Thursday, March 29, 2007

First Look: Hyundai Concept Genesis

First Look: Hyundai Concept Genesis

New Beginnings: Hyundai gives birth to its first sport-luxury sedan; Japan gets the labor pains



This car is going to shock you. It's going to shock GM and Toyota, too. Even BMW and Mercedes-Benz are going to pay attention. Hyundai calls it Concept Genesis, but you can forget the concept bit; apart from the odd piece of showcar eye-candy, you're looking at Korea's first production sport-luxury sedan. It has rear drive and a V-8 engine. And it'll be in a Hyundai showroom near you sometime in 2008.

Concept Genesis gives us the first glimpse of Hyundai's much-anticipated BH rear-drive architecture. For a company with a reputation for fast-tracking new models at a pace that makes even the Japanese dizzy, the BH has been a long time coming-more than five years, in fact. But that doesn't mean Hyundai has been slacking; Concept Genesis is on its second exterior (the previous design was scrapped, after the hugely expensive tooling process had been started) and third chassis setup (the rear axle was upgraded from a four-link configuration to five-link only last year). And when the production version launches next year, Hyundai will be a player in a sector that Toyota took 15 years longer to enter.

Chutzpah? Or confidence? Both swirl through a company driven by a fierce determination to succeed and, in particular, to beat the Japanese. Hyundai wants to be the world's fifth largest automaker by 2010, and the BH architecture revealed by Concept Genesis is a key part of the strategy.

Genesis: Concept to Production
  • Grille design has yet to be finalized for production.
  • Production headlights will be larger, with integrated turn signals.
  • Base engine will be 3.8-liter V-6 with near 300 horsepower.
  • Dual exhaust will exit under bumper, not through it.
  • base wheel is 18-inch alloy; 19s and possibly 20s will be optional.
  • As a sport-luxury sedan, Concept Genesis breaks no new ground. Indeed, one look at the exterior suggests Hyundai's strategy is simply to follow the same BMW playbook already well thumbed by Nissan's Infiniti division.
    The glasshouse looks pure G35, while the rear end is a tasteful mlange of 3 Series and 7 Series cues. What you don't immediately read, thanks in part to the 20-inch alloy wheels, is the car's size: It's longer, wider, and taller
    than a BMW 5 Series and Lexus GS, with a wheelbase almost as long a Chrysler 300C's. Hyundai sources say the rear seat package is nearly as good as that of an S-Class Mercedes.

    The BMW/Infiniti styling cues signal a similar approach to the engineering, though here Hyundai isn't content to merely play follow the leader: Insiders claim the car's body-in-white, rich in ultra-high-tensile steel, isn't only lighter than that of a 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Lexus LS, but also has 12- to 14-percent-higher dynamic torsional rigidity. Weight distribution is 53/47 percent, front to rear; however, not quite the 50/50 ideal BMW religiously adheres to.

    The Concept Genesis's five-link independent rear suspension is mounted to the body via a sturdy subframe. The lower control arm is pressed steel, but all the other links are forgings. The compact coil springs are mounted separate from the shocks, which are located to the body by way of aluminum castings. The front suspension
    features a short/long-arm setup executed entirely in forged aluminum, with large cast-aluminum top mounts for
    improved precision and rigidity. Steering is via speed-sensitive rack and pinion, mounted ahead of the front axle centerline.

    Under the hood is an all-new, all-aluminum 4.6-liter V-8. Codenamed Tau, it's Hyundai's first in-house V-8 and features state-of-the-moment double-overhead camshafts with variable valve timing and a variable induction system. Hyundai isn't quoting power and torque figures yet, claiming only that the engine produces more than 300 horses and 300 pound-feet of torque (which is only to be expected) and is capable of propelling the car, at a target weight of about 3740 pounds, to 60 mph in under 6.0 seconds. The Tau V-8 drives the rear wheels via ZF's smooth 6HP26 six-seed automatic transmission. Paddle-shift manumatic control will be standard on the production version.



    Production versions of Concept Genesis also will be available with a V-6, the 3.8-liter Lambda unit currently used in the Azera, turned through 180 degrees and driving through an Aisin six-speed automatic. Hyundai sources say power will be upped from the 265 horses the engine currently produces in the Azera to improve performance.

    Genesis: Concept to Production
  • Optional quad-cam 4.6-liter engine is Hyundai's first V-8.
  • Six-speed automatic transmissions will be standard.
  • Five-link independent rearend.
  • Short/long-arm front suspension with alloy components.
  • Speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering.
  • How will the production car differ from Concept Genesis? Very little. The grille design has yet to be finalized, and of course there'll be real headlights filling those blacked-out shapes on either side of it. The front and rear bumper fascias will change, too: The dual exhausts will exit from under the rear bumper rather than through it, for
    example. Standard wheels will be 18-inch alloys running 235/50R18 tires, but 19s and possibly even 20s will be available.

    The production interior will be upscale, offering the tasteful, well-finished blends of leather, aluminum accents, and wood that we've already started to see in recent Hyundais. Standard equipment will be lavish, as well, with
    stability control and eight airbags included, along with sat-nav, satellite radio, and heated and cooled front seats.

    Here's the zinger: Hyundai sources expect the V-6 version to start at under $30,000, or roughly in line with a well-equipped Azera. The V-8? No one's saying, but even if Hyundai charged a $5000 premium for the bigger
    engine and beefier transmission, we're still looking at a large, fast sport-luxury sedan for about the same money as an entry-level 3 Series or Lexus IS 350.

    Only our first test will reveal whether the production version of Concept Genesis delivers the performance, handling, quality, and refinement to match Hyundai's soaring ambition. But it's worth remembering that barely 12 years ago Hyundai was still a cheap car joke, finishing dead last in a J.D. Power quality survey. Now it's aiming at BMW and Lexus. And the shock is, no one's laughing.

    Aiming high, looming large
    Concept Genesis versus the rivals, as defined by Hyundai
      Hyundai Genesis Lexus GS Infiniti M
    Engines 3.8L/265+ hp/260+ lb-ft V-6;
    4.8L/300+ hp/300+ lb-ft V-8
    3.5L/303-hp/274-lb-ft V-6;
    4.3L/290-hp/319-lb-ft V8
    3.5L/275-hp/268-lb-ft V-6;
    4.5L/325-hp/336-lb-ft V-8
    Wheelbase, in 115.6 112.2 114.2
    Length, in 197 190 192.6
    Width, in 73.3 71.7 70.8
    Height, in 58.6 56.1 59.4
      BMW 5-Series Cadillac CTS(2007) Chrysler 300
    Engines 3.0L/215-255-hp/185-220-lb-ft I-6;
    4.8L/360-hp/360-lb-ft V-8
    2.8L/210-hp/194-lb-ft V-6;
    6.0L/443-hp/414-lb-ft V-8
    3.5L/250-hp/250-lb-ft V-6;
    5.7L/340-hp/390-lb-ft V-8
    Wheelbase, in 113.7 113.4 120
    Length, in 191.1 190.1 196.8
    Width, in 72.7 70.6 74.1
    Height, in 57.8 56.7 58.4


    Why GM and Toyota should be worried



    Concept Genesis isn't just a car, it's Hyundai's ticket to membership of an exclusive club that includes Toyota and GM, Ford, and Volkswagen. The BH rear-drive vehicle architecture that underpins Concept Genesis means Hyundai is about to become a full-line, global automaker. (Full-size trucks? They're on the agenda, but that's another story.)Hyundai insiders say the BH architecture is highly flexible. Shorten the wheelbase, and it can underpin a range of sporty, high-style rear-drive coupes and convertibles. Lengthen it, and it forms the basis for a full-size rear-drive luxury sedan. The rear-drive bit is important: It gives designers the ability to deliver the stance and proportions consumers associate with premium sport-lux vehicles. And it gives engineers the ability to deliver crisp, sporty handling and powertrains with more than 300 horses.

