Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2016 Hyundai Sonata: One To Look Out For

 If you are planning to get a new car, the Hyundai Sonata should be included as one of the models to consider especially after what they’ve said it will come with.
The new Hyundai Sonata will be coming in as a hybrid more. The vehicle will be coming in with a new 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine that will be paired with an electric motor and will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that will make sure that the Hyundai Sonata is as fuel efficient as it gets.
Not only will it be fuel efficient but it will also be spacious with a huge cargo space of 380liter. So how much do you think the hybrid Hyundai Sonata will cost when it arrives. Well, Hyundai has just confirmed that the new Hyundai Sonata retail price will start from $29,000.
We’ve seen a lot of hybrid models but not a lot that comes with a less than $30 price tag which is why we think the Hyundai Sonata is a steal. The new Hyundai Sonata will be coming in later this year so if you are looking to get a hybrid, you might as well wait and see what else it has to offer.

2016 Hyundai Tucson Video Road Test


Crossover SUVs are some of the most popular new cars on the road today--and the competition is brutal. From the Honda CR-V to the Ford Escape to the Nissan Rogue, there are plenty of excellent choices at the smaller end of the sport-ute spectrum.
This year, you can add the Hyundai Tucson to the list. It's new for 2016, with a fresh design, new powertrains, and new technology. The question is, are those changes enough to push those other SUVs down on your shopping list?
When it comes to styling, the Tucson is a winner. It swaps out the last edition's economy-car looks for an upscale, sculpted presence. From its hexagonal grille and angular headlights, to its strong character lines, it's a junior Santa Fe Sport--which is to say, very good-looking.

Inside the upscale feel continues with a simple, well-finished design with thoughtfully laid out controls. The analog gauges and the digital information center are straightforward and easy to read--they're refreshingly free of gimmicky graphics.
The front seats are well-bolstered and comfortable on longer drives. Move to the back seat and two adults will be comfortable. While this reclining function in the rear seat is nice, it's more a necessity. It basically tilts the seat from nearly vertical to what we consider a normal angle.
Cargo space is up in the Tucson--and it's usable space, though there's a bit less than in its rivals. There’s 30.1 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up, and 61.9 cubic feet when they’re folded down. The Honda CR-V has 35.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up.
Tucson buyers choose between two powertrains: The base model has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 164 horsepower and shifts with a six-speed automatic transmission. All other models use a 1.6-liter turbocharged four with 175 horsepower, connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power is sent to the front wheels, but all-wheel drive is an option.
Fuel economy rings in as high as 33 mpg highway according to the EPA.

How does it perform? We’ve been somewhat disappointed with the smoothness of the the turbo four. It can feel slow to respond under hard acceleration, no matter which driving mode you've chosen. The base 2.0-liter has slightly less power and torque, but it feels more awake around town, particularly when it's dialed into Sport mode.
Handling is predictable and safe rather than sporty. The Tucson has a refined ride, maybe its best performance feature, unless you opt into the big 19-inch wheels. The steering feels quick, and it's quiet at highway speeds. In all, the Tucson delivers exactly what most crossover drivers want behind the wheel.
The Tucson hasn’t been crash-tested yet but Hyundai has engineered it with top scores in mind. It's available with forward-collision warnings and automatic braking; so are a lane-departure warning system and blind-spot monitors.
Starting from about $23,000 the Tucson comes nicely equipped with a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, automatic headlights, and a rearview camera. Notable options include an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, HID headlights, and a panoramic sunroof.
So what’s the bottom line with the 2016 Hyundai Tucson? It caters to drivers that put styling and features at the top of their crossover-SUV wish list.

SOURCE

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hyundai plans launch of 2-3 new models every year till 2020

