Wednesday, January 31, 2007

In The Autoblog Garage: 2007 Hyundai Azera Limited

In the Autoblog Garage: 2007 Hyundai Azera Limited

Much has been said about Hyundai's rise from being a pusher of Point-A-to-Point-B transportation to the purveyor of high value, safe and stylish vehicles. Nearly its entire lineup is full of ready for primetime hardware, save the Tiburon that idles into 2007 with merely a refresh of its aging design. The Azera debuted as a 2006 model to replace the XG350, a Korean import that filled a hole in the company's lineup but whose claws weren't sharp enough to play in the tiger pit that is the large car market in North America. Like all the new models Hyundai has marched out in the past few years, the Azera looks great on paper and stacks up extremely well against other large cars in its class, like the Toyota Avalon, Ford Five-Hundred, Buick Lucerne and Chrysler 300. It starts with a low base price and piles on a big V6, lots of standard safety equipment and a sheetmetal suit that fits just right. But does the Azera have that something special that makes a contender into a champion, or do the sum of its parts equal no more than just the sum of its parts? Our 2006 Hyundai Azera Limited tester wore its Venetian Blue paint like an Armani three-button suit fitted to perfection. Hyundai design has come such a long way, and where the new Sonata is sharp and crisp, the Azera is fluid and organic with swollen fenders that add nice curves above each wheel. While the front fascia doesn't break any new design ground, the Azera's face is perfectly proportioned with a grille sporting traditional horizontal lines and topped by a chrome accent bar. The headlights project a neutral stare and look expensive sporting halogen projection-like lamps. The Azera's designers paid particular attention to the car's proportions, which makes the large sedan look smaller than it really is. The C-pillar, for instance, extends deep into the rear deck lid, thereby giving the rear window a steep rake. The shorter rear decklid, in turn, belies the large 16.6 cubic foot capacity of the trunk. The overall effect is a tush that's tidier than other competitors like the Ford Five-Hundred, which seems to revel in its ample rear. The dual exhausts out back also hint that the Azera won't lie down like a luxurious lap dog when called upon to scoot. Finally, the 17-inch. 10-spoke wheels are attractive and fill their wells nicely. While other large sedans in this segment offer bigger 18-inch wheels, the Azera has a proportioned wheel-to-car ratio that doesn't make the rolling stock appear overwhelmed by the visual bulk of the car. Behind those wheels are four-wheel anti-lock brakes (11.9-inch discs up front, 11.2-inch in the rear) that are backed by Electronic Brake Distribution to keep panic stops under control. The Azera also comes standard with Electronic Stability Control and a Traction Control System, which illustrates nicely the brand's winning strategy of offering more safety content standard than its competitors. If one never enters the Azera, the platitudes could go on interrupted. Once the door is opened, however, we face one of Hyundai's biggest obstacles to becoming a major player in the U.S. auto industry: interiors. If this auto show season has proven anything to the Autoblog crew, is that the battle for sales success is largely being fought by interiors, and this is one area where the "new" Hyundai hasn't particularly excelled. Upon entering the Azera, one comes to rest in an overpadded front seat that's as comfortable as your La-Z-Boy, but ill-suited as the captain's chair for an automobile. The Azera obviously doesn't corner flat, so when the roll sets in it's up to the driver's seat to keep the pilot in place. The Azera's front seats let go at the slightest sign of inertia, which means they're best suited to long road trips in a straight line. While most will find these seats very comfortable and suited to the tasks of everyday driving, many competitors of the Azera manage to offer front seats that are just as comfortable but also offer adequate support for spirited driving (the front seats in the Ford Five-Hundred come to mind). Once buckled up in the Azera (always buckle up), we're greeted with a dash that's organized but lacks personality. It seems the interior was less designed than assembled from pieces provided by various suppliers. How else would you explain the three different digital displays and their various colors? We like the rich-looking light blue of the electroluminescent gauges, but our aesthetic sensibilities are offended by the orange information display and the HVAC and radio displays inspired by a Timex Indiglo. Our main complaint with the Azera's interior is that it's bland, like Camry-level bland. Who knows how many beige plastic cows were sacrificed to cover that wide expanse of dash, but the plastic PETA people would not be pleased. The wood trim, on the other hand, looks real and rich, but it's just not enough to offset the general sense of ennui the Azera's interior inspires. Functionally speaking, the Azera's dash also gets dinged for being placed too far back. In order to reach the stereo, we needed our right arm completely stretched out. Unfortunately, the seat cannot be moved far enough forward to correct this while maintaining a comfortable driving position. Furthermore, Hyundai has to be one of the few automakers left that doesn't offer a satellite navigation system for any of its vehicles. If the Azera is truly meant to be a competitor in the near-luxury segment, it needs a screen staring back at the driver. We'll cut the Azera some slack though for coddling its passengers, specifically those riding in the back who enjoy a deep footwell and a bench that's just as cushy as the bucket seats up front. Our tester was also equipped with a power rear sunshade that goes up and down on command, a feature we last saw in the Bentley Continential Flying Spur we reviewed. For those considering the Azera who might be turned off by its interior, a pleasant surprise awaits them with a turn of the key. The Azera's 3.8L V6 is a good motor with a meaty torque curve and power to spare. Rated at 263 hp and 257 ft-lbs. of torque, the 3.8L also has variable valve timing to eek the most out of its six cylinders. Its power delivery is smooth and throttle tip-in is equally damped to ensure there's no herk and jerk when accelerating from a standstill. The EPA lists the Azera's fuel economy at 19 MPG city/28 MPG highway, and our real world observations were about 2 MPG shy of those figures, which is understandable considering how heavy our right foot is. Whether you're choosing the base Azera SE or the Azera Limited like our tester, the 3.8L V6 is your only engine choice, and it's mated to a 5-speed automatic with "SHIFTRONIC", Hyundai's generic buzz-speak for the ability to manually shift its auto. Hyundai's 5-speed is well suited to this engine, as its operation is largely transparent. There were times we wished for faster shifts, but in all but the most sudden bursts of acceleration, the engine's pool of torque is deep enough to adequately accelerate without dropping a cog. As we said earlier, the Azera doesn't corner flat and demands you scrub off some speed before taking tight turns. We expect as much from a large sedan, and the trade-off is comfortable cruising on the highway. While the four-wheel independent suspension doesn't carve corners, the Azera's handling is at least controlled. On public roads the car never feels like it's wallowing or unable to handle its weight transferring from side to side. Only when speeds reach extra-legal limits will the Azera suspension begin to really protest. Despite our criticisms of the Azera, Hyundai's ace in the hole is its price. The Azera SE starts at just $24,535, while our Azera Limited begins at only $26,835. Our tester included the Ultimate Package, a $2,500 option that includes a sunroof, the high-end Infinity audio system, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, adjustable foot pedals, a memory system for personal settings, rain sensing wipers and power folding mirrors. All told, the final tally came to $29,415. In the eyes of car shoppers, a loaded large sedan for under $30,000 is a rare sight and likely earns the Azera a spot on many comparison lists. If Hyundai ever decides to offer a navigation system, however, the upper limit for the will surely crest $30k by at least a thousand dollars, maybe two. Hyundai's maturing process has produced another above-average vehicle in the Azera, but it lacks a few key components that keep universal praise at bay. And while Hyundai has succeeded at selling many more Azeras than it did XG350s, only 2,479 were sold in December of last year, its best sales month for the year. Meanwhile, Ford sold 6,689 Five-Hundred sedans last month, while Toyota sold 7,955 Avalons. Clearly Hyundai still has some catching up to do. Posted Jan 31st 2007 10:07AM by John Neff www.autoblog.com

Another Hit For Hyundai With Its New Santa Fe?

Another Hit For Hyundai With Its New Santa Fe?