    Hyundai's claim of "over 300 horsepower" for the new 4.6-liter, quad-cam Tau V-8 is modest for an engine of that size and specification, but insiders hint it'll produce considerably more than that. It'll need to: Hyundai powertrains have never been class-leading in terms of their specific output. Significantly, Hyundai engineers are careful to point out the Tau can be built in larger displacements and with forced induction and other technologies to boost power.

    So put Tau and BH together, and you figure Hyundai now has the ability to build sport-lux sedans, coupes, convertibles, and even limousines with up to 400 or 500 horsepower. Hyundai's target might be nouveau-lux Japanese brands like Lexus and Infiniti, plus near-lux Europeans like VW and Alfa Romeo, but GM and Toyota could suffer collateral damage along the way.

    The issue for Toyota is that Hyundai's BH-based cars could potentially offer consumers a range of Lexus-style vehicles at Toyota prices. The problem for GM is the BH cars could hit a similar value/performance/style-driven market segment that's the sweet spot for the forthcoming Zeta-based Chevy, Pontiac, and Buick rear-drive models. You can bet Toyota and GM product planners will be among the very first customers for Hyundai's new sport-lux sedan next year.

    By Angus MacKenzie Motor Trend

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    Hyundai Receives Five-Star Safety Ratings From NHTSA

    Hyundai Receives Five-Star Safety Ratings From NHTSA

    2007 Veracruz, Santa Fe and Elantra Earn Highest Government Crash Test Ratings

    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., March 28 -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave five-star crash test ratings,the highest government rating under the agency's New Car Assessment Program, to the all-new 2007 Hyundai Veracruz and Santa Fe for both frontal and side-impact crash tests. The 2007 Elantra also scored five stars for frontal crash performance and Veracruz earned four stars for rollover performance.

    NHTSA uses a consumer-friendly ratings system -- ranging from one to five stars, with five being the highest. Sixty-three 2007 models were assessed. Categories included sport utility vehicles, heavy and light passenger cars, pickups, vans and compact and medium passenger cars.Beginning in September 2007, government star ratings will be listed on the window stickers of new vehicles.

    The 2007 Hyundai Veracruz received five-star frontal and side crash ratings in the sport utility vehicle segment. The Veracruz utilizes the latest in active and passive safety technologies including, standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) for impressive stopping distance for a vehicle of its size, anti-whiplash active head restraints and six airbags with side air curtains protecting all three rows during side impacts. To absorb impacts to the passenger cabin, the Veracruz has engineered crumple zones and reinforced architecture rails, side sill frame, floor cross-members and center pillars. Additional standard safety equipment includes a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which alerts drivers if one or more tires are under inflated.

    The 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe received five-star frontal and side crash ratings in the sport utility vehicle segment, ranking above the Toyota RAV4and FJ Cruiser models. The Santa Fe comes with the latest standard safety equipment including anti-whiplash active head restraints and six airbags such as side air curtains, which help protect occupants in all three rows during side impacts. The Santa Fe also earned a higher rollover rating than the Honda Element with four stars for both the 2- and 4-wheel drive models.

    "With these results for Santa Fe and Veracruz, Hyundai is pleased to offer every cross-over in its lineup, including the Tucson, with the very highest government crash-test ratings," said John Krafcik, vice president of Strategic Planning and Product Development, Hyundai Motor America.

    The 2007 Hyundai Elantra received five-star frontal and four-star side crash ratings in the compact passenger car segment, beating out the Toyota Prius model. It offers life-saving safety features with six standard airbags, including two advanced front airbags, two front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and two side curtain airbags protecting front- and rear-seat outboard passengers. The Elantra also earned a four-star rollover rating for 2-wheel drive.

    "Hyundai leads all popular car brands in the standard application of Electronic Stability Control -- the most important life-saving technology since the seat belt," said Krafcik.

    "These excellent crash test results demonstrate that Hyundai vehicles also protect their drivers and passengers in the event they can't avoid a crash situation."

    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 755 dealerships nationwide.

    NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION

    NHTSA is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. The agency strives to exceed the expectations of its customers through its core values of Integrity, Service and Leadership. NHTSA provides leadership to the motor vehicle and highway safety community through the development of innovative approaches to reducing motor vehicle crashes and injuries.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    First Drive: 2007 Hyundai Veracruz Limited - Previews

    First Drive: 2007 Hyundai Veracruz Limited - Previews

    A Lexus-like seven-seat SUV that should continue to convert Hyundai skeptics.



    Plop down in the driver's seat of the Hyundai Veracruz, and you'll find yourself in the middle of a quiet, comfortable, content-rich revelation. With a smooth, competent powertrain and luxury touches everywhere you look, it's not hard to convince yourself that you're behind the wheel of a Lexus. That's hardly a shock, of course, given that Hyundai chose the Lexus RX350 as the benchmark for the seven-passenger Veracruz, which is now the largest SUV in Hyundai's lineup.

    A smokin' deal

    We tested an upscale front-wheel-drive Limited model, but all-wheel drive is available on any trim level for a $1700 premium. Ours was $33,120, with the only extra a set of floor mats for $125. Those luxury touches we mentioned? Mood lighting, heated leather seats, a six-disc Infinity stereo, a power liftgate, a sunroof, and auto dimming rearview and side mirrors are all standard. Granted, many of those items are optional on lesser trim levels, but even the base Veracruz includes second-row climate controls, satellite radio, six airbags, and defroster-equipped side mirrors for $26,995, $100 less than an entry-level Honda Pilot and $500 or so less than a similarly outfitted Toyota Highlander. (A base Highlander costs some $1500 less than a Veracruz, but doesn't include a V-6 or third-row seating.) Should you feel particularly self-indulgent, available packages will add anything from a rear-seat DVD entertainment system to an upgraded, 605-watt stereo to power-adjustable pedals to hands-free keyless entry.

    Refined and smooth: Hyundai hallmarks?

    A 3.8-liter, 24-valve V-6 is the only engine for the Veracruz, no matter which trim level you choose-GLS, SE, or Limited. Its 260 horsepower provides acceleration that we can't call particularly fast nor ridiculously slow; figure on about eight seconds for the benchmark 0-to-60-mph time. But power delivery is very linear, and there's a respectable 257 lb-ft of torque. It's quiet, too. Very little engine noise makes it into the cabin, and at idle, the Veracruz is so quiet and vibration-free that, if you're like us, you'll need to double-check that you've twisted the key before slipping into gear. Fuel economy ratings are 18 city 25 highway, on par with the Pilot and Highlander. As refined as the V-6 is, the best part of the drivetrain is perhaps the Aisin-sourced six-speed automatic, Hyundai's first. Upshifts are hiccup-free and quick, and the box operates so seamlessly, you hardly know it's there. There's a manumatic shifting feature, although tipping the lever toward the passenger side to activate rather than toward the driver seems backwards.

    The MacPherson-strut front and multilink rear suspension delivers a plush, comfortable ride, especially on the freeway, and we found body control to be exemplary. Sure, there's some lean when you pitch the Veracruz into a corner with any aggression, but it's taken care of so quickly that you hardly care. This is certainly no bobbing oceanliner, and there's little of the rear-end wiggle that usually accompanies soft-riding stuff with a high center of gravity. The steering has luxury-grade heft, but unfortunately is as dead as Orson Welles; you'd be better off looking for feedback from a room full of mimes than from this rack. The brakes are nothing special, although at least there's no dead zone in initial pedal travel-when you call on the brakes, you get brakes.

