power front seats, a rearview camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, an eight-inch touchscreen interface, seven-speaker audio system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, CD player, aux, USB/iPod interface and a navigation system with real-time traffic.

The Genesis also is available in three packages: Signature, Tech and Ultimate with features such as panoramic sunroof, 14-speaker audio system, lane-departure warning, electronic parking brake, power trunk lid, matte-finish wood and aluminum trim as well as a carbon-dioxide sensor, depending on which package you get.

As far as performance, with either the V6 or V8 engine you’ll be guaranteed a powerful and smooth ride. The V6, which comes standard with rear-wheel drive and is available in all- wheel drive, boasts 311 hp and 293 pound-feet of torque. In EPA testing, the 2016 Genesis earned 18 city/29 highway mpg. The V6 is capable of 6.6 seconds zero to 60 while the V8 makes it in an impressive 5.3 seconds.

Hyundai also emphasized a safe ride, fitting the Genesis with antilock brakes, automatic crash notification through their Blue Link feature, SOS and roadside assistance. Most impressively, you can set boundaries for the car through their geo-fencing feature which, is perfect if you have young drivers in your household. You also can immobilize or slow down the car if it has been stolen. In government crash ratings, the Genesis earned five out of five stars

The 2016 Genesis has successfully pitted itself against several luxury vehicles by being a worthy competitor. Offering the same number of features and equally as elegant design as many high-end sedans while being very safe and powerful with an appealing price, the Genesis is a top contender for a high- end sedan.


Kia and Hyundai - Sister brands at it again

There must have been some very happy faces among the Irish staff at the three Korean marques last week. Not only did mighty Hyundai storm to the overall lead of the car market here, heading towards 5,000 sales, but its sister Kia launched the fourth generation Sportage, which is likely to have sales of 3,500 this year.

Even lowly SsangYong, which was the butt of much derision, has turned itself around with a few tastier SUVs and its sales in January were around 50 vehicles - at least three times more than the same time last year.

The Hyundai charge was led by its new Tucson SUV which replaces the very successful iX35. Sales of the Tucson were more than 2,200 for the month, however both the i20 and the Sunday Independent's last Car of the Year, the superb i10, doubled their sales in the month.

Now entering its fourth generation, the new Kia Sportage compact SUV builds comprehensively on the success of the outgoing model, offering a very complete package to buyers in an increasingly competitive market.

The new-look interior features "high quality materials and design integrity", says Kia, as well as great practicality and a range of technologies to improve comfort, convenience, connectivity and safety. Updated engines and transmissions will result in enhanced efficiency and performance, while ride, handling and refinement are all improved.

James Brooks, managing director of Kia Motors Ireland, commented: "The Kia Sportage has been a key driver in the growth of the Kia brand in Ireland with over 11,000 very happy customers as brand ambassadors for the car. Competition in this segment is growing but we are confident that the new Sportage will emulate and exceed the success of its predecessors. Following a very successful pre-marketing campaign we expect over 1,000 customers to take delivery of a new Sportage between now and the end of February and we are forecasting full-year sales of 3,500 in 2016."

The new Sportage comes with a choice of two engines - 1.7D for 2WD and 2.0D for AWD . The 1.7 engine has been refined for extra efficiency and with the addition of Kia's idle stop & go (ISG) technology the new Sportage moves from Band B2 to A4, with annual road tax now at €200.

The car will come in three trim levels - LX (€27,995), EX (€29,995) and GSe (€34,495). The volume model will no doubt be the mid-trim EX which comes with a host of comfort and safety features, including: 17" alloys; sat nav and reversing camera; driver's power seat; half leather seats; speed limit info; high beam assist and lane keep assist.

The top-of-the range GSe adds 19" alloys; sunroof; full leather/heated seats; power passenger seat; smart key and xenon lights.


Thursday, February 04, 2016

First Drive: 2017 Hyundai Elantra Review by Kelly Taylor

Victoria, BC – “How do you double the value of a Hyundai? Fill the tank.”

“Why are Hyundai owner’s manuals so thick? Because they include a bus schedule.”

This wasn’t just some sot at some open-mike night, either; this was Don Romano, president of Hyundai Auto Canada, cracking one-liners courtesy Jay Leno for the first, and for the second, Romano’s daughter, “who is now unemployed and looking for bus tickets.”

Rimshot, please.

It was Romano’s way of illustrating that despite some impressive new product, despite racking up a cabinetful of quality and reliability awards, what Hyundai still must do is build consumers’ trust, in its quality, in its safety and in its value.

So, expect to see a new look for Hyundai dealers, with the first two now open in British Columbia and Quebec City, that feature glass walls and a coppery exterior exoskeleton, almost brutalist in its scale and heft, designed to break away from the typical curtainwall look of other brands’ dealers.

Expect to see ads touting safety features and standard equipment and don’t be surprised to see more ads — Canadian produced all — featuring the alleged competition breaking into Hyundai facilities in a bid to divine Hyundai’s ways.

The first of the new product ads will no doubt be about today’s subject, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra.

Stronger, Unibody Construction

And what Eric Marshall, product manager for Hyundai Canada, wanted to talk about first was what he called the car’s superstructure. Which is a fancy way to refer to the car’s unibody construction, but it also denotes a few new tricks up its sleeve, not the least of which is the design of various components.

Typical unibody construction will include what carmakers call crush boxes, or square, tapered tubes that run from the front of the car to the firewall, and are designed to crush on impact, absorbing crash energy and hopefully directing it away from the cabin and occupants. These crush boxes are often attached to the firewall, just below the level of the bottom of the windshield.

Which is all well and good except this intersection can act as a break, reducing the amount of energy that gets transferred up and down the A-pillars and into the roof and side sill members. What Hyundai has done is stamped the A-pillar and side frame pieces to take the crush boxes in line with the A-pillar, eliminating that break. Its own crash-testing suggests minimal cabin intrusion, and much less than competitors. If confirmed by impartial agencies such as the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, it should result in high safety scores.

Also important for Hyundai is it owns its own steel mills, and is able to control steel production from mining the ore to welding it into cars.

“What that means,” said Chad Heard, Hyundai Canada spokesman, “is that instead of having to adapt designs around the available steel, we can adapt the steel to meet our design goals.”