By Jim Bray Jan 31, 2007 SUVs may be evil incarnate to some, but that isn't stopping the automotive industry from continuing to create interesting and, in many if not most cases, increasingly efficient new versions of the species. Enter the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe. This isn't just an upgrade of the previous model, it's a whole new beast, bigger and more upmarket than before and with a third row of seats that was previously unavailable in a Hyundai SUV. It's quite the looker, too. I've driven several Santa Fes is over the years, and liked them quite a bit, especially the one that was powered by the 3.5 L V-6 shared by the now-dead XG 350. It was a nice vehicle that evolved steadily over the years, from one afflicted with a cheap plastic interior to a much more competitive vehicle that held its own well in the marketplace. The new version takes everything they've learned over the years and puts it into an SUV that's capable of going head-to-head with just about anything in its class. The new exterior is a big improvement over the old model, which looked kind of like a first generation Toyota RAV4 that someone had worked over with a rubber mallet. The new one continues the recent tradition of Hyundai's, offering a very clean and attractive exteriors such as personified by other Hyundais such as the Sonata, Elantra and Azera. Hyundai says the new Santa Fe's exterior "Exudes confidence and inspires adventure." Well, I'm confident it didn't make me want to run out and buy tickets for an African safari, but I was quite taken with the vehicle's handsome exterior nonetheless. The front end excludes projector headlights, which do a nice job; other exterior touches include a roof rack, heated outside rear-view mirrors, dual chrome-tipped exhausts and a real handle to open the hatch with. The latter looks a little clunky compared with some SUVs but, on the other hand, it gives you a nice place to grab rather than having to fiddle around above the license plate as with so many other vehicles. If memory serves, this is actually a holdover from the last model, and I appreciated them not following the herd on this. The tailgate also swings up nice and high, but not so high that you can't reach up to bring it back down again. Inside, the bigger interior is comfortable and efficient. The front seats, which in my tester were leather and heated, are comfortable and supportive. The center row seat backs recline a bit and the right-hand seat folds down and flips forward to allow access to the third row of seats (a.k.a. "the nosebleed section"). I sat back there for a short trip, and it wasn't bad. I think I'd be an unhappy camper if I had to spend a couple hours back there, but for kids or hobbits or for short jaunts it's more than adequate. Incidentally, that third row is optional. And of course you don't have to use it; it folds down into the floor to create more storage space. The second row also folds, of course for even more hauling space. There's also a rear mounted rear air-conditioning control for the people riding in back, and vents in the B pillar for the comfort of people riding in the middle/rear. The driver's seat of my tester featured power adjustments, though the passenger seat was manual. The steering wheel of all but the base model tilts and telescopes manually. Controls are easy to read, well placed and backlit with a pretty blue color. The driver's side window features the auto down feature that's so popular, though I was surprised to see it didn't auto back up again ' especially since the lovely big sunroof opens and closes with one touch. My tester featured automatic, dual zone (triple, if you count the rear area) climate control, and a six speaker, AM/FM single disc CD audio system that offers pretty good sound quality. It also has steering wheel-mounted controls. Cup holders abound. So does power stuff, including steering, brakes (discs with ABS), windows, door locks and the like. My tester even had an auto dimming rear view mirror inside. There's a good assortment of storage areas and cubby holes all over the place. Two V-6 engines are available: a 2.7 L, 185 hp version and a 3.3 L, 242 hp V-6. My tester had the latter engine and it was plenty powerful, with good grunt, nice acceleration and very smooth output. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard on the base 2.7 GL. My more upscale tester had a the dual mode, five speed electronically-controlled automatic with manual setting. Shifts were smooth; I-d have loved to see paddle shifters, but such was not the case. Maybe next year. Santa Fe is slung with four-wheel independent suspension, and it's nicely tuned for comfort: we manage to cross over some potholes without leaving our kidneys on the floor of the vehicle. All but the basic Santa Fe are available with all-wheel-drive (the other choice is FWD). My tester had the AWD, and it includes a locking switch on the dashboard (placed a little awkwardly, alas) that came in really handy during the blizzard we got during my time with the Santa Fe: when the driving got dicey that extra stability came in really handy, and the system worked very well, going through snowy conditions like a hot knife through butter. Safety equipment includes dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side impact airbags and roof-mounted side curtain airbags. That's more bags and they have at my local grocery store! And of course, you get the usual bevy of belts, and to help keep you on the road so you won't need any of that stuff, there is electronic stability control and traction control. Hyundai has really been knocking them out of the park of late, and this new Santa Fe is no exception. It's a fine vehicle, especially when you consider its price. The entry-level 2.7 GL, front wheel drive five passenger version with manual transmission starts at just over $21,000 U.S. The top line model starts at just under $26,000 U.S. Jim Bray is an independent columnist and writer for TechnoFile Magazine

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hyundai's Fuel Cell Progress

Hyundai's Fuel Cell Progress

Publication Date:28-January-2007 09:30 AM US Eastern Timezone Source:Korean Herald Below is an excerpt from Korean Herald Report-Technology gives Hyundai Motor the edge-Carmaker shows off advanced engine, chassis module and alternative transmissions Development of alternative powertrains such as fuel-efficient diesels, gasoline-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells is a shared task for all global automakers. Although Japan's Toyota Motors and Honda Motor successfully marketed hybrids, many European carmakers such as Volkswagen chose to focus on developing better internal combustion engines. General Motors, DaimlerChrysler and BMW plan to unveil a hybrid in the near-term while concentrating on fuel-cells which are anticipated to be the ultimate future of automobiles. "There are three main objectives in the research & development of fuel-cell systems - reduce cost, enhance durability and make it possible to start the car at freezing temperatures," said Kim Se-hoon, Hyundai's senior research engineer of fuel cells. Water produced from a fuel-cell auto which runs on electricity generated by a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen freezes at below-zero temperatures, making it hard to start the car. Hyundai's progress in hydrogen fuel-cell technology was shown in its self-developed fuel cell stacks used in buses and cars currently under test operation. The carmaker and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy began the three-year monitoring project of the nation's first hydrogen fuel-cell bus in late November last year to test the environment-friendliness, reliability and durability of the fuel cell system. Results of the test will be reflected in product development and establishment of infrastructure required for commercialization. When charged with 40 kilograms of hydrogen, the new bus with a 160-kilowatt fuel-cell stack can run 300 kilometers and is twice as fuel efficient as diesel versions currently on the roads, Hyundai Motor said. It still needs to be improved so it can start at temperatures below minus 20 degrees Celsius. The production cost, which is more than 20 times higher than that for ordinary buses, should also be gradually lowered, the ministry said. The project is aimed at raising the fuel-cell system output to 200 kilowatts, the share of Korean-made components to 70 percent and durability range to 5,000 hours by 2008. According to GM, hydrogen fuel cell cars will cost the same as their gasoline counterparts once they reach a production volume of 1 million units. "Lack of scale is the primary reason for the high costs of fuel cell vehicles," said Larry Burns, GM vice president of R&D and strategic planning.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hyundai Veracruz Earns Accolades At North American International Auto Show Debut

Hyundai Veracruz Earns Accolades At North American International Auto Show Debut

Veracruz Stands Out Among 22 Production Vehicle Introductions At North America's Largest Auto Show 01/15/2007 The all-new Hyundai Veracruz crossover debuted at the North American International Auto Show this week, earning praise and recognition as a stand-out new model at the 2007 show. Car & Driver Online listed Veracruz among the “Most Significant Vehicle Introductions” at the 2007 show. The editors praised the Veracruz for being spacious and wrote, "Hyundai duped many a focus group into thinking its seven-passenger Veracruz is a Lexus." more>> U.S. News & World Report Online ranked "Hits and Misses" for the 2007 Show. Crossover vehicles scored a "Hit" because of fast-growing sales in the U.S. market, and "cool" new products. Veracruz joined the Nissan Rogue as one of the "Hit" crossovers of the show. more>> Editors at MSN Autos named Veracruz to its "Editors' Choice" list at 2007 show. MSN Autos characterized the vehicle as "luxuriously appointed" and "upscale," in distinguishing it from the crowd. Other models receiving the "Editors' Choice" honor included BMW 3-series Convertible, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Focus, Lexus IS-F, Nissan Rogue, Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, smart fortwo and Toyota Tundra. more>> Auto industry insiders, Joe Wiesenfelder, Mike Hanley and David Thomas ranked winners and losers at this year's show on the Cars.com blog, "Kicking Tires." Veracruz was unanimously voted a &34;winner&34; and received compliments for fit and finish, standard safety features and seven-passenger seating. Other unanimous winners included the 2008 Cadillac CTS, 2008 Nissan Rogue, 2008 Dodge Avenger, 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan. more>> "Veracruz is the right vehicle at the right time for this emerging segment," said Steve Wilhite, chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor America. "The vehicle's designers recognized that needs of traditional SUV buyers weren’t being met and focused on delivering them in an elegant and unique way. The result is a spacious crossover that delivers both high-class style and first-rate performance." HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 740 dealerships nationwide.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Long-Term Intro: 2006 Hyundai Tucson AWD Limited