    Rolling in style

    The cabin of the Veracruz is beautifully trimmed using top-shelf materials, and the buttons and switchgear are all relatively substantial. Fit and finish is excellent, but we will admit to finding a few ergonomic mistakes. Besides the foot-operated parking brake, which is positioned to rip out chunks of shin at will, the ashtray takes up far too much of the center console and the seats-all seven of them-could use longer bottom cushions. This is not to say, however, that inside a Veracruz isn't a good place to be. Despite the too-short cushions, the seats are comfy enough for long trips and we really like the iPod hookup, which is neatly located behind a flip-down door on the dash. Hyundai even thoughtfully provides a short 1/8" to 1/8" connection cable and a spot to stash it.

    Second-row passengers ride on a sliding and reclining 60/40-split bench, and it's nearly as comfortable as the front row. Getting into and out of the two-person third row is a simple task, with only one hand required to move the middle row out of the way. Average-size folks will be relatively comfortable back there even with the middle seats pushed all the way back; unfortunately you sit so low and the windows are so high that you feel like you've fallen into a hole. The cargo area features a shallow, snap-shut bin under the floor, but there's scant room to be had until you fold the third row. Once those seats are flat, though, the cargo area will hold 40 cubic feet of stuff.

    Boring-but it won't matter

    The Veracruz is quite good, and its interior is astonishingly well-appointed, but an unfortunate side effect of Hyundai's devotion to the Toyota/Lexus screed is that the Veracruz is also unmistakably boring. It's not as fun to drive as even the Pilot, never mind something more sporting like the Mazda CX-9. So there's little about this new Hyundai that will attract enthusiasts, but with its low price and loads of standard equipment, the Veracruz shouldn't fail to find plenty of buyers. And besides, being boring hasn't really held back a certain goliath from Japan, has it?

    BY ERIK JOHNSON, March 2007 Car & Driver

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Hyundai to Unveil Concept Genesis Premium Sports Sedan

    Hyundai to Unveil Concept Genesis Premium Sports Sedan

    Rear-Wheel Drive and V-8 Engine Promise World Class Dynamics and Refinement



    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., March 26 -- Hyundai will present the world debut of Concept Genesis during a press conference at the New York International Auto Show on April 4. The concept car heralds the future architecture and design of a rear-wheel drive premium sports sedan scheduled to grace the Hyundai lineup in 2008.

    "Concept Genesis extends our product range into new territories from a performance, design and packaging perspective," said Steve Wilhite, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor America. "When it arrives in 2008 it will catapult Hyundai into competition against some potent rivals, and Genesis is up for the challenge."

    Concept Genesis rides on a prototype of Hyundai's all-new rear-wheel drive platform, signaling the brand's desire to broaden its appeal to discerning driving enthusiasts. Concept Genesis is powered by Hyundai'snewly developed Tau DOHC 32-valve V-8 powertrain. Concept Genesis marks the beginning of premium performance for the Hyundai brand.

    "Concept Genesis is a manifestation of Hyundai's extraordinary desire to deliver world-class products across all model segments," said John Krafcik, vice president, Product Development and Strategic Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "With Genesis, we've got a unique product position -- an all-new, highly capable, rear-wheel drive platform; a high-performance powertrain; and premium, progressive design -- all at a price starting well under $30,000."



    NEW REAR-WHEEL-DRIVE ARCHITECTURE IS A FIRST FOR THE U.S.

    Concept Genesis features a rear-wheel-drive architecture, its first application in a U.S. Hyundai model. Rear-wheel drive provides a 53:47 front/rear weight distribution for optimal handling as well as more refined steering characteristics. Concept Genesis' premium handling and steering performance is further controlled by Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the industry's most important new safety technology. Hyundai leads all popular car brands in the standard application of ESC, with more than 70 percent of 2007 Hyundai sales volume featuring this life-saving technology as standard equipment. ESC continually analyzes 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 can brake appropriate wheels and reduce engine power to keep the vehicle safely on course.

    Utilizing ultra high-tensile steel in critical areas in the unibody provides Concept Genesis with a 12-14 percent higher dynamic torsional rigidity and a lower body-in-white weight than the BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This stiffer, lighter, larger body provides a terrific foundation for world-class dynamics and lowering noise levels inside the vehicle.



    TAU V-8 POWERTRAIN

    Adding to the Concept Genesis' performance factor is the all-new Tau 4.6-liter V8 engine mated to a ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual control and a limited-slip differential. The Tau delivers well over 300 horsepower to fit the demands of performance-oriented consumers. This powertrain combination will launch Genesis to 60 miles per hour in well under six seconds. The Tau engine is built with flexibility for the future. Future Tau variants may offer larger displacement, forced induction options and other technology enhancements.



    INNOVATIVE AND SOPHISTICATED SPORT-TUNED SUSPENSION

    Genesis features a suspension design that is among the most sophisticated and refined anywhere, at any price. The front five-link suspension features upper and lower arms linking the front wheels to the chassis. This artfully articulated arrangement creates a virtual king pin axis which dramatically reduces unwanted kickback through the steering wheel as well as improving responsiveness. The five-link independent rear suspension is equally sophisticated, enabling precise suspension geometry for an incredible level of ride and handling prowess. The capabilities of the advanced front and rear-suspension are maximized through driver selectable dynamic settings allowing tailored ride and handling characteristics according to need ... or desire.



    MODERN DESIGN

    Genesis' design is a progressive interpretation of the modern rear-wheel drive sports sedan. To match its dynamic powertrain capabilities, Genesis combines strong, sculpted forms which integrate precise details, natural materials and innovative lighting to provide a well-crafted, premium design aesthetic.



    SAFETY FEATURES

    Maintaining Hyundai's emphasis on delivering leading safety technology, Concept Genesis boasts world class active and passive safety features to both prevent accidents, and maximize the well being of its occupants in the event of a collision. The Genesis continues the Hyundai tradition of standardizing key life-saving active safety technology such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with traction control, eight airbags and active headrests.



    Concept Genesis is brought to a halt by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). The 12.6-inch front rotors have single-piston floating calipers and the rear brakes feature 12.4-inch rotors with single-pistons.



    TECHNOLOGY

    • Advanced adaptive cruise control
    • Navigation with backup camera
    • Electronic Stability Control
    • Electric parking brake
    • Eight airbags
    • Bluetooth technology
    • Heat / cool seats
    • USB / Auxiliary input jack
    • High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with adaptive leveling
    • HD Radio™ Receiver
    • Push-button start
    • XM Satellite Radio®
    • Infinity® Discrete Surround Audio System




    GENESIS PREMIUM SPORTS SEDAN SPECIFICATIONS

    • Configuration: FR Engine RWD Sport Sedan
    • Top speed: 130 mph (restricted)
    • Wheelbase: 2935 mm / 115.6 inches
    • Recommended fuel: Unleaded
    • Overall length: 5005 mm / 197.0 inches
    • Transmission type: ZF 6-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC manual control
    • Overall width: 1863 mm / 73.3 inches
    • Suspension: Front multi-link (5-link) / Rear multi-link (5-link)
    • Overall height: 1490 mm / 58.7 inches
    • Stabilizer bar (front/rear): 26 mm/18 mm
    • Track, f/r: 1575 mm / 62.0 inches, 1580 mm / 62.2 inches
    • Weight distribution front to rear: 53:47
    • Wheels: 20-inch multi-spoke
    • Brakes: Power-assisted 4-wheel disc
    • Engine type: V8
    • Front brake diameter (mm / in): 320 / 12.6 ventilated disc
    • Estimated horsepower: Well over 300HP
    • Rear brake diameter (mm / in): 314 / 12.4 solid disc
    • Estimated torque: Over 300 lb. ft
    • Steering type: Speed-sensing rack-and-pinion
    • Displacement: 4,627 cc
    • Steering ratio: 14.86
    • Block material: High pressure die casting aluminum block
    • Cylinder head material: Aluminum
    • Valvetrain: Dual Over Head Cam (DOHC)
    • Valve timing: Continuous variable valve timing
    • Variable induction system
    • Fuel delivery: Multi-port fuel injection
    • Bore & stroke: 92 x 87
    • Estimated 0-60 mph: well under 6.0 seconds




    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 750 dealerships nationwide.