So the unibody frame now comprises 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel, and is created using a hot-stamping process “that increases steel strength by two-and-a-half times,” Marshall said.
Better noise-reduction

Coupled with increased use of industrial adhesive to augment welds, it all translates not just into something you hope never to need, it also translates into a very quiet, very stable platform with a high level of ride, handling and noise-reduction.

Our route took us through downtown Victoria and onto the local highways, all designed, ostensibly, to demonstrate how its new body structure reduces exterior noise. It did. It might be the quietest, non-luxury compact today.

As well, the handling was superb, even if it did come with a fair degree of numb steering thanks to the electric power-assist system. The steering was precise, you just didn’t feel much feedback from the front tires.

All-new 2.0L Engine with 147-hp

The engine is an all-new 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, delivering an estimated 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It’s adequate if not overly exciting. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with three drive modes, eco, normal and sport. Sport is the most fun, but it also locks out sixth gear.


The level of equipment on the Elantra, even at lower trim levels, is very competitive. All cars get heated seats, even the $15,999 base model. On the GL model, two steps up the trim-level ladder, you even get a heated steering wheel.

That base model, however, could easily be called a Quebec special: in no other province are as many cars sold with a manual transmission and no air-conditioning. That stick, by the way, is a six-speed, as well. If you want a manual transmission but also don’t want to roast in summer, sorry, you’re out of luck.

Pricing for the other trim levels has not been announced, but with cars hitting the showrooms now, such an announcement cannot be far behind.

Inside the 2017 Elantra

There were a few areas where the Elantra disappointed, somewhat. The interior is very attractive, but the padding on the typical elbow rest areas (armrest, door armrest) needs to be a bit thicker and a bit softer. I worry that will get old really quickly on long drives.

We were hit with an unusual deluge of rain, and even on the fastest setting, the wipers weren’t as fast as most other cars’.

Those issues aside, other aspects were appreciated: the trunk is fully lined, and the trunk lid has a pull-down handle inside, so you can close the trunk without soiling your hands if the outside is messy. As well, some yestertech that is greatly appreciated is the plethora of actual knobs, buttons and switches on the dash. Staying away from touch-everything is wise: the navigation system does require using the touchscreen, but most features you need you activate with an actual control. Nice.


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

2017 Hyundai Elantra: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

On the Road: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

This is the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited and there is one thing that is amazing about it. And that is that this is the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited.

Now, I admit I am a sucker for a shapely body, but this is borderline erotic. And the fact that it comes from a car company whose boxy little sedans all looked as though they were designed by men who only possessed a ruler, well that’s nothing short of amazing.

There is a resemblance you might have noticed to the stylish Volkswagen CC sedan which is itself a fairly blatant ripoff of the gorgeous Mercedes Benz E-Class sedan. But frankly, who cares? If you are going to steal, you steal from a bank, not a grocery store.

Our Limited edition Sonata has an interior suitable to wear a Lexus or Infiniti label. Under the hood of the regular Sonata, you will find a surprise. There is no 6-cylinder engine choice. There is a 2.4-liter four cylinder lump that cranks out 185-horsepower, a 1.6-liter Eco model and a 2.4-liter turbo.

But the hybrid has a 2.0-liter four cylinder mill pushing 154 ponies, augmented by a 54 horsepower electric motor in a parallel arrangement. Together, they provide decent if not eye-popping performance. And the in and out of the electric motor, the shutdown at a red light and all the other on and off cycles of the gas/electric duo are perfectly seamless.

The reward for this is 39 miles per gallon in the city, 43 on the highway. But, as much sense as this makes in an era of high fuel prices, we aren’t in that era right now. Gasoline is averaging well below $2 a gallon now, and gas wars have driven it below $1 in a couple of places. So the lovely Sonata Hybrid, along with Volts and Prius’s are gathering dust on dealer’s lots while we gorge ourselves on Suburbans and Expeditions.

Ah, but he who does not heed the mistakes of history is doomed to repeat them. Gasoline will go back up again, and all the fracking in the world won’t make any more oil. We’ll just recover more of it.

And as if to double down on that prediction, Hyundai also offers a plug in version of the Sonata Hybrid as well.

On the road, you only feel a slight rumble from the engine and suspension at higher speeds, while the rest of the time, it is a snubbed down, nice handling package.

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has champagne looks, but even my beer budget can afford it. And by beer, I don’t mean something moderately acceptable like Budweiser but really dreadful stuff like Natural Light. In short, our loaded Sonata Hybrid Limited with a sunroof and navigation system and all the luxury goodies came to $36,000.

Hyundai is moving uptown with the Sonata, and leaving behind the cheap, econobox image. So who fills that gap in the future? Wait, do I hear Chinese music in the distance?


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Hyundai's Ioniq to heat up competition in South Korean hybrid market

Competition is expected to intensify in the South Korean hybrid vehicle market as two global automakers are set to clash with their new subcompact models that are already drawing favorable responses from customers, market watchers said Wednesday.

With Hyundai Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. claiming to guarantee better functions and improved driving performance than existing models, fuel efficiency remains a major factor that determines the winner in the hybrid market in the years to come.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea's leading automaker, unveiled the Ioniq in mid-January, saying it is the first dedicated hybrid model manufactured via its own production platform as opposed to others based on existing combustion engine models. Its official sales started in mid-January.

Dubbed as the "Prius killer," Hyundai Motor's Ioniq apparently set its sights on the world’s most popular hybrid model in all possible aspects and, among other things, the most powerful selling point should be its fuel efficiency.

Its new Kappa 1.6 liter GDi engine and a high-efficiency permanent magnet motor coupled with a six-speed double clutch transmission developed for hybrid models allows the Ioniq to run up to 22.4 kmpl, which is better than the third generation of the Prius, company officials said.

Hyundai Motor also claims that no less effort has been made to assure that the Ioniq does not lag behind other rivals including non-hybrid models in terms of driving performance and convenience for passengers.

Hyundai Motor publicly singled out the Prius as its main rival, throwing down its gauntlet to the Japanese model and showing confidence that it will lead the hybrid market eventually.

"We see the Prius as our main rival for the Ioniq," Ryu Chang-seng, a high-ranking official of Hyundai Motor in charge of marketing strategy, said during a launch event on Jan. 14. "It will lead the global market despite its belated launch compared to the Prius."