Long-Term Intro: 2006 Hyundai Tucson AWD Limited

Before last year's Sport/Utility of the Year, we would never have expected to welcome a compact Hyundai to the Truck Trend long-term fleet. But two key things happened: The Tucson proved itself one of the best performers in the competition, and gas prices spiked at over $3.50 a gallon in Southern California. We had a hunch the Tucson could be a versatile alternative to bigger, thirstier (even more capable) SUVs, but it would take time behind the wheel to know for sure. To be specific, we added a 2006 Hyundai Tucson AWD Limited to our fleet. The Tucson was introduced in 2005, and Hyundai created the Limited trim level one year later, which replaced the previous LX version; GL and GLS remain the same. Our Desert Sage model came with only one option: carpeted floormats ($125). Everything else was standard. And the list of standard features reads like the options available on most cars, electronic stability control with traction control, ABS with electronic brake distribution, four-wheel disc brakes, tire-pressure monitoring system (not available on the GL), six airbags, leather seats, seat heaters, an in-dash six-disc CD changer with AM/FM and cassette, auto climate control with outside temperature display, power windows and locks, cruise control, and a host of other goodies. There are also plenty of compartments, storage bins, cupholders, and three 12-volt power points to store, hold, or power anything you need. The Tucson's 2.7-liter V-6 (a significant step up from the base four-cylinder) also is standard on the Limited, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual shift control. For those looking under the hood, you'll think it odd that a transverse-mounted engine has a cover designed to look like there's a longitudinally mounted engine underneath. We'll deduct points from Hyundai for that. Front drive is standard on the entire line with electronic AWD a no-cost option on the Limited. This system normally routes up to 99 percent of the power to the front wheels, but can run 50 percent of the power to the rear as conditions change. The Tucson's center differential can be manually locked for an even 50/50 power split at speeds below 25 mph at the push of a button. During the first few thousand miles of driving highways, freeways, city streets, dirt roads, and canyons, initial feedback has been mostly positive, but there are complaints. Several editors note the four-speed transmission hunts for the right gear going up hills and at freeway speed. Another issue is with the texture of the steering wheel. It feels too slick and slips through the drivers' hands too easily, we suspect this could turn into a safety issue in the wrong circumstance. But most feel the Tucson delivers a good amount of value for the money and applaud the manufacturer for designing a second row that actually folds flat. The Hyundai also went in for its first service, which was supposed to be at 3500 miles. We took it in a little late (4973 miles), when it received a lube, oil, and filter change. One driver noted a coolant smell, but the dealer couldn't detect it or any leaks. The Tucson left the dealer receiving a clean bill of health. Overall, the first impression is that this small vehicle does everything well, but falls just a point short of being spectacular. We'll keep taking this SUV through the paces, and fill you in on how the Korean soft-roader fares. By Scott Mortara Photography by Julia LaPalme Truck Trend, December 2006

Hyundai Takes On Cancer, One Mile At A Time

Hyundai Takes On Cancer, One Mile At A Time

On Sept. 17, thousands of people took steps to make a major impact in the fight against cancer and a difference in the lives of families facing this disease. They showed their commitment by participating in the 18th annual Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk, in which Hyundai Motor America served as presenting sponsor for the fourth year in a row. Hyundai's presence was felt everywhere on Walk day. In addition to having the corporate logo displayed prominently on event signs and booths and Hyundai vehicles at the start in Wellesley, Mass., and the finish line in Boston, Mass., the company's own group of walkers—Team Hyundai—turned out once again to hit the pavement in support of this great cause. They joined the other 7,000 participants who together raised an estimated $5 million for research and patient care at Dana-Farber. Twenty-one hundred marathon enthusiasts joined new Hyundai COO Steve Wilhite and Peter DiPersia, eastern region general manager for the Hopkinton 26.2-Mile Walk, which followed the famous Boston Marathon® course. Three thousand more people, including Mark Barnes, vice president of marketing, joined the festivities from Wellesley for the 13-mile course. In addition, many patients, their families, and several Boston-area Hyundai dealers chose to follow the third Walk route, starting at the Harvard Medical School Quad and finishing at Copley Square in Boston. Participants were met along the course by hundreds of volunteers who passed out water, energy snacks, and enthusiastic motivation. The sea of walkers moving through the streets of Boston and its suburbs was an incredible show of support for the Jimmy Fund's fight against cancer at Dana-Farber. Members of Team Hyundai gather at the finish line in Boston's Copley Square following their efforts in the 2006 Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk A Team Approach On the eve of the Walk, participants gathered together for a night of energizing food and celebration at the event's annual Pasta Party. Hyundai's very own "Hope on Wheels" Santa Fe, decorated with the colorful handprints of Jimmy Fund Clinic patients, was on hand to serve as a unique vehicular symbol of hope to all in attendance. The highlight of the evening came when Team Hyundai capped of its fundraising efforts by presenting a check for $397,139 to Jimmy Fund Chairman Mike Andrews. This total represented all money raised by the team, funds raised by Hyundai's Strike Out Cancer campaign, and contributions from Hyundai dealers throughout the Northeast, Joining Andrews and the Hyundai group were several Walk Heroes—the young cancer patients who provide inspiration for walkers year after year. "This event provides an opportunity for the whole community to come together and make a public stand against cancer," said DiPersia. "The Hyundai family is proud to be a member of that community and to help in the effort to rid the world of this terrible disease." About the Jimmy Fund Since 1948, the Jimmy Fund has supported the fight against cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, helping to raise the chances of survival for children and adults with cancer around the world. Millions of peope have joined forces, through thousands of events and other fundraising activities, with one goal in mind: to help the Jimmy Fund save countless lives by furthering cancer research and care at Dana-Farber. Today, the Jimmy Fund has become one of America's favorite charities.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Spy Shots: '08 Hyundai Equus

Spy Shots: '08 Hyundai Equus

Hyundai builds a luxury car for the world. by Hans Lehmann/Hidden Image The 2006 Hyundai Sonata showed that Hyundai has what it takes to compete with highly regarded vehicles like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Now Hyundai will try to make the same waves with a new luxury car that will take on vehicles above its own full-size Azera sedan. These photos, taken in the U.S. southwest, capture the next-generation Equus under testing. Hyundai is planning on bringing this rear-drive, V-8 sedan to the U.S. market as a 2008 model. Hyundai will show the "BH" sedan, as it's known internally, at the 2007 New York auto show in April. The Equus is a large car, and has a spacious interior with lots of wood trim, leather seats, and a handsome dash that would look at home in a big Mercedes or Lexus. Hyundai will outfit the Equus with all manner of airbags and electronic vehicle-stability controls. We expect the Equus (under a different name, perhaps) to go on sale in late 2007 in the U.S. wearing a pricetag around $30,000.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Win-Win Situation

A Win-Win Situation

Sunday, January 21, 2007 Holyoke Hyundai dealer Gary Rome is putting his money where his heart is when it comes to the New England Patriots. Rome is telling his customers that anyone buying either a new or used truck in stock, this past Thursday and up until today, will have a chance at getting their first monthly payment paid by rome. The catch: the Pats have to beat the Indianapolis Colts tonight for the AFC championship and the right to play in the Super Bowl. Taken from the Sunday, January 21, 2007 issue of The Sunday Republican.