Auto major Hyundai Motor India plans to launch 2-3 new models every year till 2020 as a part of its efforts to further consolidate its position in the country. The company, which is the second largest car maker in India, eyes 1 per cent growth in its market share each year during the period. Currently, the maker of various popular models like i20 and Creta, Hyundai has over 16 per cent market share in the overall passenger vehicle segment. “In the last two years we have launched seven models. We plan to launch 2-3 new models, including full model changes, every year continuously till 2020,” Hyundai Motor India MD & CEO BS Seo told PTI here.
The company is targeting one per cent increase in its market share every year for the next five years, he added. As part of its long term strategy in the country, the company is also developing models like a multi purpose vehicle (MPV), a small SUV and full model changes for its sedans Elantra and Verna.
He however did not share launch details of the upcoming models. Commenting on the company’s strategy in lieu of rival Suzuki planning to launch over 15 new models in India by 2020, Mr. Seo said: “Hyundai is also watching the market very closely.” When asked about plans to set up a new manufacturing plant in the country, he said: “Nothing is confirmed as yet. We are watching the market closely”. He added that the automaker, which currently sells 10 models in the country, would continue to introduce products with latest technology and design in the Indian market.
“We will keep bringing great products into the Indian market continuously to satisfy the customers here. We want to be the most loved and trusted company in the Indian market,” he said.
Hyundai inaugurated its first dealership here in Leh, thus strengthening its sales network in the state.
“Jammu & Kashmir is a significant market for Hyundai in northern India and this dealership will help us to strengthen our presence in this region,” he said. 

700+ HP 2016 Hyundai Tucson Study Kicks Off SEMA Show Countdown


We've barely finished reporting on the Frankfurt Auto Show and we're already moving on to the next big event of the season, the 2015 SEMA Show. Hyundai is one of the first brand's to communicate their plans for this year's tuning show in Las Vegas with the 2016 Tucson “Brute Ute” developed in partnership with Bisimoto.

Teased here in a digital render, the "Brute Ute" does not validate the term 'ute', which was originally coined in Australia and New Zealand to describe passenger cars turned into pickup trucks like the Holden Commodore-based Ute, but it does promise to be a 'Brute', thanks to its heavily modified powerplant.

Bisimoto took Hyundai’s 2.4-liter “Theta-II” four-pot and gave it "strengthened internals with fast-burning flex-fuel, a high-boost turbocharger and an upgraded engine management system to put down more than 700 horsepower to the wheels" via a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Bisi Ezerioha, owner and chief enginee of Bisimoto Engineering commented: “After hundreds of hours of testing and developing new engine components, we’re confident that this power plant can handle what we’re asking from it, delivering a fresh, race-bred take on the 2016 Tucson with performance and reliability at its core.”

The powerful mill under the hood is only one part of the tuning-equation, with Bisimoto hunkering down the Tucson that rides on a custom air-ride suspension with white race-spec wheels and performance rubber. It will also get an aero kit and a custom roll cage.

SOURCE

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hyundai Motor commended by U.S. Congress for childhood anti-cancer campaign

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor, South Korea's largest automaker, has been officially commended by the U.S. Congress for its 17-year-long campaign to raise awareness of childhood cancer and finance the development of medicine and treatment.
The Congressional Pediatric Cancer Caucus, a grouping of 99 congressmen concerned about pediatric cancer, submitted a statement praising Hyundai's "Hope on Wheels" fund-raising program and the statement was officially included in the congressional record.
The automaker launched the anti-cancer campaign in 1998, in which US$14 is raised every time a new Hyundai vehicle is sold. Accumulated donations made under the program have exceeded $100 million, company officials said.
"Hyundai Hope on Wheels is leading the way with its commitment to cancer research ... Hope on Wheels has been investing in pediatric cancer research since 1998, and this month they will surpass $100 million in lifetime funding to this critical cause," the statement said.
"I express my most heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to everyone at Hyundai who has made this wonderful investment in our children a powerful reality," it said. The statement, known as "Extensions of Remarks," was made in the name of Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA).
On Friday, the caucus held its annual meeting and Hyundai was invited for the fifth consecutive year. During the event, Kelly, a former Hyundai dealer, awarded a framed statement to Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.
Also in attendance were Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Terri Sewell (D-AL).
"I want to thank Hyundai," McCaul said during the event. "A hundred million dollars. That's more than probably Congress has done. It's certainly the most largest we received from a private sector.
"These are really dollars that will go to a great worthy cause and I can't think of one more worthy than our children," he said. "I need to go buy a Hyundai, I guess. I have triplets and when they turn 16, they get a car. So, I guess we know which one they're going to get."