Hyundai Motor said that it has received around 1,000 preorders, and the major customers for the new model are those in their 20s and 30s. It plans to sell 30,000 units globally this year including 15,000 units in Korea alone.

The Ioniq is the beginning of what will be Hyundai Motor's years-long project to put out 26 environmentally friendly vehicles by 2020 and raise their sales proportion to 10 percent from the current 2 percent. For this year alone, the electric vehicle and plug-in electric vehicle versions of the Ioniq will hit the market.

Against this backdrop, Toyota also plans to launch the fourth-generation of the Prius in March in Korea, reportedly armed with better fuel efficiency and enhanced functions than its previous models.

Given its track record, the latecomer Ioniq is no match for the Prius, which has been the leader in the hybrid market since its launch in 1997. Its cumulative global sales stand at around 3.5 million.

In the U.S., in particular, the sales of the Prius along with its family lineups such as the Liftback, C and V models came to over 180,000 units last year. The figure was down 7 percent from 2014 due to the overall market slump, but its market share rose from 43 percent to 47 percent according to industry data.

The latest version of the Prius reportedly has a longer wheelbase and almost the same level of fuel efficiency as the Ioniq.

It is arguable which one is better at a time when detailed comparable figures are not available. Both have their own pros and cons that cannot be ignored.

Some advantages of the Ioniq are its much cheaper prices and relatively easy access to service centers held by the homegrown auto giant compared to foreign brands. It would be hard to dismiss the fact that the Prius has been a decades-long market leader.

Even if customers have different tastes in design and function, many market experts seem to agree that at the end of the day, fuel efficiency will be a major determining factor for customers to buy which hybrid models.

"While the Ioniq seems to outperform in terms of price, driving fun and customer service, but after all, fuel efficiency will emerge as a major point," a market expert said on the condition of anonymity. "Who is going to win in the market will become clearer when officially approved fuel efficiency numbers for the two models are available."

Whoever wins the race, it is hoped that the heated competition between the two major carmakers in South Korea could end up expanding the overall market "pie" here which has been growing at a steady pace in recent years.

"We welcome the launch of the Ioniq. Especially in a market like Korea where customers are sensitive to oil prices, such an auto giant as Hyundai Motor has to beef up efforts to generate a market," a Toyota Korea official said. "We expect that the latest hybrid model of Hyundai Motor will expand the pie."

In 2015, sales of hybrid vehicles in South Korea grew 7 percent on-year to an all-time high of 38,978 units, which was much higher than the mere 1,070 units tallied seven years ago, according to industry data.


Monday, February 01, 2016

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is here to save your wallet

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra made its case on Tuesday for being one of the best cheap rides on the market. The new Elantra will start at just $17,985, including destination. That’s 100 bucks less than last year. It arrives in dealerships this month, and you can already build one with the online configurator.

Starting with the sheet metal, the main hexagonal grille traces a line to the rest of the Hyundai fleet, while the new daytime running lights are all LED. The regular headlights now feature a bending effect, which helps the driver see around curves at night. The body sides feature two character lines that rise toward the rear, while 17-inch wheels are available to complete the look. Overall length and width are also up.

Inside, base-model buyers get a 4.2-inch touchscreen -- upgraded models go bigger -- soy-based seats, keyless entry and USB ports. More-expensive models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED door handle approach lights, side-mirror LED turn signal indicators and LED taillights, as well as navigation, Apple and Android features, and a second USB port.

The 2017 Elantra also gets a load of available safety feature,s including Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist System, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist.

The Elantra gets two new powertrains for 2017. The base SE and Limited trim get a 2.0-liter Atkinson four making 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. The new engine comes with intermediate valve cam phasing that reduces loss, a new electronically controlled thermostat and piston-cooling jets. Hyundai says the engine returns 29 mpg city, 38 highway, with the six-speed automatic. A six-speed manual is standard.

The second powertrain is a 1.4-liter turbo-four making 128 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. This direct-injected four comes out in the spring and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual. Hyundai says this package returns 35 mpg combined.

To stiffen the Elantra, Hyundai says the chassis is now reinforced with 53 percent high-strength steel, compared to 21 percent on the previous model. That leads to 29.5 percent stiffer torsional rigidity and 25.3 percent greater bending strength. Hyundai also added more structural adhesive, all in an effort to get top safety ratings from the IIHS and NHTSA. The company’s Blue Link system, which works like OnStar, is offered in three grades: Connected Care, which is complimentary for one year; Remote Package, which comes with stolen vehicle recovery, car finder apps, geo fence and more; and the Guidance package, which is offered on navigation-equipped cars and comes with Google Earth.


Hyundai Ioniq to have three electric options within single body

Hyundai’s Ioniq will be the first car on the market to have three electric powertrain options with a single body. You will be able to have a full electric vehicle, a plug-in hybrid or full hybrid.

Hyundai will start with the hybrid. This will match a 1.6-litre GDi engine with a lithium-ion battery and electric motor. The engine gives 103bhp, which has an additional 43bhp added by the electric motor. As is the way of these things, the electric motors brings in more torque, 125lb ft, compared to the traditional petrol engine’s 108lb ft.

As yet, details for the other two power set-ups has not been revealed. But like the hybrid, drive will be to the front wheels courtesy of a six-speed dual-clutch auto transmission. Hyundai are claiming a class-leading efficiency for the transmission.

The powerplants will be housed in a new platform, one which has been built in collaboration with sister company Kia. Handling should be good as Hyundai are aiming for a ride that offers some fun as well as efficiency.

The exterior is very aerodynamic, again a class-leader according to Hyundai, with an interior which looks fairly minimalist and clutter-free. There appear to be some influences from the Tuscon, including the digital touchscreen located between the two centre air vents.

Hyundai are claiming some firsts with the Ioniq as well as class-leading figures for everything from aerodynamic efficiency to the range of power options. The Toyota Prius is firmly in the sights of the Korean manufacturer, who see the Ioniq as a new departure for them.

As Hyundai says: ‘As the world’s first model to offer customers the choice of three powertrain options, the Ionic combines class-leading fuel efficiency with a fun, responsive drive and attractive design – a unique mix not yet achieved by a hybrid vehicle.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hyundai to unveil Tucson SUV at Auto Expo

Hyundai Motor India will unveil its sports utility vehicle (SUV) ‘Tucson’ at the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo. It will unveil its global SUV, Hyundai Tucson, and showcase global products signifying a leap in the global SUV line-up, the company said.