Gary Rome Hyundai Now Offers Nitrogen Tire Filling Service

Gary Rome Hyundai Now Offers Nitrogen Tire Filling Service

Gary Rome Hyundai Now Offers Nitrogen Tire Filling Service

Fill Your Tires With Nitrogen!
  • Fuel $avings
  • Increased Safety
  • Longer Tire Life
  • Superior Handling
  • Decreased Wheel Corrosion
  • Maintains Proper Inflation 3-4 Times Longer
Our Exclusive Three-Step Nitrogen Tire Filling Service
  1. Tire Deflation - Deflators quickly and simultaneously deflate your tires to atmospheric pressure
  2. Tire Vacuum - Vacuum System removes more detrimental air and moisture than traditional systems
  3. Nitrogen Fill - Nitrogen Generating Machine Fills your tires with high purity nitrogen, providing you with the many benefits listed above
Bring your car in today and get the same high-tech advantages that airliners, race cars, and NASA Space Shuttles use. Putting nitrogen in your tires can give you a better, safer, longer-lasting and more consistent performance from your tires. Gary Rome Hyundai uses a state-of-the-art system that inflates tires with nitrogen rather than compressed air. Nitrogen filled tires maintain pressure up to three times longer because nitrogen diffuses through tire walls more slowly than air. This gives you several important safety and performance advantages:
  • Problems associated with under-inflation are reduced. Under-inflated tires run hotter and wear faster due to increased rolling resistance. A tire that is 10 percent under-inflated will lose approximately seven percent of its service life.
  • Tires maintain their strength longer. Nitrogen filled tires show twice the life to failure in both field and laboratory tests due to absence of interior oxidation cause by the oxygen in compressed air.
  • Tires perform better. Nitrogen can help increase tire mileage by as much as 25 percent. Tires that are properly inflated respond better to steering input and handle better.
  • Tire pressure is more consistent. Compressed air expands at varying rates depending on the amount of water vapor it contains; nitrogen is "dry" and expands at a consistent, predictable rate.
Come in today and cut your fuel costs and extend the life of your tires by filling your tires with nitrogen. How Nitrogen Works and What it Does Nitrogen (N2) makes up the majority of the air that we breathe and is contained in the protein of all life on earth. It is colorless, tasteless and non-toxic. The next most common component in air is oxygen (O2). Together N2 and O2 make up approximately 99% of the air we breathe and traditionally fill tires with. N2 is a larger molecule than O2. Therefore, it cannot escape as easily as oxygen through porous material such as a rubber tire wall (carcass). Leaking at a much slower rate than oxygen, a tire filled with a higher percentage of N2 maintains its proper pressure roughly three to four times longer than air-filled tires. Proper inflation provides better fuel economy, superior handling, longer tire life, and increased safety by reducing the likelihood of low pressure related loss of control, blowouts and other tire failures. N2 is a dry, inert gas. O2 in a tire provides unwanted oxidation. Over time, this reaction destroys the tire carcass and corrodes wheels. A tire is prematurely aged by O2 from the inside-out as the pressurized air in the tire makes the O2 try to escape through the tire carcass, speeding up the damaging oxidation process. N2 on the other hand, is a harmless inert gas that does not react negatively with tires and wheels. N2 filled tires also reduce tire heat, thereby decreasing rolling resistance and increasing fuel economy. N2 is non-flammable. O2 is a flammable gas while N2 is an extinguishing gas. Thus, a large number of mass transportation companies around the world fill their tires with N2 for added fire and explosion safety. In a vehicular fire, ruptured air-filled tires fuel the fire. N2 filled tires slow the fire. N2 has been used in tires for many years on aircraft, military vehicles, off road trucks, racecars, and even Tour de France bicycles. Nitrogen inflated tires are safer and longer lasting than tires inflated with air.
  • Nitrogen inflated tires do not age as quickly as air inflated tires
  • Nitrogen inflated tires minimize blowouts
  • Nitrogen inflated tires improve vehicle handling through proper inflation and consistently maintained pressure
  • Nitrogen is an inert, non-combustible and non-flammable gas
  • Nitrogen is a stable gas providing more constant pressure
  • Nitrogen is a dry gas with no corrosive properties as found in compressed air
Correct inflation versus under-inflation Correct inflation is highly significant when considering tire life and performance. It is not always possible to look at a tire and detect under-inflation. However, under-inflation can cause many tire-related problems. As inflation pressure largely determines a tire's load capacity, under-inflation results in an overloaded tire. An under-inflated tire operates at high deflection resulting in decreased fuel economy, sluggish handling and may result in excessive mechanical flexing and heat build up, leading to catastrophic tire failure.
We are serious about offering the highest quality nitrogen tire filling service. Our professional nitrogen filling equipment is built in the USA by RTI Technologies, Inc., part of a global company that builds automated equipment that fills new vehicles with fluids in vehicle assembly plants around the world.
Nitrogen-Filled Tires Facts & Testimonials "One thing government and tire-industry officials agree on is the importance of keeping tires properly inflated. The risks of underinflation, which stresses tires by causing their sidewalls to flex more and the air temperature inside to rise, were highlighted during congressional hearings two years ago into the Firestone tire problems. Underinflation was identified as a factor in the failure of Firestone tires." -Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2002 Using nitrogen instead of compressed air has distinct advantages, which lead to immediate benefits for the vehicle owner.
  1. It has more mass, so it migrates through the tire three to four times slower. The result: Tires hold their psi longer.
  2. It runs about 20% cooler. Less heat results in less tire degradation.
  3. It drastically reduces oxidation on the rim and inner-liner (nitrogen systems almost totally eliminate oxygen - the cause of oxidation - from the mix).
  4. It is environmentally safe.
-Bob Ulrich, Modern Tire Dealer, July, 2004 TMC (Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Association) says that about 90% of tire failures causing tire road debris is caused by underinflation. -TMC Tire Air Pressure Study, May, 2002 Bridgestone says air inflated tires lost an average of 2.7 psi per month and nitrogen inflated tires lost an average of 0.7 psi per month. -Guy Walenga, Clemson Tire Conference, March, 2004 Michelin Supports the use of nitrogen based on its ability to better retain pressure over a period of time. -Michelin Technical Bulletin, November, 2003 "Goodyear says 15% under-inflation equals 8% less tread mileage and 2.5% decrease in fuel economy." -Goodyear Radial Truck Tire and Retread Service Manual, Page 40 "Having tires inflated to the maximum recommended pressure can improve gas mileage by as much as 6 percent." -Ann Job, "Fuel Saving Tips," MSN Autos, September 19, 2005 Pirelli says 20% under-inflation equals 15% shorter tire life. United States Department of Energy says the United States loses over 2 million gallons of fuel each day due to under#45;inflation. Frequently Asked Questions Is nitrogen inflation new? It's been used on giant off-highway tires, on aircraft tires, and on racing tires for many years. Off-highway tires, aircraft tires and racecar tires have used nitrogen inflation for quite some time. Why did they switch? Air is about one-fifth oxygen, and oxygen, especially at high temperatures and pressures, is a very reactive element. When oxygen reacts with things, the process is called oxidation. When oxidation is extremely rapid, the process is called "burning." That's one reason nitrogen is used in off-highway and aircraft tires. These tires run so hot they can actually catch on fire. Nitrogen doesn't support combustion, so nitrogen-filled tires don't add fuel to the flames. And, nitrogen helps prevent slower forms of oxidation too. What are those? Oxygen corrodes aluminum and steel wheels. And, oxygen reacts with rubber, in a sense, "corroding" it too. Rust and dust from wheels can clog valve stems, causing them to leak. And, rough surfaces on wheel flanges and tire beads may not seal properly, causing additional leaks. Oxygen also ages the innerliner, that tine layer of rubber inside the tire whose function is keeping air away from the carcass. As the innerliner ages, more and more air molecules can pass through it, causing more pressure losses. How does that happen? Air migrates through rubber. Truck tires can lose 2 psi per month as a result of air passing through their sidewalls - like a balloon that shrivels up, but much slower. That's why regular inflation pressure checks are a must. Even if there's nothing "wrong," you can still be losing pressure. And, when oxygen passes through rubber, it can come into contact with steel cords, causing them to rust too. Between aging rubber and corroding steel cords, oxygen reduces retreadability. How does nitrogen help? While both nitrogen and oxygen can permeate rubber, nitrogen does it much more slowly. It might take six months to lose 2 psi with nitrogen, compared to just a month with air. And, nitrogen is far less reactive. It doesn't cause rust and corrosion on steel or aluminum, and it doesn't degrade rubber. Wheel surfaces stay smooth and clean, rubber remains supple and resilient. Inflation losses are minimized - and retreadability is enhanced. Are there other benefits to nitrogen inflation? The air around us is full of water vapor. It's called "humidity." Compressing air concentrates the water in it. Draining water from your air lines every day helps, but unless you have a really efficient air dryer, chances are there's lots of water in your compressed air. What's the harm in that? Water vapor in compressed air acts as a catalyst, accelerating rust and corrosion. Water vapor also absorbs and holds heat. And, when it changes from liquid to vapor, water expands tremendously in volume. So, tires inflated with wet air tend to run hotter and fluctuate in pressure more. That's why racing tires, where fractions of psi can radically change handling, are inflated with dry nitrogen. Where do we get nitrogen? Some people use high pressure cylinders or big containers of liquid nitrogen as their source, but several companies now offer machines that separate nitrogen from air. These machines can produce nitrogen that's 95 percent or more pure, taking it from the inexhaustible supply in the air around us. Do we have to do something special to fill our tires? Not really. If you take a truck tire that's just been mounted, and inflate it with 95 percent nitrogen, you'll end up with a concentration of about 93 percent nitrogen in the tire. That's good enough to do the job. Why wouldn't it be 95 percent? Because the tire was full of air. So there was some oxygen in it before you added the nitrogen. What do we do when we're out on the road? Chances are, as it becomes more popular, you'll find nitrogen inflation equipment at truckstops. But in the meantime, consider this: With nitrogen inflation, you won't need to "top off" your tires nearly as often - or as much. And, if you need to add pressure, the little bit of air that you might put in will have little effect. If you have nitrogen inflation at "home" when trucks come in, you can let the air out of their tires and re-inflate them with near-pure nitrogen. That will bring the concentration of nitrogen inside your tires back to optimum levels. Is nitrogen inflation cost-effective? That's going to depend on your situation. If your trailers go out and don't come back for six months or more, being able to keep consistent inflation pressures may greatly lengthen tread life. Some tests have shown increases of up to 26 percent. Less rubber aging and tire cord rust could also yield a higher proportion of retreadable casings - and casings that can survive more retread cycles. That cuts cost per mile too. There's nothing you can do that is better for your tires than maintaining the right inflation pressure - all the time. Nitrogen could help you do that.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hyundai Goes Upscale With Crossover

Hyundai Goes Upscale With Crossover





Make way for the all-new Hyundai Veracruz, a premium crossover utility vehicle from South Korea's largest automaker.

With upscale amenities and impressive power, the seven-passenger Veracruz represents the best of Hyundai, an automaker that a decade ago was struggling to stay afloat in the highly competitive U.S. market.