SOURCE

How Design Heads See Hyundai's High-End Future

Hyundai has pulled back the curtain on its upscale aspirations. The Korean auto-maker unveiled the Vision G Concept Coupe at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in August and showed the car again a few days later at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

The full-size coupe hints at what the brand's flagship Equus sedan will look like when it debuts next spring at the New York auto show. The sleek Vision G was designed at the Irvine, Calif., studio led by Chris Chapman -- under the watchful eye of Peter Schreyer, head of design for both Kia and Hyundai, who moved to the Korean group in 2006 after a 26-year career at Volkswagen and Audi.

Staff Reporter David Undercoffler sat down with Chapman, 49, and Schreyer, 62, together last month during Monterey Car Week to talk about their latest project.

Q: You've said this model hints at what your next full-size production model will look like. What elements will make it to production?

Peter Schreyer: The way this line runs through the car [pointing to the sharp crease that starts just above the headlight and runs along the side of the car to the taillight], the way the front is done, a big C-pillar and the same kind of proportions, even if this is exaggerated.

Chris Chapman: The general expression of the headlight, the shape of the grille. It's basically the same architecture, differently proportioned because the car that's coming out is a different animal than this.

PS: The interior, it's very close to where we're going.

CC: I want to say that's an industry first [pointing to the curved navigation screen integrated into the top of the dashboard].

PS: When you see a curved-screen TV, I don't really know what to do with it. But a curved screen in a car makes perfect sense since it doesn't reflect as much as a straight one.

CC: The basic [instrument panel] shape is meant to be expansive in a horizontal kind of way. We like to do interiors that aren't screaming for attention.

PS: Especially for the flagship-type car, it's really important to expand on the idea of logic and things being in the right place. The interior is about architecture and ergonomics. It's the materials, and if things are not in the right position, it can drive you mad. It can be dangerous, even.

That's something I have been dealing with a long time with all those Audi and Volkswagen interiors, many dozens of them. Right now, we're working on an interesting system for the [multimedia interface], an element where you can scroll on a touchpad or push buttons around it, but at the moment, it's in kind of a research phase.

Explain the door handle that's not actually on the door.

CC: There's this image that I have growing up of the president of the United States getting on board Marine One helicopter. There's that Marine standing there, and he's kind of a sentinel next to the door. There is that old image of opening doors ... for the door to not be the focal point. When you're coming up to it, and there's someone at a fixed position who can say, "Good morning," and hit the lever for the door without this awkward shuffling around the person.

Does it get tiring to have people compare the concept to other brands?

CC: It's always been that way. I'm looking for the person who is looking at sections: "silhouette, I like it; rear three quarter, I like it; front three quarter, I like it; beautiful car." But not where the first words out of their mouths are "taillight" or "grille," where they've zoomed in on everything.

I'm looking for ... people that appreciate that and don't go necessarily right to the details and go, "Oh, why is the door handle not on the door ?" and "Why is the taillamp vertical? You're supposed to go horizontal."

PS: If you're too much focused on the details, you lose the idea of what it looks like far away. I think it's more important to recognize a car from a far distance and say, "This can only be a Hyundai."

With Hyundai, is it liberating not to have a heritage to draw on as designers are expected to do at a brand that's been around a century?

PS: This is our chance to build up the brand and also find character elements and a certain look, a certain DNA that tells you, "OK, it's a Hyundai." The product range is so wide, from very small cars, cheap cars made for the Chinese or whatever foreign market, up to the luxury segment.

CC: At Hyundai ... you're not offending people ... when you come out with a radical change in the design development. People have a tendency, if they're connected to a particular brand, to get offended. "How could you possibly change my BMW or my 911? What did you do?"

Peter, now that you've been head of Kia and Hyundai design for about two and a half years, where do you see taking the Hyundai design direction?

Hyundai is in a different stage than Kia was when I started. And there have been some great achievements from Hyundai. I think that whole "fluidic sculpture" story has something about it; Hyundai was quite challenging this way, and many other brands followed. Hyundai was quite bold.

In a way, I want to build on this, only I want to make it a bit more organized, a bit more refined, and more architectural, and not just for the sake of a shape.

I don't want to lose this emotional and sculptural design at all. But I want to develop it to the next step and add that kind of German logic to it (laughs).


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Nuts And Bolts: 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Bottom line: Anyone looking for a well-made, reliable, well-equipped, fuel-efficient midsize family sedan should seriously consider the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited.

Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets good marks in all three, with one caveat: The battery pack and permanent magnet motor add noticeable poundage. You feel that weight in curves.

Head-turning quotient: I thought I would miss Hyundai’s departure from fluidic sculpture exterior styling. I don’t. The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited especially with light blue “seaport mist” exterior paint, presents a nice package.
Body/layout: The Sonata Hybrid Limited, redesigned for 2016, is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive four-door sedan with a combined gasoline/electric drivetrain.
Power system: The gasoline/electric power system delivers a combined 193 horsepower. The system includes a direct-injection 2-liter in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine coupled with a 270-volt lithium-polymer battery pack. Power to front wheels is transmitted via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Capacities: Seating is for five people. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 13.3 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 15.9 gallons of gasoline (regular grade works fine).

Mileage: It is remarkable for a midsize sedan. I got 39 miles per gallon in the city and 43 on the highway.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; stability and traction control; dusk-sensing headlamps; remote anti-theft alarm system; alarm notification; and front and rear air bags.

Suggested advanced electronic safety package: Get the “ultimate package” with forward collision and lane-departure warning. It will cost $4,500, but could save much more than that.

Pricing: The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited starts at $30,100, with an estimated dealer’s invoice price of $28,000. Add $4,500 for the advanced electronic safety package . . . and nearly $300 for other ancillary items . . . and an $825 inland factory-to-dealer shipment charge. Price as tested is $35,765. Estimated dealer’s price as tested is $32,500.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

2016 Hyundai Tucson: U.S.-Spec Details Revealed

Hyundai first pulled the drape off the redesigned 2016 Tucson at the Geneva auto show in March, but now it’s showing the U.S. version at New York. The Tucson is an international product—built in two factories, one in the Czech Republic and the one in South Korea that will produce our examples—so the American model looks the same as the one for Europe, but we do have the details on the new crossover’s U.S.-specific powertrains (one of which is new) and the CUV’s available equipment (which is quite extensive).

First, though, the basics: The new Tucson is 1.1-inch wider than its predecessor, 3.0 inches longer, and there’s a 1.2-inch greater stretch between the axles. Hyundai claims greater interior space and cargo volume as a result. The new structure is said to be stiffer, and the suspension of struts up front and control arms at the rear has been redesigned.

Something Old, Something New
Motivating the larger Tucson are two available powertrains. Returning for duty is the 164-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which also makes 151 lb-ft of torque. Available only on the base model, that engine is paired exclusively with a six-speed automatic (no manual is offered on the Tucson) and can be had with front- or all-wheel drive. Hyundai estimates that the EPA numbers will come in at 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway (FWD), up from 23/29 mpg for the 2015 version. The company reckons that the AWD Tucson with this engine will get 22/26 mpg, barely better than the outgoing model’s lackluster 21/25 mpg.


Most Tucsons will be powered by a new 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder, which replaces the old 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four as the step-up engine. It makes 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Preliminary fuel-economy estimates are 25/30 mpg city/highway for the front-wheel-drive Sport and Limited models (24/28 with AWD), while the Eco version is expected to, ahem, eke-o an additional 1 mpg in the city and 3 mpg on the highway (+1/+2 mpg with AWD).

At Geneva, we also heard whispers of a performance version using a 200-ish-hp version of the 1.6T, although there was no confirmation as to whether that model would come to the U.S.

We do have a few specifics about the available AWD system, which operates via an electronically controlled clutch at the rear axle. The system’s Active Cornering Control can brake an inside rear wheel and send extra power to the opposite wheel, providing what Hyundai characterizes as “a torque-vectoring effect.” For off-road driving or extraslippery conditions, the driver can activate an AWD lock function. The Tucson also adds an available Drive Mode Select feature, which alters steering effort, throttle mapping, and transmission shift points.


Tech, Tech, and More Tech
The new Tucson greatly ramps up its list of high-tech safety features. New items include forward-collision warning with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning (undoubtedly a good idea given those large C-pillars), lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive headlights. A backup camera is now standard on all trim levels. Also on the list of available goodies are front and rear seat heaters, ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a hands-free power liftgate.