It will showcase a total of 17 products, including luxury sedan ‘Genesis’ during the Expo which is to be held from February 5-9 at Greater Noida.

HMIL will also showcase its high performance sub-brand N, which is a result of intensive testing and product development, at the biennial event.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India will showcase 10 models, including four concepts, during the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo.

It will unveil a new two-wheeler model, which the company terms as NAVI and a superbike during the Auto Expo, HMSI said. It also plans to showcase four refreshed models.

Besides, the company plans to display four concept models including ‘EOWING’ — a completely new sports hybrid 3-wheeler.

French carmaker Renault plans to unveil new editions of its popular SUV Duster and entry-level car Kwid at the Auto Expo.

The company also plans to display Eolab, its plug-in hybrid, besides a special edition of its MPV Lodgy at the biennial event. Renault will display AMT and sports variants of the updated Duster, two new concepts of Kwid — Climber and Racer — and the limited edition Lodgy, it said.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Research shows teens are raving about Hyundai Veloster

Teens are buzzing about Audi, Hyundai and Subaru, according to new research by the Keller Fay Group that tracked teenagers' conversations about cars.

Overall, the number of Millennials ages 13-17 talking about cars on a daily basis has declined, the research said.

"Although there is an overall word-of-mouth decline in the automotive industry, certain brands are experiencing increases," according to Keller Fay's TalkTrack data. "Subaru, Audi and Hyundai stand out as having bucked the general trend with wide increases in talk among teens, while other brands saw declines, ranging from -16 percent to -42 percent."

It's not certain whether the overall trend is "just a phase," researchers said.

Also, there was no explanation why Audi, Hyundai and Subaru are attracting the attention of prospective young car buyers. But products including the Audi A3, Hyundai Veloster and Subaru Impreza may be driving the conversation.

The research points to a six-year decline in daily conversations about cars among millennial teens.

This indicates "a very different relationship with cars than the generations before," the Keller Fay Group said on Monday.

Millennial buyers have unexpected tastes in cars, too.

For example, a recent analysis of the used-car market found the Dodge Magnum wagon has a higher rate of Millennial buyers than any other vehicle on the used-car market.

The analysis further found that there is an array of unlikely, out-of-production models — like the Magnum, Chrysler Pacifica and Pontiac Aztek — that are finding new life on the pre-owned market with a younger crowd of buyers.

This is the first year when those born in 2000 will have the chance to get their driver's license, a key milestone.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Genesis Overview

What’s New for the 2016 Hyundai Genesis?

The 2016 Hyundai Genesis gets a few technology updates. New features include integration with Google Glass, Google Destination Search, remote start, and a freshly-added notification system. There’s also five-link front and rear independent front suspension. The luxury sedan boasts a new roofline and grille, too.

2016 Hyundai Genesis Exterior

For 2016, the Hyundai Genesis sports a fresh, more aggressive roofline and fascia. The grille is larger and wider than before and takes cues from other luxury models. It sports a Genesis badge rather than a standard Hyundai badge.

Exterior features available on the 2016 Hyundai Genesis

•3.8 Trim: 18-inch premium alloy wheels with P245/45R18 tires, Dual power-folding heated side mirrors with approach lamps and turn-signal indicators, Acoustic laminated windshield and side windows with front door water-repellant glass, Automatic rain-sensing wipers, Auto-defogging windshield with humidity sensor, Hands-free smart trunk, Dual asymmetrical exhaust tips integrated with rear bumper, Chrome insert door handles, Automatic High Intensity Discharge (HID) auto-leveling headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED tail lights, Proximity Key entry

•5.0 ULTIMATE Trim: 19-inch premium alloy wheels with P245/40R19 front and P275/35R19 rear tires, Auto-dimming side mirrors, Power trunk lid, Quad exhaust tips, High Beam Assist, Front LED fog lights

2016 Hyundai Genesis Performance

There are two engines available on the 2016 Hyundai Genesis. The base Hyundai Genesis sports the same engine as last year’s model, a 3.8-liter V6 that hits 311 hp and 293 lb-ft of torque. The larger 5.0-liter V8 engine pounces on the competition with 420 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.

2016 Hyundai Genesis Efficiency

The Hyundai Genesis when equipped with the V6 and rear wheel drive earns an EPA-estimated 18 city/29 hwy mpg. With all-wheel drive, the V6 earns an EPA-estimated 16 city/25 hwy mpg. The base V6 runs on regular gasoline while the V8 takes premium.

2016 Hyundai Genesis Interior

The 2016 Hyundai Genesis is a work of art with high-quality materials that easily compare to other luxury makes. Inside are many straight lines and sharp edges, quite the opposite of the vertical shapes and curves from last year’s model. Overall, the interior of the luxury car looks slimmer yet more substantial than its predecessor.

Interior features available on the 2016 Hyundai Genesis

•3.8 Trim: Power windows with front and rear auto-down/up with pinch protection; Power door locks; Dual automatic temperature control; 12-way power driver seat with power lumbar support; Leather seating surfaces; Heated front seats; Front seatback pockets; Center armrest with dual cupholders and control console; Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; Steering-wheel-mounted cruise, Bluetooth®, and audio controls; Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters; Glossy wood hydrographic interior trim; Metalgrain interior accents; Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink®, Navigation system with 8-inch display, AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3/HD Radio™audio system with 7 speakers, Smartphone/USB and auxiliary input jacks, SiriusXM Travel Link®, Hyundai Blue Link®, Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, Intelligent Drive Mode.

•5.0 ULTIMATE Trim: Navigation system with 8-inch display, AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3/HD Radio™audio system with 7 speakers, Smartphone/USB and auxiliary input jacks, SiriusXM Travel Link®, Hyundai Blue Link®, Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, Intelligent Drive Mode, Lexicon® 17-speaker Discrete Logic 7® surround sound audio, Navigation system with HD 9.2-inch LCD screen and DIS Multimedia Controller

2016 Hyundai Genesis Safety

When it comes to safety, the 2016 Hyundai Genesis is the top of the line. It received a five-star overall rating in government crash tests and earned “Good” ratings in every category, something many cars fail to do. The Hyundai Genesis features a suite of active safety features like Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assistant, and many more. To keep you aware of any alerts, the Genesis also includes a heads-up color display.