The South Korean company's reputation for poor - quality vehicles - cheap econoboxes that had little resale value - almost led the company to abandon this market or at least change its name.

But Hyundai has completed one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of the auto industry. The company's vehicles now lead the non-luxury brands for quality in J.D. Power surveys, outranking even the Japanese giants Toyota and Honda.

And while the quality of its vehicles has climbed to the top, Hyundai has been able to retain its longtime policy of pricing its products below the competition, making these vehicles among the best values on the market.

Buoyed by its recent successes and high scores for quality, the company is moving upscale.

First came the fall 2005 introduction of the premium Azera full-size sedan, a $25,000-plus car that has the feel of a $30,000-plus Lexus or Acura sedan.

Then last week the Detroit auto show, Hyundai rolled out the Veracruz, a crossover with an "aspirational target" of the Lexus RX 350, according to Miles Johnson, manager of product public relations for Hyundai Motor America, the company's U.S. sales and marketing arm.

The 2007 Veracruz, which Hyundai has already begun shipping to dealers, is the best-equipped, most-luxurious vehicle the company has offered.

With prices beginning at about $27,500 for the base GLS model and ranging as high as $33,000 for the leather-equipped Limited model, the Veracruz is a giant step above the company's midsize Santa Fe crossover, whose prices range from $21,045 to $28,025.

"This is definitely a notch up for us," Johnson said. "The Santa Fe has a 3.3-liter V-6 and optional seven-passenger seating, but the Veracruz comes with a 3.8-liter V-6 and a standard third row."

The Veracruz also comes with Hyundai's first six-speed automatic transmission, which also has manual-shift capability.

The vehicle is quieter at highway speeds than the RX 350, Johnson said, and although it's nine inches shorter than the full-size Mercedes-Benz GL500 sport utility, the Veracruz has more cargo space.

With 260 horsepower, the Veracruz has more power than the competing Honda Pilot (240) and Toyota Highlander (215).

"The Veracruz has a lot of outstanding features, but still has a reasonable price," Johnson said.

"In the past, we weren't known for this level of quality. But people no longer have to justify buying a Hyundai. I think we're going to do quite well with it."

Safety also is strongly emphasized in the Veracruz, which includes such standard features as electronic stability control, driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side air bags, roof-mounted side-curtain air bags for all three rows of seats, four-wheel antilock brakes, active front head restraints, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

"We have electronic stability control on 70 percent of our line, including some of our lower-end models," Johnson said. "This is one of the most-important new safety features in the industry, and we're making it standard because we don't want our customers to have to choose between buying a sunroof or a safety system."

The Veracruz rides on a lengthened Santa Fe chassis, which itself was derived from the current-generation Sonata midsize sedan chassis. This is the chassis also used for the Azera.

"Veracruz is an exceptional vehicle at the right time for this developing segment," Steve Wilhite, Hyundai Motor America's chief operating officer, said during the Detroit introduction.

"The vehicle's designers recognized that the needs and desires of traditional SUV buyers weren't being met, and focused on meeting those needs in an elegant and ingenious way. The result is a spacious crossover that delivers both refined style and first-rate performance."

Hyundai says the vehicle's sculpted front bumper was designed to create the appearance of additional height. The design also includes three-tiered headlights.

Chrome trim was "strategically applied" to highlight some of the vehicle's design features, the company said, "while giving Veracruz an elegant, luxurious presence."

Base models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, while uplevel versions have 18-inch alloy wheels.

The interior was designed to "coddle" passengers in a "rich, sophisticated environment that was inspired by boutique hotels," Hyundai said. The result "is an interior that could be found in the finest luxury sedans."

As for the quietness, "every major component has been designed to reduce cabin noise below the whisper-quiet Lexus RX350," the company said.

The seats include two front buckets, a three-person middle bench, and a two-person rear bench. But even the rear seat was designed to accommodate adults, unlike the third seat in most of the Veracruz's competitors, which are barely comfortable for children.

The third seat has a hideaway function that opens the cargo area up when the seat isn't needed for passengers. The middle row can be folded, as can the front passenger seat, to further increase cargo capacity.

The vehicle comes with front-wheel drive, but for about $1,000, all-wheel drive is available on any model, Johnson said.

Three trim levels are offered. Besides the base GLS and top Limited model, there is the sporty SE between the two.

All GLS models come with a rear spoiler, the 17-inch wheels, an AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system, air conditioning with cabin filter, steering wheel audio/cruise controls, heated power side mirrors with puddle lights and side turn signals, front solar glass and rear privacy glass, remote keyless entry, and power windows and door locks.

An optional premium package adds a sunroof, power driver's seat, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a backup warning system.

The midlevel SE adds to the GLS features such extras as the 18-inch wheels, power driver's seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, universal garage/gate opener, front fog lights, a roof luggage rack, center storage console with Cool Box, auto-dimming outside mirrors and automatic headlights.

Adding the premium and leather package brings the sunroof, leather seats, heated front seats, a 315-watt Infinity audio system with CD changer, and a backup warning system.

Also available is an entertainment package (which also requires the premium and leather package), which features a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, 605-watt Infinity AM/FM/XM/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with Logic 7 surround sound, a 115-volt power outlet, and a conversation mirror.

The Limited comes with the features of the SE, plus the leather seats, heated front seats, power front passenger seat, automatic climate control, 315-watt Infinity audio system, sunroof, power tailgate, chrome door handles, brushed metal door sill plates, conversation mirror, windshield wiper de-icer and backup warning system.

And the ultimate package adds power-adjustable pedals, integrated memory system, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, the 605-watt Infinity audio system, the entertainment system, the 115-volt power outlet, a proximity key system, and rain-sensing wipers. The proximity-key system is like that offered on many luxury vehicles, allowing for keyless unlocking and starting of the vehicle.

EPA fuel-economy ratings are 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway for the front drive models, and 17 city/24 highway with all-wheel drive.

San Antonio Express-News
Hyundai Goes Upscale With Crossover
G. Chambers Williams
Publication Date: January 19, 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hyundai Motor America Records Eighth Consecutive Year-Over-Year Sales Increase

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA RECORDS EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR-OVER-YEAR SALES INCREASE

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 01/03/2007 Hyundai Motor America today announced sales of 37,365 units for the month of December and 455,520 for 2006, its eighth consecutive year-over-year sales increase. Year-end sales were bolstered by strong December demand for the all-new 2007 Accent and the all-new 2007 Santa Fe, up 66 percent and 121 percent respectively over December 2005.

"While we celebrate closing the year with record sales, we are disappointed that we fell short of our initial sales objectives," said Steve Wilhite, chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor America. "We will remember 2006 for our continued improvement and outstanding achievements in quality, our commitment to standardizing the most effective safety technologies across our growing product line-up, and extending the Hyundai Advantage, America’s Best Warranty – initiatives we believe will pay meaningful dividends in the years ahead."

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 755 dealerships nationwide.

All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by The Hyundai Advantage, America’s Best Warranty. Hyundai buyers are protected by a 10-year/100,000-mile power train warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 7-year/unlimited-mile anti-perforation warranty and 5-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance protection.

CARLINEDEC 2005DEC 2006CY2005CY2006
ACCENT1,6612,75941,01234,735
SONATA20,85310,149130,365149,513
ELANTRA8,9077,444116,33698,853
TIBURON1,18378420,60017,382
SANTA FE3,7538,28268,00663,931
XG350/AZERA1,7452,47917,64526,833
TUCSON4,9193,66961,04852,067
ENTOURAGEN/A1,799N/A12,206
TOTAL43,02137,365455,012455,520

Santa Fe Wins Best SUV Of The Year In Autobytel's 2007 Editors' Choice Awards

HYUNDAI SANTA FE WINS "BEST SUV OF THE YEAR" IN AUTOBYTEL'S 2007 EDITORS' CHOICE AWARDS



2007 SANTA FE AND ENTOURAGE EARN ACCOLADES FOR NEW MODEL INTRODUCTIONS

Fountain Valley, Calif., 12/05/2006 Autobytel recognized the Hyundai Santa Fe as the "SUV of the Year" for its 2007 Editors' Choice Awards. Hyundai earned two additional victories in the "Best New Midsize SUV" and "Best New Minivan" categories for the Santa Fe and Entourage respectively. Awards were distributed at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The fourth annual Autobytel Editors' Choice Awards is a listing of the best new 2007 vehicles on the market, comprised by a team of veteran automotive editors. The Hyundai Santa Fe unanimously beat its competitors in both the "Best New Midsize SUV" and "SUV of the Year" categories by offering a new, sleek and sporty design coupled with a luxurious interior at an affordable price. The Hyundai Entourage rises above the competition for title of "Best New Minivan" with its smooth and powerful 250 horsepower ride, interior features and flexible trim levels.