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Longmeadow's Baseball Diamond Needs Help

    Longmeadow's Baseball Diamond Needs Help



    Longmeadow High School's baseball diamond is getting a makeover and they need your help.

    Gary Rome has partnered up with parents of Longmeadow's Diamond Club and are offering up a brand new Hyundai Sonata for supporters who purchase a raffle ticket.

    Thanks to parent volunteers of the Diamond Club, the infield will completely be replaced and other parts of the diamond will be renovated.

    Raffle tickets are $100 and will be sold at each Longmeadow home game.

    For more information click here or contact Bob Michael at 413-565-2586 or Jim Stewart at 413-567-7017

    By Matthew Campbell CBS 3 Springfield

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Hyundai Expands Hyundai Azera Lineup With New GLS Model Featuring 28-MPG 3.3L V6 Engine

    Hyundai Expands Hyundai Azera Lineup with New GLS Model Featuring 28-MPG 3.3L V6 Engine



    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., March 15 -- Hyundai Motor America announced pricing today for the all-new 2007 Hyundai Azera GLS equipped with a powerful, yet fuel-efficient 3.3-liter V6 engine. The SE trim level has also been upgraded and a surround sound audio system is now available on the Limited model.

    NEW TRIM LEVELS AND EQUIPMENT

    * New trim level -- GLS equipped with 3.3-liter V6 engine, which achieves 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway

    * 17-inch wheel and bumper moldings with chrome-inserts now standard on SE

    * Available leather seating surfaces on SE

    * Azera Limited with Ultimate Package now features a 605-watt Infinity(R) Logic 7 Surround Sound AM/FM/XM/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with 12 speakers (including subwoofer) and external amplifier

    * All three trims are equipped with standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

    GLS 3.3L V6 5-Speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® $24,895 including $660 freight
    SE 3.8L V6 5-Speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® $26,195 including $660 freight
    Limited 3.8L V6 5-Speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® $27,995 including $660 freight


    2007 HYUNDAI AZERA GLS

    The 2007 Hyundai Azera GLS includes an impressive range of standard features that give it a competitive edge, including a powerful 3.3-liter DOHC V6 engine with 234 horsepower, a smooth-shifting five-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual control, standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS), eight airbags, active front head restraints, a six-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD audio system with MP3 capability, and achieving 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway fuel economy. Upscale features include LED tail and brake lamps, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with HomeLink®, power driver and front passenger seats, and automatic headlight controls. Also available is an optional power tilt and slide sunroof ($950 MSRP).

    2007 HYUNDAI AZERA SE

    The 2007 Hyundai Azera SE is an upscale, stylish large sedan designed for consumers who are interested in a unique combination of spaciousness, a more powerful 3.8-liter DOHC V6 engine with 263 horsepower and safety technologies. The SE creates a more distinctive and upscale look with 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels and bumper moldings with chrome-inserts. Available options include a Premium and Leather Package ($2,800 MSRP) which includes a power tilt and slide sunroof, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, and a premium Infinity® audio system with in-dash 6-disc CD changer.

    2007 HYUNDAI AZERA LIMITED

    A truly impressive array of standard features and amenities define the prestigious 2007 Hyundai Azera Limited. Additional standard features on the Limited include leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats, an electroluminescent gauge cluster, power rear sunshade, and other upgrades. The Limited also has steering wheel wood trim and bumper moldings with chrome-inserts.

    2007 HYUNDAI AZERA LIMITED with PREMIUM PACKAGE

    The Premium Package ($1,550 MSRP) includes a power tilt and slide sunroof and premium Infinity audio system with in-dash 6 disc CD changer.

    2007 HYUNDAI AZERA LIMITED with ULTIMATE PACKAGE

    The Ultimate Package ($3,100 MSRP) defines Hyundai's flagship 2007 Hyundai Azera offering. This package now includes a new 605-watt Infinity® Logic 7 Surround Sound AM/FM/XM/CD-changer/MP3 audio system with 12 speakers (including subwoofer) and external amplifier. The Ultimate Package also offers a power tilt and slide sunroof, power adjustable tilt and telescopic steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, integrated memory system (power driver's seat, exterior mirrors, and power tilt & telescopic steering wheel), power folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators, and rain-sensing wipers.

    WARRANTY

    The all-new 2007 Hyundai Azera is protected by the Hyundai Advantage, America's Best Warranty(TM). Coverage includes five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance and seven-year/unlimited mileage anti-perforation coverage. In addition, Azera buyers receive 24-hour roadside assistance coverage at no extra charge for five years (no mileage limit) that includes emergency towing, lockout service and limited coverage for trip-interruption expenses.

    Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif. is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 750 Hyundai dealerships nationwide.

    Source: Hyundai Motor America

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Gary Rome Hyundai Receives 2006 Hyundai Parts Performance Guild Plaque

    Gary Rome Hyundai Receives 2006 Hyundai Parts Performance Guild Plaque

    Gary Rome Hyundai Receives 2006 Hyundai Parts Performance Guild Plaque for ongoing leadership and dedication to the sale of Genuine Hyundai Parts and Accessories.

    Dear 2006 Hyundai Parts Performance Guild Member,

    On behalf of Hyundai Motor America it is my pleasure to congratulate you and your team for the extra efforts in 2006 that have contributed to our mutual success. Your support and dedication are building an owner base of loyal Hyundai customers who will further establish the Hyundai brand as standing for quality and value.

    You will soon be receiving a 2006 Hyundai Parts Performance Guild plaque commemorating membership in Hyundai's Parts recognition society. I encourage you to proudly display this award as it symbolizes all that your Hyundai Parts Sales Team has work so hard to accomplish during the year. Please accept the plaque as our sign of thanks for your ongoing leadership and dedication to the sale of Genuine Hyundai Parts and Accessories.

    I look forward to recognizing your new accomplishments in future Guild and Parts Recognition Programs.

    Great Selling,
    Frank Ferrara
    Executive Vice President, Parts
    Hyundai Motor America

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    2007 New York Auto Show: Hyundai To Unveil New Luxury Sedan Concept

    2007 New York Auto Show: Hyundai To Unveil New Luxury Sedan Concept



    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. - Hyundai Motor America announced today that it will unveil the Concept Genesis at the 2007 New York Auto Show. According to the company, the new concept sedan points the way toward a future premium rear-wheel-drive sedan.

    Hyundai's rapid rise in the U.S. market has led the Korean company to commission a new luxury sedan that will slot above the current Azera flagship. Although no additional details about the Concept Genesis were released, the existence of this premium sedan has been no secret.

    Various prototypes have been caught testing over the past year, each one revealing a little more about this new Hyundai that's expected to cost roughly $30K-$35K. It rides on a 116-inch wheelbase, which puts it in the same league as the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series in terms of size.

    Although a V8 engine was rumored to be in the works, a prototype caught with its hood open revealed a V6 driving the rear wheels.

    The interior features broad swaths of wood trim on the dash and center console. Leather trim covers nearly everything else. The backseat appears to offer generous legroom on par with anything short of a Lincoln Town Car.