2016 Hyundai Genesis Standard Safety Features
•Power 4-wheel disc brakes, front ventilated
•4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)
•Rearview camera
•Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system
•Traction Control System (TCS)
•Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
•Nine airbags: Advanced dual front airbags with Occupant Classification System (OCS), front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, roof-mounted side-curtain airbags and driver’s knee airbag
•Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual tire pressure indicator
•Energy-absorbing Front Seats
•Front and rear crumple zones
•Energy-absorbing steering column


Green Car News Roundup: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, Nissan Leaf

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

Carmakers are focusing on green cars and a number of companies have vehicles that have less impact on the environment in comparison to the cars running on diesel or gasoline. Here is a news roundup of some green cars: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, Hyundai Tuscan Fuel Cell and the Nissan Leaf.

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

Hyundai claims that the Tucson Fuel Cell is the first mass-produced FCV. The demands for FCVs are increasing but Hyundai, like other FCV makers, is limiting deliveries due to the lack of hydrogen refueling stations.

The first Tuscan Fuel Cell car was delivered to its owner in June 2014 and now there are about 100 of these cars on the Streets of Southern California. Hyundai has announced that it will also start deliveries of the car in Northern California soon.

Just like the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, customers cannot buy the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell. However, customers have the option to lease the vehicle for $499 per month.

The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell has achieved a maximum speed of 94.6 miles per hour and owners can cover 265 miles with a full tank of hydrogen.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

7 reasons to buy a Hyundai i20 Coupe

1. It’s not the same as the regular i20. It might say i20 on the tin, but the Coupe bit at the end of its name is a major giveaway as to the visual character of the car. The common-or-garden i20 is a great-looking supermini, but Hyundai’s design team has gone back to their collective drawing board and come up with a different car – which is, thankfully, also a looker.

2. And it’s aimed at younger drivers. Which is a clever move by Hyundai, as it continues to win over new customers to its cause. Of course, by younger, it doesn’t mean you have to be in the first flush: the young at heart, who like the idea of something sportier-looking, will also appreciate the i20 Coupe.

3. You want sporty? This is a rally car. OK, so it’s not exactly the car that Hyundai is competing in the World Rally Championship, but it’s related. Kinda.

4. It has a cool cabin, too. Hyundai has done a great job of upgrading the interior quality of its cars in the last few years, with the i20 Coupe maintaining that progress. Lots of soft-touch surfaces, a well-laid-out dashboard, solid-feeling switches and buttons, and some orange flashes make this a car you’re happy to spend time in.

5. And there’s lots of kit. Another thing that Hyundai is doing well at the moment is offering lots of value for money by filling its cars with lots of equipment, whatever the trim level. Even base-level SE models get alloys, cruise control, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors and host of features you wouldn’t expect on a £13K car.

6. It won’t drain your wallet. The i20 Coupe might look sporty, but you won’t have to shell out for sporty-car running costs. Petrol-powered versions (1.2-litre engines) have an official economy figure of 55.4mpg and emissions of 119g/km (VED Band C, costing £30 a year), while the 1.4 diesels return 68.9mpg and emit just 106g/km (Band B, so just £20 a year). And there’s a five-year warranty.

7. Good to drive, too. Like the regular i20, the Coupe is fun to drive, with accurate steering, good body control and a comfortable ride – even in town.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Gets Better Fuel Economy Than A 2015 Toyota Prius

While news is pending for the U.S. market, Hyundai says its Korean-market Ioniq surpasses fuel economy for a 2015 Prius, while the jury is out in comparison to the new 2016 Prius.

The Ioniq – its name a combination of ion and unique – is to come in three varieties: a plug-in hybrid, an all-electric version, and a hybrid-electric version.

It’s the regular hybrid that Hyundai says gets 22.4km/liter combined when equipped with 15-inch wheels and this edges out a Korean-market 2015 Toyota Prius Liftback’s 21.7km/liter.

The Ioniq’ figure works out to 52.7 mpg combined, the 2015 Toyota Prius’ fuel economy works out to 49.4 mpg. Astute readers may notice this Prius figure is remarkably near the Prius’ 50 mpg in the U.S., indicating how close Korean fuel economy test results are to U.S.

Unknown at this point, said Hyundai of Korea in response to questions submitted by today, is whether the Korean-market Ioniq will do better than the Korean-market 2016 Prius which is still undergoing homologation testing there.

We emphasize Korean market because Hyundai’s U.S. arm adamantly stated these figures are for Korea, and U.S. EPA fuel economy info and other relevant data has yet to be disclosed, said spokesperson Derek Joyce.

Because Hyundai posted info on its Korean website today however, that much was fair game and why we got cooperation on mpg questions which are to be answered for U.S. market cars at a later date.

That said, other Ioniq-with-15-inch-wheel numbers of interest in Korea are 22.5km/l city, 22.2km/l highway; 22.4km/l combined (as mentioned).

An Ioniq with larger 17-inch wheels is rated a bit less than the third-generation Prius at 20.4km/l city, 19.9km/l highway, 20.2km/l combined, says Hyundai of Korea.

The 2016 Prius is not for sale yet in Korea and the answer from Hyundai to the question “does Ioniq equal or beat 2016 Toyota Prius in mpg in Korea?” is unknown to Hyundai also.

“We don’t know yet,” said a Hyundai representative.

A Jan. 4 Automotive News report however said the Ioniq will have better highway fuel economy than a Prius, according to Yang Woong-chul, Hyundai’s global R&D chief.

This report highlighted Hyundai’s hybrid system architecture with one-motor, one-clutch system paired to a 1.6-liter GDi engine with 40-percent thermal efficiency – a number Toyota boasts of its 2016 Prius as well.

“Our hybrid is a better fit for American driving situations,” Yang told Automotive News near Hyundai’s R&D center. “When it is announced, the whole world will be surprised.”

The 2016 Prius is EPA-rated 54 mpg city, 50 highway, 52 combined, and a new lighter Eco version available in mid-grade Prius level two trim boasts 58 city, 53 highway, 56 combined.

Hyundai was not willing to discuss further, but as mentioned, Korean fuel economy tests are very close in results to U.S. tests, and may even err ever-so slightly more conservatively.