"Hyundai is honored to take home three awards from Autobytel, a top consumer resource for expert vehicle information," said John Krafcik, vice president of Strategic Planning and Product Development, Hyundai Motor America". "We're especially proud of Santa Fe's honor, as it bests all SUVs and crossovers across all price ranges, including terrific competition such as the new Honda CR-V, Ford Edge, and Mazda CX-7."

The Hyundai Santa Fe meets consumers' demand for safety, style and performance. All Santa Fe models are equipped with segment-leading standard safety technologies, including a total of six airbags, active front head restraints, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The 2007 Santa Fe also offers a choice of two clean, fuel-efficient V6 powertrains in 2.7 and 3.3 liter, along with an optional third-row seat that significantly expands Santa Fe’s market appeal.

The Hyundai Entourage offers an unprecedented combination of standard safety, comfort and convenience matched with a powerful engine and outstanding quality backed by Hyundai’s 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Entourage earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) top five-star crash test rating for front and side impacts and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) highest honor – the gold "Top Safety Pick" award - the best rating ever for a minivan. Entourage is also the first vehicle with the Hyundai Hideaway™ third-row seat, a simple-to-use 60/40 split fold-into-the floor seat offering flexibility for up to seven passengers.

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 740 dealerships nationwide.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

HCD10 Hyundai Hellion Concept Debuts at LA Auto Show

TOUGH COMPACT HCD10 Hyundai hellion Concept Debuts at Los Angeles Auto Show



LOS ANGELES, November 29, 2006 – The Hyundai Design and Technical Center and Hyundai Motor America presented the world debut of the HCD10 Hyundai Hellion concept during a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. Hellion is a compact three-door sport crossover designed with attitude and independence creating its unmistakable character. "The HCD10 Hyundai Hellion was designed to appeal to a diverse individualist customer," said Joel Piaskowski, chief designer at the Hyundai Design Center. "Mindset and attitude are becoming the modern way to define new market segments and we feel the Hellion concept will do that. Hellion brings a new attitude to the Hyundai family. It's the sibling who's a bit mischievous and always outspoken."





ARCHITECHTURE

Hellion's architecture was inspired by a tough, hardshell backpack that uses ribs to provide structural and visual strength. To support this, Hyundai used three ultra-lightweight structural ribs to create Hellion's safety cage. These ribs connect to a suspended surfboard-shaped spine. Hellion's ribcage not only provides protection for its occupants, but also adds visual rigidity and shape. By stretching the sheet metal skin away from the common body surface, the ribs give Hellion a new kind of organic ruggedness.





EXTERIOR DESIGN

"The proportions of the HCD10 Hyundai Hellion make it look and feel tough," said Marc Mainville, senior designer at the Hyundai Design Center. "Short overhangs allow for excellent attack angles for off-roading and the skid plates, muscular wheel flares and tow hooks convey Hellion's strength."



The Hyundai Hellion's front design explores how new organic structural forms could look on future Hyundai trucks. Hellion's stance is wide and its face is assertive, with piercing headlights angled towards its dominant grille. A prominent hood scoop enhances Hellion's rally car demeanor while the clamshell hood utilizes exposed latches for easy access to the engine bay. The windshield's fast rake provides a very sporty character to an otherwise stout profile. Front and rear bumpers are distinguished from the organic body shape with a darker, durable wrinkle-finish paint supported by functional aluminum skid plates that wrap underneath the vehicle.



The rear of the Hellion continues the bold design theme. Hellion's taillights emphasize the tapering of the greenhouse and the wide sculpture of the wheel flares by being cantilevered off the rear quarter glass. Dual chrome exhaust tips are fitted between the bumper and skid plate to complete the integrated appearance.



A removable canvas soft-top roof adds to the independent spirit of the Hyundai Hellion. The roof's fabric has a subtle abstracted camouflage pattern, but any pattern can be requested by the customer to personalize their vehicle. The exterior is finished in a Dakar Gold paint scheme recognizing the famous Rally Race and its influence on the design. The 20-inch aluminum wheels are constructed in two pieces and are Teflon®-coated to resist build-up of the elements.





INTERIOR DESIGN

Hellion's efficient, two-box design and three-door package gives the driver and passengers a tidy, functional environment from which to navigate."The HCD10 Hyundai Hellion has a consistent design theme unifying the interior and exterior resulting in a very cohesive concept car," said Martin Frost, senior designer at the Hyundai Design Center. "The exterior is reflected throughout the interior with stretched surfaces creating interesting negative forms contributing to the perception of space."



The ribs on the exterior are evident on the interior as they grow from the side panels to encapsulate the occupants and suspend an overhead console running the length of the interior. The console houses integrated interior lighting and a drop-down LCD monitor for rear-seat entertainment.The customizable camouflage pattern used on the exterior of the removable roof has been scaled down and trimmed as accent panels on the four race-inspired bucket seats. The interior is composed of glossy white accents and matte aluminum details contrasting with the black Desert Night interior giving Hellion a crisp, modern look.



The HCD10 Hyundai Hellion's compact exterior appearance belies its abundant interior space. Inventive cargo and storage spaces make the Hellion gear-ready. The seat-mounted gear packs transform into fully functional backpacks via push-button releases, allowing drivers and passengers to continue their adventures on foot. In addition, convenient hideaway drawers push out from the front of each seat. Storage is also found along the center console and there are two lids with translucent strips for easy access to belongings.



The Hyundai Hellion includes extras that will help drivers take on rugged driving conditions while providing necessary amenities to keep the driver and passengers nestled in relative comfort. As an example, the bucket seats are equipped with a unique hydration system. A removable, refillable reservoir inside each seat replaces the common cupholder. The fluids are accessed by a pump-assisted flow tube that is attached to each seat allowing the individual to hydrate with ease. This hands-free hydration system allows the driver and passengers to focus on the road and scenery.



The instrument panel-mounted information display indicates the status of all in- car systems. Immediate control over climate and audio functions are facilitated via the control panel directly below the monitor. Navigation and more involved instructions are directed through the console-mounted mouse.



PERFORMANCE

Performance had to equal the outspoken styling, so the Hyundai Hellion has been outfitted with an eco-friendly 3.0-liter V6 Common-rail Diesel engine (CRDi) with 236 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission to fit Hellion's performance demands. The Hellion also comes with 4WD, further underscoring the capability aspects of this CUV.





TECHNOLOGY

The HCD10 Hyundai Hellion is equipped with next-generation technology including:

  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Shift-by-Wire Transmission
  • Wireless Internet
  • Navigation
  • Adaptive Cruise Control





SPECIFICATIONS

Configuration:
All-wheel drive, 2+2 three-door sport crossover utility vehicle
Wheelbase:
2555 mm. (100.6 in.)
Overall Length:
4171 mm. (164.2 in.)
Overall Height:
1559.3 mm. (61.4 in.)
Overall Width:
1890.4 mm. (74.4 in.)
Track, f/r:
1542 mm. (60.7 in.) / 1542 mm. (60.7 in.)
Wheels:
20-in. aluminum 5-spoke design with Tefflon® coating
Tires:
P275/55 R20
Engine:
3.0-liter V6 Common-rail Diesel producing 236 horsepower
Transmission:
6-speed automatic
Suspension:
Fully independent front and rear
Exhaust:
Dual chrome tips
Exterior:
Dakar Gold paint scheme
Interior:
Black Desert Night with glossy white accents and matte aluminum details
Special Features:
Removable sliding soft top and tilt front hood

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 740 dealerships nationwide.

Hyundai Debuts New 2007 Veracruz At North American International Auto Show



Check out the all new 2007 Hyundai Veracruz at AllNewVeracruz.com


DETROIT, Mich., 01/08/2007 The new Veracruz midsize crossover made its North American debut today at the 2007 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Just as the Hyundai Azera is altering perceptions about premium sedans, Veracruz breaks new ground in premium crossovers. Hyundai has once again made luxury and performance attainable in previously unthinkable ways: with standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), upscale amenities and more cargo volume than the full-size Mercedes-Benz GL, Veracruz uniquely blends substance with style.



Veracruz takes on the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander and beats them in terms of powertrain performance and standard safety features while adding sophisticated design, high-quality craftsmanship and seating for seven adults.



"Veracruz is an exceptional vehicle at the right time for this developing segment," said Steve Wilhite, chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor America. "The vehicle's designers recognized that the needs and desires of traditional SUV buyers weren't being met and focused on meeting those needs in an elegant and ingenious way. The result is a spacious crossover that delivers both refined style and first-rate performance."





BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL



The Veracruz continues Hyundai's product expansion and global design evolution through the continued use of fluid and organic forms to create a refined, and luxurious exterior appearance.



"We are very proud of Veracruz and feel this design will not only reinforce our design direction as a company, but also greatly enhance our escalating brand image on a global basis," said Joel Piaskowski, chief designer at the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, Calif. "Fluid lines combined with the integrated headlights and taillights envelop Veracruz to create a unified aesthetic."