    What this means to you: Hyundai will soon have a sedan for nearly every budget, and if it's anything like its current products, the production version of the Concept Genesis will have a very competitive price to go along with its long list of features and industry-leading warranty.

    Date posted: 03-12-2007 www.edmunds.com

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    2007 Hyundai Entourage Offers It All, Except High Price

    2007 Entourage Offers It All, Except High Price



    Despite predictions of its impending death that have been swirling around the minivan since the sport utility craze began in the early '90s, this vehicle class is alive and well.

    About 1 million new minivans will be sold this year, which is down about 10 percent from 2005 and 20 percent from 2000.

    But industry experts expect the segment to stabilize at about this year's level, and there is money to be made in any segment that can garner a million units worth of sales in a year.

    The South Koreans have two quite solid players in the segment: the Kia Sedona, introduced in its second generation just last year, and the all-new Hyundai Entourage, the first minivan from South Korea's largest automaker.

    The Entourage, our test vehicle for the week, almost never came to market.

    After Kia, a subsidiary of Hyundai, rolled out the newest Sedona for 2006, Hyundai announced it would create a minivan using the Sedona platform, and would call it the Entourage.

    A few weeks later, though, Hyundai shifted gears and said it would not introduce a minivan after all, and the project was thought to be dead.

    Then a few weeks later, the Entourage was back on again, probably because of pressure from Hyundai's U.S. dealers, who had been clamoring for a minivan for years. Introduced last fall was the Entourage, and by all reports, it's selling very well.

    It didn't hurt that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety put the Entourage its short list -- 13 total -- of vehicles that are the group's Top Safety Picks for 2007, only one of two minivans to make the list.

    The list is based on ratings from the institute's rigorous crash-testing program; after testing the Sedona shortly after the redesigned model went on sale last year, the institute said it was the "safest minivan ever tested."

    The 2007 Entourage, which was not tested, received the same rating as the Sedona because the two vehicles are functionally identical.

    That the Hyundai model made the prestigious Top Safety Picks list, to the exclusion of such popular minivans as the Odyssey and Sienna, is quite a coup for the South Korean automaker.

    And, of course, the company is using the safety honor as part of its marketing campaign for its minivan.

    The Entourage, in Hyundai product literature and news releases, is touted as having "more safety, more room and more value than the Odyssey," the vehicle that Hyundai used as a benchmark.

    So besides safety, what's so great about the Entourage?

    First, there is the value. It's a minivan whose features go head to head against the top competitors, yet the price is less, a Hyundai hallmark.

    A well-equipped Entourage, with electronic stability control, six air bags, the active front head restraints, roof rack rails, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, keyless entry, AM-FM-CD player, front wiper de-icer and three-zone climate control, is $23,795, which is "more than $1,500 less than a Honda Odyssey LX," Hyundai says.

    There are the obvious minivan necessities that are helping it win consumers, such as its dual power sliding rear doors with power windows; middle and rear seats that fold to increase cargo space dramatically, including a third-row seat that folds completely into the floor; front and rear air conditioning, with dual front controls; power adjustable pedals; and even such options as leather upholstery, a power tailgate and heated seats.

    There is an available DVD rear entertainment system, a backup warning system, and a premium Infinity audio system with in-dash CD player and surround sound, as well.

    The Entourage is a good performer, too, thanks to its all-aluminum, 3.8-liter V-6 engine, which turns out 250 horsepower and 253 foot-pounds of torque. That's on par with the Odyssey and Sienna, and more horsepower than the Ford Freestar, Caravan and Chevrolet Uplander, for instance.

    That engine, which also is environmentally friendly because of its ultra-low-emissions certification, is connected to an advanced, computer-controlled five-speed automatic transmission.

    This combination gives the Entourage EPA fuel-economy estimates of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway -- better than most other vehicles on the market that can hold up to seven people and their stuff.

    Cargo space behind the third row of seating is more than 32 cubic feet. That can expand to more than 80 cubic feet with the 60/40 split-rear seat folded completely into the floor, and to 141 cubic feet with the rear seat folded and the two middle seats folded and tilted forward.

    The van can even tow a trailer weighing up to 3,500 pounds if the trailer is equipped with brakes; otherwise, the limit is 1,000 pounds, which is enough for a small boat or one-horse trailer.

    Among safety features standard on all models are the stability control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, and side-curtain air bags for all three rows of seating.

    All seating positions come with three-point seat belts and adjustable headrests.

    The vans also come with a tire-pressure monitoring system, which reports to the driver the pressure of each tire, and gives an alert if even one of the tires is improperly inflated.

    The van's unibody construction -- frame and body are combined in one unit -- helps give it a smooth, quiet, carlike ride, and the 118.9-inch wheelbase and 66.3-inch track width help keep the vehicle quite stable, even in tight turns.

    And speaking of tight turns, the Entourage has a very convenient turning radius of just 39.6 feet.

    Entourage models have either 16-inch steel or 17-inch alloy wheels, depending on the trim level.

    Three levels are offered: the base GLS, the midlevel SE and the top-of-the-line Limited, which includes leather.

    Our test model was the SE, with a starting price of $26,295 plus $700 freight. That includes tri-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual power sliding doors, fog lights, dual heated power mirrors, power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel with built-in audio controls, roof rails and more.

    Options on ours included the premium entertainment package ($2,900), which added the Infinity audio system, rear DVD, heated front seats, backup warning system, universal garage/gate opener, and an electrochromatic rearview mirror; and carpeted floor mats ($175).

    Total sticker was $30,070 including freight and options, but it had just about everything except for the leather upholstery.

    At a Glance: 2007 Hyundai Entourage The package: Five-door, seven-passenger, front-wheel-drive, V-6-powered minivan. Highlights: All-new for model year 2007, this is a well-equipped yet value-priced minivan that has all the features of the popular models on the market, but a better safety rating than any of them. Negatives: Long-term resale value is expected to be below average. Engine: 3.8-liter V-6. Transmission: Five-speed automatic. Power/torque: 250 horsepower/253 foot-pounds. Length: 202 inches. Curb weight: 4,400-4,659 pounds. Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock. Electronic stability control: Standard. Cargo volume: 32.2 cubic feet (third seat in place). Towing capacity: 1,000 pounds (3,500 pounds with trailer brakes). Fuel capacity/type: 21.1 gallons/unleaded regular EPA fuel economy: 18 miles per gallon city/25 highway. Major competitors: Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest, Kia Sedona, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan, Chevrolet Uplander, Buick Terraza, Saturn Relay, Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey. Base price range: $23,795-$28,795 plus $700 freight. Price as tested: $30,070 including freight and options (SE model). On the Road rating: 9.3 (out of a possible 10).

    By G. Chambers Williams III
    Star-Telegram.com
    December 19, 2006

    Hyundai and GE Plastics Unveil QarmaQ Vehicle

    Hyundai and GE Plastics Unveil QarmaQ Vehicle



    At the Geneva International Motor Show today, Hyundai Motor Co. and GE Plastics presented QarmaQ, a first in the Crossover Coupe segment. QarmaQ is Hyundai's Advanced Technology Demonstration Vehicle (ATDV) that showcases over 30 different environmentally progressive technologies led by the innovative "Elastic Front", an innovative solution that can help reduce the risk of severe injuries in Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUV) pedestrian collisions.

    Designed at Hyundai Motor Europe's Design and Technical Center in Russelsheim and engineered in close cooperation with GE Plastics, QarmaQ develops and validates over 30 key technologies, which will be selectively incorporated into Hyundai's new models to be rolled out from 2008-2014.