So, discussing what fuel economy figures cars get there is more relevant than, say, mentioning how they fare in wildly optimistic tests in Japan, or even Europe, for example.

Facts known to date are the U.S. market non-Eco Prius in the majority of trim levels gets 52 mpg under EPA rules, and the Korean market Ioniq with 15-in wheels gets 52.7 (22.4km/l).

The comparison appears close, but Hyundai says it is not otherwise commenting on U.S. numbers.


2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug In Hybrid is Luxury We Might Even Be Able to Afford

One in an occasional series reviewing consumer vehicles that are powered by water, natural gas, electricity, hybrid motors, high-efficiency gasoline engines or some other alternative source.

For its North American headquarters in Fountain Valley, Hyundai replaced its old building with a luminous structure that is 21-percent more efficient than its predecessor, employing smart technology to lessen its power costs and carbon footprint. We're talking recycled water irrigation, insulated acoustical glass (everywhere) and daylight-harvesting window shades.

The difference of appearance between a standard 2016 Hyundai Sonata and its plug-in hybrid sister is not as striking looking at the outside, but the power/operating cost stinginess of the latter is comparable to what's being achieved at the Korean carmaker's shrine next to the 405 freeway.

Even more amazing, to someone with little driving or riding experience in fine luxury automobiles/driving machines, is how much the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) reminds me of a luxury car, or at least my perception of driving one. There is a load of leather, soft-touch surfaces and an infotainment center that, the more you use it, the more you wonder how you've done without it for so long.

There are some tweaks to this four-door midsize sedan's look compared to the 2015. The headlights are reshaped, the rear bumper is optimized for air flow, the grille replaces the mesh pattern with straight slats and there are new rocker panels and lamp graphics. My test car was black ... wait, let me check ... Eclipse Black. Combined with the chrome of the front grille, side molding and exterior handles, it looks like a very classy, aerodynamic ride.

But it was the inside that had me thinking, "It would not suck if Hyundai forgot to come pick this car up." The love starts when you get in. There's no way to sugarcoat it, folks: I'm chubby. People of my girth appreciate that the seat is pushed all the way to the back when we climb in. Put your foot on the brake pedal and push the keyless start button, and the seat moves automatically toward the steering wheel. You can, of course, set it to stop wherever you like, and the computer will remember where that was next time you push that button.

The 106 cubic feet of interior passenger space translates to ample leg, arm, head and wiggle room. The instrument cluster has a sleek, modern look that is quite functional, allowing you to know, for instance, when you are running on gas, when you are running on battery or when you are shifting between the two. These are options you can control or allow to function automatically, by the way.

Move your eyeline a foot or so to the right, and you'll be looking at the screen for the navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, high-definition AM/FM radio, content from iPod/USB ports and functions like heating, air conditioning and charging the battery—all standard on the PHEV. The nav system alerts you to traffic jams, construction sites and charging stations, which anyone who read about my electric car fail in my last review knows I appreciate.

One design change has involved moving the battery pack lower into the tire well, giving you 10 percent more trunk room (and adding to that impressive passenger volume). The charger for standard household 120V outlets is kept in a leather bag attached to the back trunk wall. Charging takes nine hours with this, or as little as three hours at a 240V home or commercial charging station.

Now for the gearhead candy. The car has a 2.0-liter GDI 4-cylinder engine and a 360V electric motor that together net 202 horsepower. A six-speed automatic with a manual shift mode routes power to the front wheels.

When it comes to safety, there are dual front, side and side curtain airbags and a driver's side knee airbag. Forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert systems are standard.

My only knock was I had a heck of a time trying to charge the battery at my home. I learned via that nav system that someone I assume with the service that provided the car pre-scheduled the times the charger would turn on and off, which is quite a handy feature. But for someone coming in cold and just wanting to charge the damn car, this meant that the green indicator light at the top of the dash only lit up for a minute or so and then shut off, because I obviously was not on the pre-set schedule. I was able to deactivate the pre-set mode (sorry, car service), but I still could not get a sustained charge.

Then again, driving in Eco mode, your braking adds juice to the lithium battery, which when it gets too low is automatically recharged by the gas battery anyway. So now worries about the driving range anxiety I've written about before. Oh yes, I should mention Hyundai claims the PHEV nets 39-mpg city, 43 highway and 41 combined and that it can travel up to 24 miles solely on electric power.

The PHEV starts at $34,600, which is pricier than the standard Sonata hybrid ($26,000) or most affordable gas-powered Sonata ($21,700). But even that highest price seems affordable compared to other mid-size sedan models that won't give you nearly as many goodies, let alone the fuel cost savings. I look at it like this: With the right voodoo economics, I might be able to afford one and those used to spending much more for their cars should feel no shame downsizing their wallets to one.

I could go on and on, but this car is just downright comfortable and a blast to drive. I did not think of this until writing this sentence, but that is especially key when driving a hybrid, electric or alternative-fuel car. To get the most out of one of these models, you are going to want to limit taking off fast, speeding unnecessarily or putting the pedal to the metal while climbing mountain highways. Driving this Hyundai Sonata plug in hybrid, I would not want to do any of that, I'd want to take my time.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hyundai Ioniq will go on sale in 2016

Hyundai is readying the Ioniq – a new low-emissions vehicle which will go on sale later this year.

This will initially be available as a hybrid, with a 146bhp system comprising a 1.6-litre petrol engine and single electric motor. Its standard six-speed dual-clutch gearbox has been optimized for what Hyundai says is class-leading efficiency.

Following this, the Ioniq will also become available in plug-in hybrid and 100% electric form, making it the first car on the market to offer such a wide range of LEV/ZEV options.

In Hyundai’s own words: ‘As the world’s first model to offer customers the choice of three powertrain options, the Ionic combines class-leading fuel efficiency with a fun, responsive drive and attractive design – a unique mix not yet achieved by a hybrid vehicle.’

Helping it deliver on those promises is an all-new lightweight chassis designed around a floor-mounted position for the battery pack – key to keeping an electric vehicle’s weight as low as possible. Its suspension set-up is tuned for agility, too, and its styling blends eye-catching looks with aerodynamics that feature active elements in the grille to make the car’s shape as efficient as the latest science will allow.