Up front, the sculpted bumper creates the appearance of additional height. Three-tiered headlights complement the design. The grille combines a flat-lined upper chrome bezel and a curved lower bezel which houses the Hyundai flying-H logo. Distinctive character lines and a fast profile enhance the stylish yet functional imagery. The vehicle's seductive beltline ascends from the wraparound headlights and follows the tapering greenhouse to include the prominent taillights. Chrome trim is strategically applied to highlight some of its design features while giving Veracruz an elegant, luxurious presence. The prominent wheel arches house 17- or 18-inch wheels and tires.



Smooth and solid in its stance, the Veracruz even impresses as it departs. The integrated rear fascia has a sculpted section that blends seamlessly into the sides of the taillights. The taillights decisively angle towards the character line highlighting the rounded back glass. Dual chrome exhaust tips, a Hyundai design trademark, allow Veracruz's 3.8-liter V6 engine to breathe freely. A rear spoiler enhances the sporty profile.





INTELLIGENT INTERIOR



Inside, passengers are coddled in a rich, sophisticated environment that was inspired by boutique hotels. The result is an interior that could be found in the finest luxury sedans thanks to Hyundai's intelligent ergonomic engineering, intuitive design, and superior craftsmanship. Hyundai has combined space with elegance including conveniences that exceed expectations. For example, although the Veracruz is 9.7 inches shorter than the Mercedes Benz GL, it has more cargo volume.



Every major component of Veracruz has been designed to reduce cabin noise below the whisper-quiet Lexus RX350. To isolate outside noise, Hyundai applies acoustic dampening sheets to the doors and unibody, a steel plate beneath the engine and four layers of carpet padding. Engine noise is reduced through electronically controlled engine mounts, a multi-curvature dash, custom hood insulation and a pillow tripod joint which lessens vibrations from the driveshaft at idle.



Seating for seven adults is made possible thanks to the standard Hyundai Hideaway™ third-row seat. Access to the third row is just a step away with the flip of a lever to slide the second row forward. Available dual-zone climate controls for driver and front-seat passenger further enhance the Veracruz's luxury credentials. Second- and third-row passengers will enjoy a new level of comfort, thanks to B pillar-mounted adjustable vents, rear HVAC controls and roof-mounted vents.



Brushed metal accents and blue backlighting for all interior gauges, switches and buttons highlight the modern, integrated interior design. Even the front cupholders are ringed with blue light to aid nighttime driving, while a soft blue spotlight in the overhead console provides subdued task lighting. Hyundai's focused attention to detail can be seen throughout the interior - console bins and the glovebox are lined with soft flocking material. Powerpoint caps, seatbelt buckles and cupholder inserts are color-keyed for design harmony. Soft-touch, high-quality materials, low-gloss surfaces and zero-tolerance net-fits are used throughout the interior.



An AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system that includes an internal amplifier and six speakers comes standard in the Veracruz GLS and SE. The 315-watt Infinity® AM/FM/XM/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with subwoofer and external amplifier is standard on the Limited trim and optional in the SE. Audiophiles with even more demanding tastes will be impressed by the available Infinity AM/FM/XM/CD-changer audio system that includes a 605-watt external amplifer, 10 speakers and Logic 7® surround sound available on the SE and Limited trim levels.



Other thoughtful convenience features include a proximity key, rain-sensing wipers, auto dimming exterior mirrors, mirror-mounted approach lights, adjustable pedals, memory settings for the power mirrors, driver seat and steering wheel, backup warning system, power liftgate, and a rear-seat entertainment system that includes a DVD player and eight-inch overhead screen.



INNER POWER



On the street, the new Veracruz has thrilling performance courtesy of the same 3.8-liter DOHC V6 engine that powers the Azera. It delivers an estimated 260 horsepower and 257 lb-ft. of torque. To maximize the power spread, the engine utilizes Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on the intake valves and a Variable Intake System which helps cylinders breathe efficiently at both low and high RPM. The engine uses an aluminum block and cylinder heads for light weight and thermal efficiency, and features timing chains with no scheduled maintenance.



To reduce vibration, the engine rides on newly developed semi-active engine mounts, which consist of three passive mounts integrated with a controllable element, rpm sensor and solenoid valve. The mounts harness engine vacuum to create a dynamic response which offsets engine vibrations. In fact, Veracruz has less idling vibration and noise than the Lexus RX350.



To help put the power to use, the engine is mated to an Aisin six-speed gearbox with SHIFTRONIC® manual control. The transmission offers silky smooth shifts and a wide spread of ratios that ideally suit the engine's capabilities. Drivers can access the SHIFTRONIC® feature by moving the gear selector into a separate gate. Pushing the selector forward or pulling it rearward will shift the transmission up or down sequentially, adding to driver control. A clear LCD readout on the instrument panel shows the gear that's in use. The transmission uses an integrated transmission control unit and low noise gears which reduce friction.



All of this powertrain technology is put to efficient use in the Veracruz, with an EPA highway fuel economy estimate of 25 miles per gallon, exceeding the smaller, less powerful Honda Pilot. Veracruz also delivers clean air, with an anticipated Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) classification.



CHASSIS FEATURES



Hyundai engineers benchmarked the best crossovers in the world before designing Veracruz's unibody and four-wheel independent suspension system. The rigid chassis and suspension geometry were specifically designed to deliver a supple, confident ride and help isolate the passenger cabin from imperfection in the road. The underpinnings are governed by a MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension system.



Upfront, reverse L-shaped lower control arms and high caster angles provide superior steering feel and excellent straight-line stability. Large subframe bushings improve the ride and isolate unwanted noise, vibration and harshness. All four wheels are controlled by coil springs, fade-resistant, gas-charged dampers and front and rear stabilizer bars. The Veracruz GLS uses 17-inch, five split-spoke aluminum wheels and 245/65R17 tires, while the SE and Limited trims ride on 18-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels and 245/60R18 tires. Add in rack-and-pinion power steering, with a tighter minimum turning radius than the shorter Lexus RX350 and Nissan Murano, and the end result is a vehicle with precise steering and handling, and a well-controlled yet comfortable ride.



ELECTRONIC ALL-WHEEL DRIVE



Hyundai has added an Intelligent Torque Controlled Coupling All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system to propel Veracruz through the elements. Using wheel speed sensors to monitor the road and the driver, this electronic system can sense when and where more torque is required and route it there automatically. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels through a multi-plate clutch without any extra effort from the driver. An AWD lock mode can be engaged with the touch of a button providing a 50:50 torque ratio when needed.



SOPHISTICATED SAFETY SYSTEMS





"The 2007 Veracruz embraces both active and passive safety with a host of leading-edge technologies," said John Krafcik, vice president of Strategic Planning and Product Development, Hyundai Motor America. "Electronic Stability Control, six airbags including side curtain airbags protecting all three rows, and active front head restraints are found standard in Veracruz and are some of the industry's most effective technologies."



Veracruz's advanced engineering provides a high level of precision during all aspects of driving, and is anchored by standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the industry's most important new safety technology. By continually analyzing road speed, steering input, throttle position, lateral yaw rate and other factors, an onboard microprocessor determines if the vehicle is starting to understeer or oversteer, and automatically engages one or more brakes. The system also reduces engine output to help the driver maintain the intended path.



In addition, Veracruz adds large four-wheel disc brakes with a 10-inch tandem brake booster and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) for impressive stopping distance for a vehicle of its size. Brake Assist maximizes braking force when an emergency stop is detected.



Veracruz's passive safety features are equally impressive, beginning with six total airbags, including advanced dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and roof-mounted side curtain airbags for all three rows of seating. In addition, active front head restraints help prevent whiplash. All seating positions feature three-point seatbelts, while the second and third row also have adjustable head restraints. Security is further provided through the standard alarm system and available engine immobilizer.



To absorb impacts to the passenger cabin, Hyundai engineers optimize crumple zones and reinforce the architecture's rails, side sill frame, floor cross-members and center pillars. These reinforcements have been tested thoroughly in laboratory and computer simulations. Veracruz has been designed and tested to receive the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) top five-star crash test rating for front and side impacts.



Convenient Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) points allow child seats to be secured in the second-row seats. Additional standard safety equipment includes a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which alerts drivers if one or more tires are under inflated. An illuminated readout on the dash lets drivers know the exact tire needing inflation so corrective action can be taken.



THE DIFFERENCE IS IN THE DETAILS

As with all Hyundai vehicles, Hyundai put a great deal of thought and attention to detail into every aspect of Veracruz. One touch opens and closes the available power tailgate, and the proximity key means no more fishing for keys with groceries in hand. Puddle lamps save your best pair of shoes. An integrated memory system returns the driver's seat to a default setting. Lining the rear bumper with rear distance warning sensors makes parallel parking a snap. Aerodynamic wiper blades improve visibility, and two-way nozzles, each with four streams of fluid, provide for remarkably clean windshields.