    At Hyundai, we believe in innovation for humanity, and QarmaQ demonstrates our commitment to safety innovation and our determination to bring more environmentally responsible technologies to the market," said Dr. Kwon Moon-Shik, Hyundai Motor's vice president of Advanced Technology. "We chose to partner with GE Plastics because of their commitment to the environment and their wide range of innovative materials and technical capabilities. Technologies from QarmaQ will provide Hyundai owners with a safer, more environmentally responsible car and a better driving experience."

    QarmaQ is lighter, stronger and more economical than any current production CUV in its class. It also offers significant recycling advantages both in construction and eventual disassembly. In short, it is a viable and realistic glimpse of the future potential of personal automotive transport.



    Pedestrian Safety

    The issue of pedestrian safety is a growing one. In the EU, one-fifth of all traffic fatalities – 7,000 people per year – are pedestrians hit by a vehicle. In densely populated Korea, the rate is as high as 39 percent. QarmaQ's Elastic Front safety system, which encompasses the whole front end of the vehicle, is arguably the world's first global pedestrian protection solution on a CUV. Three energy-absorbing structures are fully integrated underneath the futuristic styling of QarmaQ and this system takes advantage of several advanced materials that offer inherent energy absorbing properties. QarmaQ's body panels have been designed to work in concert with energy-absorbing systems on the underside of these panels to manage and dissipate the force of a pedestrian/CUV collision. The Elastic Front has been engineered to meet EEVC WG17 Phase2, Euro NCAP, and JNCA pedestrian impact requirements and is currently undergoing testing for final validation.



    A totally relevant concept

    The Hyundai QarmaQ concept car is the result of the fusion of exceptional expertise and engineering foresight from Hyundai and GE Plastics. More than a design concept, QarmaQ illustrates that environmentally responsible solutions can be elegantly incorporated to enhance safety, design, and performance.

    "GE Plastics is committed to developing greener, lighter, and aesthetically pleasing solutions to support our customers in creating vehicles with reduced environmental impact," said Gregory A. Adams, vice president and general manager, GE Plastics, Automotive. "We are delighted to have collaborated with Hyundai and we believe that working together we helped them develop an exciting new CUV that demonstrates greater environmental responsibility as well as improved safety, dramatic design, and high performance."

    Firmly positioned as a crossover Coupe/CUV, the QarmaQ derives its name from traditional Inuit dwellings, constructed from earth, whalebone, and animal skins. Like them, QarmaQ challenges conventional ideas on construction methods and materials. Also in common with the original structures, it boasts unusual strength, resilience, and protection.

    By combining leading edge design, advanced engineering techniques and the benefits of GE materials technology, the QarmaQ demonstrates the ability to meet necessary, but problematic areas of legislation dealing with pedestrian safety and eco-responsibility.

    The choice of a crossover coupe/CUV format for QarmaQ underlines the commitment of Hyundai to design innovation in this market sector. With Santa Fe, Tucson, and Veracruz, Hyundai created pioneering vehicles.

    This 2+2 vehicle targets the important empty nest baby boomers demographic, who are rediscovering a new-found freedom while remaining the wealthiest demographic in history. Today, this key group of consumers is beginning to spend their nest egg and enjoy the fruits of their labour, not on material possessions, but on experiences. QarmaQ soulfully blends the driving experience of a Coupe with the ability to manage multi-terrain driving of a CUV, providing empty nesters with effortless access to their outdoor playground.



    Design: Freedom of shape

    As a joint project with GE Plastics, QarmaQ endowed designers with greater expressive freedom to create complex three-dimensional shapes that could not have been achieved with conventional production methods and materials such as metal and glass.

    "The powerful profile and stance of the design incorporates dynamic, sculptural qualities and elegant sportiness on one hand, with smooth refined surfaces on the other," said Thomas Bürkle, chief designer, Hyundai Motor Europe. "Moreover, the various properties of the GE materials allowed more freedom in meeting or even exceeding safety requirements. The result is a uniquely balanced and harmonic design both inside and out," he added.

    Departing from conventional car design that combines a lower body and a glass cabin on top, QarmaQ blazes a new trail with panoramic wrap-around glazing area using GE's Lexan* polycarbonate resin. This part sits between the two pronounced "muscles" above the front and rear wheels. The C-shaped side window enables innovative helicopter-like downward visibility and is a key design feature demonstrating the new glazing technology.



    Interior: Fluidity of line

    Connected by unique glazed surfaces, the exterior design relates strongly to, and interacts effortlessly with the interior. The unique division between the solid bodywork and transparent glazed areas creates a new perspective, whether viewed from inside or from the pedestrian standpoint.

    The exterior contours and fluidity of line have been refined to give an immediate impression of movement frozen in motion. This aesthetic is mirrored in the interior, so that the fusion and merging of the perceptual boundaries between inside and out delivers a feeling of integration and synchronization to the overall appearance.

    Although QarmaQ does not have a high waistline or small window area (conventional methods to convey a feeling of protection), the exterior design still communicates a commanding presence and a feeling of protection to the occupants.

    "The QarmaQ's exterior design communicates a commanding presence and a feeling of protection to the occupants," said Robert Butterfield, global market director, GE Plastics. "The twin domes on the sunroof, facilitated by the new glazing technology, increases the inner space for the rear passengers and creates a unique design feature." The wrap-around windscreen, in combination with the elongated bonnet delivers dramatic, almost classic, proportions and gives the car a unique sporty feeling. Finally, the contrast of the strong dark coloured areas to the lighter tonal areas emphasizes QarmaQ's off-road DNA - General Electric.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    Hyundai Prices All-New Veracruz Premium Crossover $11,000 Below Lexus RX350

    Hyundai Prices All-New Veracruz Premium Crossover $11,000 Below Lexus RX350



    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., March 8 -- Hyundai Motor America has announced pricing for the all-new premium crossover, the 2007 Hyundai Veracruz. Hyundai has once again made luxury and performance attainable in previously unthinkable ways with a base price more than $11,000 lower than the Lexus RX350. Veracruz'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 refined style, a supple ride and first-rate performance at previously unavailable prices.

    The all-new Veracruz is available in three trim levels: GLS, SE and Limited. All models include standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a powerful, fuel-efficient 3.8-liter V6 engine, Hyundai's first six-speed automatic transmission, seating for seven, upscale amenities and more cargo volume than the full-size Mercedes-Benz GL.

    2007 Hyundai Veracruz Manufacturers Suggested Retail Pricing:

    Model Engine Transmission Driveline Suggested Retail
    Veracruz GLS 3.8L V6 6-Speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® FWD $26,995
    Veracruz GLS 3.8L V6 6-Speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® AWD $28,695
    Veracruz SE 3.8L V6 6-Speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® FWD $28,695
    Veracruz SE 3.8L V6 6-Speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® AAW $30,395
    Veracruz Limited 3.8L V6 6-Speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® FWD $32,995
    Veracruz Limited 3.8L V6 6-Speed A/T with SHIFTRONIC® AWD $34,695


    $690 freight charge included

    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.

    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.

    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 crossovers 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.

    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. Soft-touch, high-quality materials, low-gloss surfaces and zero-tolerance net-fits are used throughout the interior.

    VERACRUZ GLS

    Veracruz GLS comes well-equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, ESC with traction control, ABS with Brake Assist and EBD, 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 separate rear HVAC controls, 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 protecting all three rows. 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 second- and third-row seats include their 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, automatic headlights and leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are also standard equipment. An optional Premium & Leather Package adds a power tilt/slide glass sunroof, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a 315-watt Infinity™ audio system with CD changer and backup warning system. The available Entertainment Package (requires Premium and LeatherPackage) 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, 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, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif. is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 750 Hyundai dealerships nationwide.