Even the cabin will be kind to the planet in the materials it uses. More important to people who’ll actually drive the thing is that it features a slick, minimalist design that’s executed with a pleasing level of quality. The treatments shown in the pictures released thus far suggest that it’s aiming to make a solidly premium impression.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it apes the latest Hyundai Tucson in much of this. Some of the switchgear looks exactly the same, as does the touch-interface for the vehicle’s infotainment systems.

Hyundai’s R&D boss Woong-Chul Yang describes the Ioniq as ‘the fruit of our efforts to become the leader in the global green car market.’

And the company doesn’t intend to stop there. According to UK boss Tony Whitehorn, the importance of Hyundai’s hybrid and EV offerings will only grow: ‘I see electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids as a way of bridging the gap between the internal combustion engine and pure fuel cell technology.’

In the meantime, the Ioniq will make its European debut at Geneva in March.


Monday, January 25, 2016

After record 2015, Hyundai shifts focus to build premium imagery with Tucson SUV and Elantra sedan

Enthused by the response to its Creta SUV, South Korean car maker Hyundai Motor India has decided to quickly bring in a higher priced sports utility vehicle Tucson in India in the second half of 2016.

The move is seen as a mid-course change in strategy by Hyundai. It was not part of its scheme until October of 2015. Now, encouraged by the response it has received for Creta, the company has decided to fast forward the launch of Tucson. It has not only decided to showcase the vehicle at the Auto Expo but also launch it in India with local manufacturing, which may help the company price it at Rs 18-20 lakh.

Tucson will be positioned between the in-demand Creta SUV and Santa-FE SUV. This vehicle along with Genesis Luxury brand, Sonata Hybrid, N Vision 2025 vehicle and all new 1 & 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine will be showcased at the Expo, which may become a mainstream engine for future cars.

While Maruti Suzuki has decided to keep its pavilion minimalistic, its South Korean rival has decided to showcase its portfolio.

There will be as many as nine different zones, Premium Zone - showcasing its luxury brand Genesis, Sports zone with i20 Active with 2.0 Hyundai's fluidic sculpture 2.0, Eco zone - which will showcase Sonata PHEV, Technology Zone- The Kappa 1.0 GDI, Kappa 1.4 T-GDI, 7 speed dual clutch transmission and 8 speed automatic transmission, Safety zones amongst others.

Rakesh Srivastava, Sr VP, sales and marketing at Hyundai Motor India says Delhi Auto Expo is an appropriate platform to showcase ones capability with lakhs of prospective buyers visiting the arena.

"The Global SUV Hyundai Tucson represents a significant step forward towards future SUV line up for the Indian market. We are excited with the response for Creta, with Tucson and future MPV/SUV, we intend to satiate the desire of Indian buyers," said Srivastava.

With the Creta, Hyundai is already a segment leader in the compact SUV space with the average sales of 7000 to 8000 units a month. Having sold and delivered over 40,000 units, the company is further sitting on over 50,000 bookings.

People in the know of company's plans said, Hyundai Motor India is planning to produce 1.3 lakh units of Creta including overseas markets and the company is targeting about 20,000 to 30,000 units of Tucson.

Gaurav Vangaal, Sr analyst for forecasting at IHS Automotive says that the Indian market is progressively maturing and even small car manufacturers are working on bigger SUV's. The Tucson coming to India this year (if true), indicates the seriousness of Hyundai to take on its competition.

"Launch of Tucson indicates the manufacturers' obsession to be first in the segment. The manufacturing looks difficult in such a short span of time and vehicle can be made available as completely knocked down unit, while completing its validation cycles. CKD production can be supported from Czech Republic or Korea," added Vangaal.

Having grown at 16% in 2015, Hyundai Motor India will be in a consolidation phase for 2016 hoping to sustain the volumes momentum, and build on the premium image through new models like Tucson and an all new Elantra in 2016.


Hyundai patents folding city car

We have discovered Hyundai has made a patent filling with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a foldable city car.

It seems Hyundai’s R&D department is working at full throttle as aside from launching alternatively-powered models like the IONIQ, the company is also engineering a foldable city car.

The attached sketches come from a patent that was published on January 14 and describes a foldable vehicle featuring a front floor coupled with the front wheels, along with a rear floor linked to the rear wheels. This hardware arrangement enables an increase or decrease of the wheelbase by sliding the floors over and under each other.

According to the same patent, there is a windshield part hinged to the front floor in order to turn forward/backward. Moreover, a rear cabin part is hinged to the floor and this one too turns forward/backward. When the windshield and rear cabin parts are folded inward, the roof part may be stowed inside the car.

This may sound a little bit too complicated, but the attached sketches do paint a more accurate picture of how Hyundai’s folding mechanism works. While a car that folds is not what you would call exciting, it can be an optimal solution in crowded cities where finding an empty parking space is a very tricky matter. It's certainly better than driving a bicycle.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

2017 Hyundai Elantra debut

Once upon a time, when a carmaker introduced a new model, it bragged about its fuel economy, quiet ride, and rack-and-pinion steering. These days, it's more apt to lead with the entertainment system.

Technology plays a much bigger role in the automotive world, so Hyundai introduced its 2017 Elantra by singing the praises of its smartphone interface. The new Hyundai, which launches later this month, will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities.

Both smartphone integrations will be featured on the 2017 Elantra's seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen system with rearview camera and Hyundai's eight-inch touchscreen navigation system with voice texting, access to music stored on the phone and third-party audio apps.

"By launching our best-selling model, Elantra, with CarPlay and Android Auto support, we are building on our promise to offer more convenience features for today's modern driver at an affordable price point," Mike O'Brien, vice president of product and corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America, said in a release announcing the new model. "Also, the new smartphone integrations will help to keep drivers' eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, helping to reduce driver distraction."

Mimics the iPhone

Because CarPlay mimics the iPhone experience, Hyandai is betting that drivers will be less distracted because they will be familiar with the interface before they even slide behind the wheel.

The driver can make a call, get directions for the best route through traffic, listen to music, and access messages. Hyundai says Siri will provide an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, set up through the steering wheel's voice button.

While it is no doubt safer than trying to send or receive a text while speeding down the highway, there have been studies that call into question the total safety of hands-free communications system in cars.