The new Tucson’s other big push is in the area of connectivity. The navigation system can support Yelp, Pandora, and Apple Siri “Eyes Free.” Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics comes in three different levels of service, and some features can be controlled by an Android smartwatch. The 2016 Tucson reaches dealers in July.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

2016 Hyundai Tucson Video Road Test


Crossover SUVs are some of the most popular new cars on the road today--and the competition is brutal. From the Honda CR-V to the Ford Escape to the Nissan Rogue, there are plenty of excellent choices at the smaller end of the sport-ute spectrum.

This year, you can add the Hyundai Tucson to the list. It's new for 2016, with a fresh design, new powertrains, and new technology. The question is, are those changes enough to push those other SUVs down on your shopping list?

When it comes to styling, the Tucson is a winner. It swaps out the last edition's economy-car looks for an upscale, sculpted presence. From its hexagonal grille and angular headlights, to its strong character lines, it's a junior Santa Fe Sport--which is to say, very good-looking.

Inside the upscale feel continues with a simple, well-finished design with thoughtfully laid out controls. The analog gauges and the digital information center are straightforward and easy to read--they're refreshingly free of gimmicky graphics.

The front seats are well-bolstered and comfortable on longer drives. Move to the back seat and two adults will be comfortable. While this reclining function in the rear seat is nice, it's more a necessity. It basically tilts the seat from nearly vertical to what we consider a normal angle.

Cargo space is up in the Tucson--and it's usable space, though there's a bit less than in its rivals. There’s 30.1 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up, and 61.9 cubic feet when they’re folded down. The Honda CR-V has 35.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up.

Tucson buyers choose between two powertrains: The base model has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 164 horsepower and shifts with a six-speed automatic transmission. All other models use a 1.6-liter turbocharged four with 175 horsepower, connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power is sent to the front wheels, but all-wheel drive is an option.

Fuel economy rings in as high as 33 mpg highway according to the EPA.

How does it perform? We’ve been somewhat disappointed with the smoothness of the the turbo four. It can feel slow to respond under hard acceleration, no matter which driving mode you've chosen. The base 2.0-liter has slightly less power and torque, but it feels more awake around town, particularly when it's dialed into Sport mode.

Handling is predictable and safe rather than sporty. The Tucson has a refined ride, maybe its best performance feature, unless you opt into the big 19-inch wheels. The steering feels quick, and it's quiet at highway speeds. In all, the Tucson delivers exactly what most crossover drivers want behind the wheel.

The Tucson hasn’t been crash-tested yet but Hyundai has engineered it with top scores in mind. It's available with forward-collision warnings and automatic braking; so are a lane-departure warning system and blind-spot monitors.

Starting from about $23,000 the Tucson comes nicely equipped with a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, automatic headlights, and a rearview camera. Notable options include an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, HID headlights, and a panoramic sunroof.

So what’s the bottom line with the 2016 Hyundai Tucson? It caters to drivers that put styling and features at the top of their crossover-SUV wish list.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hope On Wheels: Hyundai Awards Millions To Hospital Research For Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, South Korean automotive brand Hyundai Motor Company announced it will award $10.5 million in research grants to hospitals across the U.S. during September.

This year marks the 17th year Hyundai Motor America and its non-profit organization, Hyundai Hope On Wheels, will continue its battle against childhood cancer. The brand created its non-profit organization in 1998 to help raise funds for pediatric cancer. Hope On Wheels began as a group of New England-area Hyundai dealers who were committed to fighting pediatric cancer. The group launched a local initiative to support the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It has since expanded to become a national independent organization supported by Hyundai Motor Company.

To date, there are more than 820 dealers nationwide dedicated to the cause.
Most recently, the organization announced it has awarded over $100 million in lifetime funding to childhood cancer research. In addition to achieving this milestone, Hyundai Hope announced a 2015 national campaign christened “Every Handprint Tells a Story.” The theme of the campaign is to communicate how every child’s handprint represents their stories, dreams, desires, and hopes, whether they’re completing a round of chemotherapy, celebrating a beautiful new head of hair, or playing their favorite sport.

The campaign will showcase videos profiling adolescent cancer patients, their parents, and families’ stories of courage and confidence. Each week, a family’s story will be posted on the Hyundai Hope On Wheels website as well as social media channels.

Hope On Wheels has provided an interactive element where visitors can lend their own hand in the fight by changing their social media avatar and sharing a child’s story, or by donating to fund research.