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Driving Down the Road

    DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD

    2007 Hyundai Elantra SE

    In cars, "small and inexpensive" once was a euphemistic way of saying "tiny, uncomfortable, and shoddy", especially if the car referred to was Korean. Those days are long past, as a drive in Hyundai's new-for-2007 Elantra will make clear.

    The new-generation Elantra is still small on the outside, but inside it rivals some larger and more expensive cars for space. It's now roomy enough inside to be classified as "midsize" by the EPA. As before, power is from Hyundai's 2.0-liter twincam four-cylinder, with 138 horsepower (or 132 in SULEV tune for California emissions states), matched to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. But increased width and height, and a longer wheelbase mean additional interior space. Despite that longer wheelbase, overall length has decreased slightly, making it even easier to get into tight parking spaces.

    Three Elantra trim levels are available, and all are well-equipped and offer good value. Even the entry-level GLS has six airbags, antilock four-wheel disc brakes, and power windows. The volume-leader SE adds air conditioning, a 172-watt audio system, power doorlocks and heated mirrors, remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels with H-rated tires, and a variety of interior and exterior upgrades that mean the only major option is a power sunroof. The Limited adds leather upholstery and an available upmarket stereo for a luxury touch on a budget.

    A week spent with a new Elantra SE showed it to be a pleasant and comfortable car. It had a degree of refinement would do justice to a car costing $10,000 over its $16,000 price level, and it was enjoyable to drive thanks to the good suspension setup and smooth shifting of the standard five-speed manual gearbox. The Elantra faces tough competition, and compares very well with the best-known cars in the compact class.

    APPEARANCE: The adjective "boxy" will not be used to describe the new Elantra. It's rounded, flowing lines are almost coupe-like, and only the basic grille shape carries over from the previous version. Although not immediately noticeable, it's a couple of inches wider and taller than the old model. Bright, complex headlights give the front end an upscale touch, while on the sides the rising line of the bottom of the windows is complemented by a flowing beltline that recalls Hyundai's Tiburon sports coupe. The large passenger cabin, with its well-raked windshield and rear window, and a short, high rear deck help give this front-wheel drive sedan sporty long-hood / short-deck proportions.

    COMFORT: In style and color use, the Elantra SE emulates the best Japanese luxury makers. It's by no means a luxury car, but that does set the tone for the Elantra experience. The standard equipment level is high, and fit and finish very good. In the SE, the upholstery and most trim is synthetic, although leather is standard fare in the Limited. All models have a tilt steering wheel; in the SE and Limited it also telescopes for optimum driver comfort, and has a leather-covered rim. All models have power windows, and the SE and Limited get power mirrors and door locks and cruise control as well. Instrumentation is complete, with good design and visibility. "Cramped" does not apply to the Elantra's accommodations. The manually-adjustable front seats offer a high level of comfort, and the driver's seat is adjustable for cushion height in all models. With two NBA first-round draft picks in front the rear seat might be a little tight, but other than that unlikely scenario rear-seat passengers will be delighted. Well, at least the outboard two - and that's no different from any contemporary sedan smaller than a Town Car. Three children should be fine. There are a number of useful storage spaces in the cabin, including on the top of the dash. The trunk is reasonably large, and the rear seat can fold with a 60/40 split if necessary.

    SAFETY: Six airbags - dual front, front seat-mounted side bags, and side curtains, are standard in all Elantra models, as are active front head restraints, five mph bumpers, and safety cage and crumple zone construction. Active safety is addressed by good suspension design and tuning and, most unusual in the compact class, four-wheel disc brakes with standard antilock and electronic brake force distribution.

    RIDE AND HANDLING: A new unibody structure with a significant increase in rigidity and a longer wheelbase works with a supple but not overly-soft fully-independent MacPherson strut front, multilink rear suspension to provide a comfortable ride. The electric motor-assisted power steering is light, but not too light, and the four-wheel antilock disc brakes ensure good stopping power. The result is a pleasantly European feel to the car. It's not "sports" in its setup, but more "touring". And that's perfect for its mission. Interior noise levels are low at normal speeds, further improving driver and passenger comfort.

    PERFORMANCE: Dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, continuously-variable cam phasing (here, on the intake cam), and fuel injection used to be the province of high-performance automobiles. Now such attributes have filtered down to everyman cars, and the Elantra benefits not only with a wide spread of useful power but low emissions as well. In 45-state tune, the Elantra's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 138 horsepower at 6000 rpm, with 136 lb-ft of torque at 4600 rpm, and receives a ULEV emissions rating. For California emissions states (CA, NY, MA, VT, ME) a retuning reduces output slightly, to 132 hp and 133 lb-ft, and improves the rating to SULEV. It's projected to earn a PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle) rating in California. Real-world differences between the two should be minimal. My test car had energetic performance, with good acceleration and reasonable 30 mpg fuel economy. The standard five-speed manual transmission adds to the enjoyment factor, with good shift linkage. Keep it up around the torque peak for maximum acceleration. A four-speed automatic is offered, and will probably be more popular.

    CONCLUSIONS: The 2007 Hyundai Elantra SE is a comfortable, entertaining, and honest car that's small on the outside and not so small inside.

    SPECIFICATIONS
    2007 Hyundai Elantra SE

    Base Price $15,695
    Price As Tested $16,380
    Engine Type 16-valve dual overhead cam inline 4-cylinder with continuously variable valve timing
    Engine Size 2.0 liters / 121 cu. in.
    Horsepower 138 @ 6000 rmp (132 SULEV)
    Torque (lb-ft) 136 @ 4600 rmp (133 SULEV)
    Transmission 5-speed manual
    Wheelbase / Length 104.3 in. / 177.4 in.
    Curb Weight 2,750 lbs.
    Pounds Per Horsepower 20.0 (20.8)
    Fuel Capacity 14.0 gal.
    Fuel Requirement 89 octane unleaded regular gasoline
    Fuel Requirement 89 octane unleaded regular gasoline
    Tires P205/55 HR16 Hankook Optima H426
    Brakes, front/rear vented disc / solid disc, ABS and EBD standard
    Suspensions, front/rear independent MacPherson strut / independent multilink
    Drivetrain front engine, front-wheel drive


    PERFORMANCE
    EPA Fuel Economy - miles per gallon  
    ciy / highway / observed 28 / 26 / 30
    0 - 60 mph 8.0 sec


    OPTIONS AND CHARGES
    Carpeted floor mats $85
    Destination charge $600


    by CAREY RUSS The Auto Channel

    Hyundai Nabs Safety, Roominess, Power and Warranty

    Hyundai nabs safety, roominess, power and warranty



    The 2007 Accent SE 3- Door delivers safety equipment, gas efficiency, comfort and power that is surprising for such an economical, sub-compact car. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there's a 45% reduction in fatalities from side-impact collisions, when vehicles are equipped with the combination of side-impact airbags and head- protecting side curtain airbags. And the Hyundai Accent is right on the mark when it comes to safety. This Korean gem offers dual front airbags, front seat mounted side impact airbags and roof mounted side curtain airbags.

    Moreover, the available remote keyless entry system with alarm and panic button also offers great peace of mind. One feature of the keyless entry system that I found impressive is that if you unlock the doors using the remote, and do not open the doors for thirty seconds, the system automatically relocks the car. This would prove to be a great security feature if you unintentionally press the door unlock button.

    Furthermore, giving the driver 32 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, the Accent is easy even on the tightest fuel budget. This efficient Multi-Port Fuel Injected little baby will go a long way between fill-ups with an 11.9 gallon fuel tank.