MODEL LINEUP



The Hyundai Veracruz comes in three distinct trim levels: The well-equipped GLS, sporty SE and premium Limited.



VERACRUZ GLS



Veracruz GLS comes well-equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, ESC, ABS, rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels and seating for seven. Also standard is an AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system (including three months of complementary XM service), air conditioning with cabin filter, steering wheel audio/cruise controls, heated power side mirrors with puddle lights and side turn signal repeaters, front solar glass and rear privacy glass, remote keyless entry, and power windows and door locks. Inside are active front head restraints, dual front airbags, front seat side-impact airbags plus side-curtain airbags. Other useful features include a tire pressure monitoring system, a trip computer and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel. The Hyundai Hideaway third-row seat folds flat into the floor and is split 50/50, and the third row includes its own roof-mounted vents. The optional Premium Package adds a power tilt/slide glass sunroof, power driver seat, heated front seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and backup warning system.



VERACRUZ SE - A SPORTIER FLAVOR OF VERACRUZ



The SE features the GLS equipment plus standard 18-inch alloy wheels, power driver seat, electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink®, and front fog lights. A streamlined roof rack, center storage console with Cool Box functionality, auto-dimming exterior mirrors and automatic headlights are also standard equipment. An optional Premium & Leather Package adds a power tilt/slide glass sunroof, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and a 315-watt Infinity™ audio system with CD changer and backup warning system. The available Entertainment Package (requires Premium and Leather Package) features a rear-seat entertainment system with an eight-inch LCD monitor, 605-watt Infinity AM/FM/XM/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with Logic 7 surround sound, 115-volt power outlet and conversation mirror.



VERACRUZ LIMITED - PREMIUM FEATURES, OUTSTANDING VALUE



Veracruz Limited comes standard with all of the equipment found standard on the SE and adds leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, power front passenger seat, automatic temperature control, a 315-watt Infinity™ audio system with CD changer, power tilt & slide glass sunroof, power tailgate, chrome door handles, brushed metal door sill scuff plates, conversation mirror, windshield wiper deicer and backup warning system. For even greater luxury, the available Ultimate Package includes power-adjustable pedals, integrated memory system, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, blue backlit sill scuff plates, 605-watt Infinity AM/FM/XM/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with Logic 7 surround sound, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with an eight-inch LCD monitor, 115-volt power outlet, proximity key and rain sensing wipers.



HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA



Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 740 dealerships nationwide.



© Copyright HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA 1998-2006. All rights reserved. HyundaiUSA.com

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

SUNDAY DRIVE : More Hyundai value

Wow!

How about an almost-luxury car for under $20,000?

That pretty much sums up the redesigned 2007 Hyundai Elantra, whose top-of-the-line Limited model with all available options lists for $19,910, including $600 freight.

Included in that price are a leather interior, super 220-watt audio system, automatic transmission, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, power heated mirrors, air-conditioning, and both seat-mounted and side-curtain air bags.

A few of the Elantra's features are not even offered on some of its supposed direct competitors, which include the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Chevrolet Cobalt.

Hyundai continues to amaze the automotive world with the value it offers in its vehicles, most of which have more standard content and available options than their competitors for hundreds to thousands of dollars less.

The new Elantra is no exception.

The base GLS model, which begins at $13,995 (including freight) comes with lots of standard equipment, including the front seat-mounted side air bags and side-curtain air bags for both rows of seats, although air conditioning, a necessity here in Texas, is a $900 option.

Even a well-equipped GLS, including automatic transmission ($1,000) and a preferred-equipment package ($1,500) that adds the air conditioning, a 172-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with steering-wheel controls, cruise control, fog lights and dual illuminated visor mirrors, lists for just $16,495, including freight.

In between the base GLS and uplevel Limited is the SE model, which starts at $16,295 (with freight). It comes with the features of the preferred package, along with some other extras, including leather shift knob, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a trip computer.

The automatic transmission adds $1,000, and a premium package ($1,150) adds a power sunroof and heated seats.

With the automatic transmission and sunroof package, the SE lists for just $18,445. The biggest difference between the SE and the Limited at this price is that the SE has cloth rather than leather seats.

Even the Limited model can be had for well under $20,000 if you leave off the automatic transmission and the "sun and sound" package ($1,300), which brings the sunroof and 220-watt stereo.

Base price of the Limited is just $17,295, which includes the leather seats, door panel inserts and armrest, along with the front-seat heaters. This is a remarkable price for a car this well-equipped. Even with the automatic transmission, it's still just $18,295.

Styling of the new Elantra isn't a radical departure from the previous generation's, but it does offer some cues from the brand's flagship Azera sedan. Hyundai says the Elantra's new look also has some features in common with the 2007 Santa Fe.

Under the hood there is just one engine available -- a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder rated at 138 horsepower (except in California and a handful of Northeastern states, where it has lower emissions and a 132-horsepower rating).

Standard is a five-speed manual transmission, and the optional automatic is a four-speed with lockup torque converter.

Either transmission gives the new Elantra impressive EPA fuel-economy ratings of 28 miles per gallon city/36 highway.

Another great thing about the Elantra is that even though it's priced to compete in the compact sedan segment, its 112.1 cubic feet of interior space, including the 14.2 cubic-foot trunk, give the car an official EPA classification as a midsize sedan.

It has more interior space than the 2007 Civic (102.9 cubic feet), Sentra (110.8) and Corolla (103.8). In fact, it has more interior volume than even the midsize entry-luxury Acura TL sedan (110.4), which is built on the same chassis as the Honda Accord.

Hyundai says the redesigned Elantra is 2 inches wider and 2.2 inches taller than last year's model, allowing for the increased interior space. Front and rear shoulder room have been increased, and the rear bench seat is more comfortable for three people than it was last year.

The Elantra's trunk is 18 percent larger than the Civic's and 5 percent bigger than the Corolla's, Hyundai says.

With the 2007 Elantra, Hyundai now has introduced seven new or completely redesigned models in just two years. It's the last part of the company's so-called "24-7" program that promised seven new models in 24 months.

The others are the Tucson compact sport utility, introduced last year; the redesigned midsize Sonata, which arrived two years ago; the compact, entry-level Accent, whose sedan model showed up last year and whose hatchback version was added for 2007; the flagship premium Azera sedan, new last year; the redesigned midsize Santa Fe sport utility, whose second generation arrived this fall; and the Entourage, Hyundai's first minivan, which made its debut this year as a 2007 model.

All of these new models give Hyundai, the largest South Korean automaker, the "freshest lineup" in the industry, the company says.

The Elantra, which is a step above the compact Accent and intended for people who can afford to spend a bit more, has been one of Hyundai's top-selling models for years.

The new model, with its vast improvements, is expected to help build significantly on the Elantra's success.

"The all-new Elantra delivers a level of ride and handling refinement that's both agile and comfortable," said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America's vice president for product development.

"Add in great standard safety features like six air bags, antilock brakes and active front head restraints, and our assertive new design, and it's clear that Elantra offers unbeatable value."

The front-seat side air bags and the side-curtain are a surprising standard feature for this vehicle class, and offer occupants protection from side impacts as well as rollovers.

These types of air bags are believed to be capable of reducing fatalities by more than 45 percent overall, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Hyundai notes that the side-impact air bags are "expensive options on competitors such as Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus, and are not available on the Chevrolet Cobalt. Side-curtain air protection is optional on Corolla and Cobalt and still not available on Focus."

The Elantra does not offer electronic stability control, however, which is an emerging technology that is quickly becoming standard on SUVs, and at least optional on many other vehicles.

Still, the Elantra's safety features are well above average for its class.

The car's "accident avoidance technologies" begin with the car's independent suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars and motor-driven rack-and-pinion power steering, Hyundai says.

In addition, standard on all three trim levels are four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.

Antilock brakes -- or ABS -- help prevent accidents, while the air bags are intended to help protect the occupants should an accident occur.

The best protection against accidents is prevention, though, and beyond the ABS, the brake-force distribution system is designed to automatically adjust braking pressure to the front and rear axles based on the vehicle's load. That can help prevent an accident during a panic braking maneuver.

As for the four-wheel disc brakes, they are found only on uplevel versions of most of the Elantra's competitors if they are offered at all. Most cars in this class have front disc and rear drum brakes. Drum brakes, an old technology that is disappearing from the automotive scene, are more susceptible to failure than disc brakes, especially when they get wet.

The Elantra also comes with standard front-seat active head restraints, designed to help prevent whiplash injuries.

Hyundai also offers one of the best warranties in the industry -- five years/60,000 miles total coverage, and 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain.

San Antonio Express-News (TX)
SUNDAY DRIVE : More Hyundai value
G. Chambers Williams
Publication Date: December 17, 2006