In October, we reported on a AAA study that said many voice-activated vehicle systems are more dangerous than previously thought.

Takes mind-share

It's true that these systems don't occupy your hands, but they do take mind-share, and researchers say that's where the problem lies. Potentially unsafe mental distractions can go on for as long as 27 seconds after dialing, changing music, or sending a text using voice commands, according to the research by conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The eight-inch navigation system will have a home screen that displays map and music information, no matter where the music is coming from. The Blue Link Guidance package comes with a three-month trial.

Other aspects of the car – fuel economy, safety features, and trim take a backseat to the technology, at least when it comes to marketing. At last check, auto sites like had yet to review the vehicle. There are pictures, however.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Emotional Acura, Hyundai ads among honorees of One Show awards

Acura’s heartstring-pulling crash test spot was among the winners during the third annual One Show Automobile Advertising of the Year Awards.

The award winners were announced today during the Detroit auto show. New York-based One Club, producer of the One Show, is a New York nonprofit group that recognizes creative excellence in advertising and design.

The awards recognized work in several categories including broadcast TV, interactive, online video and dealer advertising.

Acura’s spot, “The Test,” shows that crash tests aren’t emotionless tasks. The spot follows an Acura engineer as he preps for a test by putting four lifelike dummies -- who are actually actors -- into the MDX crossover.

The ad, which won an award in the broadcast TV category, uses an emotional touch when it reveals that the engineer was imagining himself and his family in place of the crash dummies.

“Our goal here is to talk about how personal it is,” said Leila Cesario, national advertising manager for Acura, in an interview when the ad released. “It’s beyond just passing a test.”


Friday, January 22, 2016

2017 Hyundai Santa Cruz CUV: In Time For The Honda Ridgeline

It looks like Hyundai has virtually given the green light for the Hyundai Santa Cruz concept to take on production, though an official announcement is not yet made. This has been a long time coming, as the automaker has given encouraging signs before this when work was done its engineering feasibility.

Hyundai doesn’t have pickup trucks, so the Santa Cruz crossover would be the first and it would most likely be targeted at the Honda Ridgeline.

The profile of the pickup crossover sort of resembles that of the previous Ridgeline except this crossover would be on the smaller side. However, we should also see a lot of the deep body sculpting toned down for the production model.

This compact pickup is not intended for heavy-duty use, but would be ideal for outdoor activities such as hunting and camping. A regard in which it would excel against the Ridgeline is if it is priced more competitively.

Very much like the Ridgeline the Santa Cruz crossover is aimed at young drivers that are looking for some storage capabilities of a pickup truck, making bed space an important aspect. The likeliness of the Santa Cruz pickup arriving with more than one bed option is rather slim though, considering the fact that trucks are not part of Hyundai’s portfolio.


Hyundai with handling - 2016 Tucson nimble, comfortable

I'm not quite sure that the length of time I was at the steering wheel of a 2016 Hyundai Tucson last Tuesday would qualify it for the exalted status of being called a test drive. From the brand's new Jamaican headquarters on Balmoral Avenue, off Half-Way Tree Road, I got a grip of the vehicle within about 50 metres, then took it up Cargill Avenue en route to Barbican Road, over Jack's Hill, down through Cherry Gardens and back along West King's House Road to Hope Road and back to base.

Total time spent in the electronically adjusted driver's seat - forward and back, a twitch of the right fingers for an ultra-smooth adjustment to the desired height and distance from the leather-wrapped steering wheel - less than 30 minutes for the entire journey. However, the totally redesigned Tucson's most endearing quality was apparent from my less than a minute in the passenger's seat, before exchanging places with my instructor for the trip. He took the right-angled corner from Balmoral on to Ballater rather quickly, especially for an SUV.

I did not feel myself listing in that all too familiar SUV body roll and, behind the steering wheel, found out that even someone who is not the greatest driver around (a in I) can handle the Tucson with confidence - because it handles excellently. Superbly, in fact.


The enjoyment increased going up Jack's Hill and, confidence growing, I relaxed more and breezed through the descent. I was comfortable enough to 'try a ting' - go closer and faster to one end of a car sticking out in the road than I usually would, then, with a flick of the wrists, move it nimbly to the right and then back on to the left. A minor thing for some, a significant manoeuvre for me. The handling was decent in the normal and eco-driving modes, shifting on the fly done by pressing a button conveniently located to the right of the shifter. Sport mode gave the Tucson more pep, but running through the modes going uphill and then coming almost to a stop and pressing the right foot firmly while in sport mode showed it is not going to win any high-performance prizes, with its 2.0 litre gas engine.

But it is not supposed to. It is an SUV, intended to carry five persons in comfort and confidence looking down on most mere mortals, and that the Tucson does very well, while having a pleasant exterior (the back end is especially attractive and the gleaming silver of the front grill is not overbearing). I did not sit in the back, but the ample leg room was clear. Rear air-conditioning will make the ride there even more comfortable, and dual cooling/heating gives independence of ambiance up front.

There are the expected comforts, bells and whistles - steering mounted controls, Bluetooth connectivity, fuel economy digital readout, charging port in the trunk (which has decent space), decent sized screen for info and entertainment. We did not pump up the stereo, but it was more than adequate at low levels - levels which also showed that cabin noise while driving is low. I am always gung-ho for a full seat belt, with trunk hook, for the third person on the back seat. It also makes putting in a child seat and being able to keep an eye on the little one that much easier. The Tucson also comes with a full-size spare and alloy rim. No need to drop the style if there is a puncture.


If there is a downside, it is the plastic on the dashboard, which could be a bit more upscale.

A delightful feature on the test model was how the 4wd is engaged. The Tucson adjust to the road conditions and applies the extra grip as required, taking that extra responsibility from the driver in what might be a high-stress moment, or things may simply happen too quickly to adjust in time.

As is the norm for motor-vehicle lines, the 2016 Hyundai Tucson comes in various trim levels - with attendant prices. So while the test model's upholstery was adequate and comfortable, it was not plush. For that, plus a sunroof, you have to go top of the line. Whether or not you need to is up to personal taste - and pocket.

The race is on to deliver creature comforts, fuel economy and styling oomph in the mid-size SUV category, where there is the highest demand in Jamaica. With its restyled, enlarged 2016 Tucson starting north of $4 million, Hyundai has upped the ante in a serious way.