    Also, I was pleasantly surprised the leg room in such a small car. And believe me there is plenty of that room for a Texas sized man. Going with the tradition of space, the back seat has enough room for small children.

    Moreover, music lovers, this car has your tune with 6 speaker sound system. The 6 CD- changer makes the weakest recordings sound great.

    The engine when put to test proved to be a kicker with a 1.6 liter, 16 valve 4 cylinder engine - delivers plenty of power for a car in its class. While the 2007 Accent may not win any trophies at the drag strip, it will do 0 – 60 in just over 9 seconds, which means you have the power to get into traffic safely even in the busiest of cities.

    Averagely priced $15,000 for a fully loaded sub-compact on the market, Hyundai definitely delivers a lot of quality for the price.

    by Chester Roberts East Texas Review

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    The Car Book 2007 Honors Six Hyundai Models With "Best Bets" Selections

    The Car Book 2007 Honors Six Hyundai Models With "Best Bets" Selections

    Hyundai's Accent, Elantra, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson and Entourage Recognized for Meeting the Safety and Performance Needs of the American Buyer

    March 6, 2007 -- Fountain Valley, Calif. -- Hyundai, with the freshest line up in the auto industry, earned "Best Bet" distinction for more than half its vehicles in The Car Book 2007. Six Hyundai models - the Accent, Elantra, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson and Entourage - earned the title "Best Bet" from author Jack Gillis and the Center for Auto Safety. For 27 years, The Car Book has selected vehicles for this distinction based on how well they respond to the safety and performance needs of today's consumer.

    "Hyundai has completely revamped its model line up with a focus on American consumers' desire for safety and performance," said John Krafcik, vice president of product development and strategic planning, Hyundai Motor America. "The six models selected are examples of our dedication to providing consumers with unsurpassed standard safety equipment and great performance in a well-designed package."

    The Car Book has analyzed new vehicles each year for the past 27 years to identify vehicles that have made a significant contribution to bettering the market. "Best Bets" ratings designate The Car Book's highest-rated cars in each of the size categories. Ratings are based on expected performance in ten important categories: crash tests, safety features, fuel economy, rollover, overall maintenance and repair costs, warranties, insurance costs and complaints, with the heaviest emphasis on safety.

    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 755 dealerships nationwide.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Hyundai Launches NADA-24 Survery To Help Dealers Win Customer Loyalty

    Hyundai Launches NADA-24 Survey To Help Dealers Win Customer Loyalty

    Fountain Valley, Calif., 03/05/2007 Hyundai Motor America launched a new customer survey initiative today called Hyundai Voice of the Customer to help dealers improve customer loyalty and retention. Using a customized version of NADA-24, a customer survey program for automobile dealerships, Hyundai will now be able to deliver nearly instant feedback on the customer experience to its dealers, allowing dealership staff to immediately identify potential customer service issues, address concerns quickly and ultimately cultivate a more loyal, satisfied customer base.

    Hyundai customers purchasing or servicing vehicles through any of the 750 Hyundai dealerships across the U.S. will be contacted via telephone regarding their likelihood of recommending the dealership to friends and family. Feedback will be recorded and made available to dealers via text and voice file within hours of the completed call.

    While endorsement from a customer is one of the strongest predictors of loyalty, a negative experience can often be mitigated with immediate follow up. With traditional paper survey methods, turnaround time can be 30 days or longer, often well after the customer has already communicated his or her frustrations with friends and family. With more timely feedback, dealerships have an opportunity to address customer issues quickly and directly, potentially increasing customer satisfaction and earning higher customer loyalty.

    "It's important that we're providing the best possible support for our dealers, combined with the best possible service to our customers," said Steve Wilhite, Hyundai Motor America's chief operating officer. "We will use the Hyundai Voice of the Customer, a customized version of the NADA-24, to provide quick feedback to our dealers. This information is critical to resolve customer issues when necessary, and to assist our dealers in improving their daily business processes. Our goals are to rapidly improve dealer loyalty and to encourage customers to recommend our dealers to their friends, family, and associates."

    About NADA

    The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) was founded in 1917 and represents 20,000 new car and truck dealers, with more than 43,000 franchises nationwide, both domestic and international. For more information on NADA visit www.nada.org.

    About Synovate

    Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 5,500 staff in 108 cities across more than 50 countries. For more information on Synovate visit www.synovate.com

    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 750 dealerships nationwide.

    Hyundai Wins Kiplinger's "Best Of 2007 Cars" Awards

    Hyundai Wins Kiplinger's "Best Of 2007 Cars" Awards

    2007 Sonata And Azera Receive "Best In Class"



    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 03/05/2007 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named the Hyundai Sonata GLS and Azera Limited "Best in Class" in the annual buyer's guide "Best of 2007 Cars" awards.

    Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors and analysts evaluated nearly 500 new models and selected winners in nine price categories from small economy cars to crossovers, large SUVs and luxury sedans. They also assessed sticker and dealer prices, projected resale values and fuel costs.

    The Azera Limited beat the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima for "Best in Class" in the $25,000 - $30,000 sedan category, which included a cross-section of midsize and large sedans with premium features. According to Kiplinger's editors', "Entry-luxe features, such as heated leather seats, dual climate controls, power rear sunshade and 17-inch wheels, are standard, at a value price. With the $2,500 Ultimate package, you also get a moonroof, ten-speaker Infinity audio system and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The comprehensive warranty is five years/60,000 miles." Azera also offers standard safety technologies including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and side and curtain airbags.

    The Sonata GLS won "Best in Class" in the under $20,000 sedan category. Kiplinger's editors stated, "A full array of standard safety features plus 16 cubic feet of cargo room push the Sonata to the head of its pack. With 162 horsepower, this fuel-thrifty four cylinder is no slouch. Speaking of slouching, long-legged drivers and passengers rejoice - no car in this class matches the Sonata's 44 inches of front legroom and 37 inches in the rear."

    "The Azera and Sonata are both excellent examples of Hyundai's commitment to outstanding quality, standard life-saving safety technologies and unbeatable value," said John Krafcik, vice president of Strategic Planning and Product Development, Hyundai Motor America. "It's rewarding that Kiplinger's recognized both sedans for their segment leadership."

    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 755 dealerships nationwide.

    Kiplinger's Personal Finance

    Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine provides down-to-earth advice on managing your money and achieving financial security. Readers get trustworthy information and practical guidance on saving, investing, planning for retirement, paying for college, buying an automobile, home and other major purchases.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Hyundai Sets Record February With 34,500 Sales

    Hyundai Sets Record February With 34,500 Sales

    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 03/01/2007 Hyundai Motor America today reported its best February ever with sales of 34,500 vehicles. Sales doubled for the all-new 2007 Santa Fe year-over-year.

    "We are pleased to see a strong February given today's challenging sales conditions across the country," said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai's vice president of National Sales. "We expect to finish off the first quarter in March with another strong sales month on the strength of outstanding lease and finance options on Sonata and Santa Fe."

    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 powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, and a 7-year/unlimited-mile anti-perforation warranty and 5-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance protection.

    Following is the sales breakdown for February 2007:

    CARLINE FEB/2007 FEB/2006 CY2007 CY2006
    ACCENT 2,408 1,231 4,845 2,584
    SONATA 12,137 13,741 19,413 25,384
    ELANTRA 6,128 8,340 12,489 16,120
    TIBURON 879 1,097 1,656 2,116
    SANTA FE 7,134 3,408 12,769 6,394
    XG350/AZERA 1,784 2,052 3,469 3,859
    TUCSON 2,943 4,145 5,712 7,765
    ENTOURAGE 1,087 N/A 1,868 N/A
    TOTAL 34,500 34,014 62,221 64,222