You can also add your hands in the fight to #endchildhoodcancer. Simply go to the website and click “Add My Handprint” to join the fight against childhood cancer.

The fight to end pediatric cancer is a crucial one. The National Cancer Institute spends over $4.8 billion in healthcare, but spends less than four percent of its budget on research for pediatric cancer research. More importantly, every 36 minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer, making it the leading cause of death by disease for children in the U.S.

In 2014, more than 1,000 children aged 0 to 14 were expected to die of cancer.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hyundai And Kia Had The Best Frankfurt Displays

Just got back from spending two solid days trudging down every aisle of the gazillion Frankfurt show halls, dodging rain running between them and way overdoing the currywurst.

You’re welcome.

Anyway, I’ve come to this: Overall, Kia and Hyundai had the show’s best displays. Not hometown heroes BMW, the Volkswagen Group or Mercedes-Benz. Sure, they had their gems like Benz’s IAA Concept, Rolls-Royce Dawn and the new VW Tiguan. Other automakers went down swinging too; Honda’s Project 2&4, Alfa and its Giulia and the Jaguar F-Pace -- all solid.

But top to bottom, inside and out, Hyundai and Kia ruled Frankfurt ’15.

Blasphemous, you say? Allow me to explain.

Kia’s booth was packed with its new Sportage SUV and Optima sedan, an updated cee’d range, a new 1.0-liter direct-injection three-cylinder and a new seven-speed dual-clutch trans.

Whew!

The new Sportage looked excellent, not that today’s is bad. Kia said previous concepts, the Provo and Niro, inspired the Sportage’s new styling, done at Kia’s European studio with input from Irvine, California. The fourth-generation SUV is sleeker, the grille bigger and the interior quality -- whoa! -- is wayyyyy up.

Ditto the Optima. We saw it at the New York show back in the spring; it arrives in U.S. showrooms in about a month. The car looks more contemporary and the interior is bigger, bolder and, like the Sportage, of higher quality. (German automakers note well: In terms of material quality and fit and finish, Hyundai and Kia are catching you -- and quickly. Just sayin’.) Kia also promises more refinement and better ride/handling, as well as a new Sportspace-like wagon. We loved that Geneva concept. We can only hope Kia decides to send an Optima wagon here.

Kia calls the cee’d a “comprehensive upgrade,” including the 1.0-liter three. 

Meanwhile, Hyundai’s headliner by a wide margin was the N 2025, and not just because it looked like a fighter jet on wheels -- there’s more to it: The N in the name represents new, sporty upscale Hyundais -- think BMW M, Audi S and RS, Ford ST, Jaguar R …

While the N 2025’s pipe-dreamy 872-hp powertrain is based on Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel-cell system, to bring the N idea down to street level, so to speak, we saw the RM15 concept. Roughly based on the Veloster, the RM15 is a mid-engine hot hatch boasting 295 hp, lightweight construction -- aluminum spaceframe, carbon fiber-reinforced body -- and a 4.7-second 0-60 time. Hyundai says future N cars -- it plans a full line -- have powertrain and material tech borrowed from its factory World Rally Championship program. The RM15 was a great example of how those kinds of goodies could be produced.

Speaking of WRC, the company also made clear it’s getting serious about its program, taking the wraps off next year’s i20 racer. Hyundai ran WRC from 2000-2003 before dropping the program, returning in 2014 with a new in-house team. The idea was to tiptoe in slowly, learn what’s changed in 11 years and build a reliable car for 2014 and ’15.

The 2016 WRC car looks vastly more serious with what Hyundai says is better aero and weight distribution. Looks like the gloves come off next year in WRC; and based on the Frankfurt displays, Hyundai and Kia continue taking the road-car gloves off, too.


Hyundai Kicks Off Rookie Season With NFL

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the hours before the National Football League season opener on Sept. 10, thousands of tourists streamed through Pier 35 to pose for selfies with the Vince Lombardi trophy and have their jerseys autographed by NFL stars.

The walls were covered with well-known logos. Microsoft and McDonald's. Verizon and Visa. Bud Light and Snickers. Among them was a newcomer: Hyundai.

In June, the Korean automaker inked a four-year deal with the NFL, replacing General Motors as automotive sponsor of America's most-watched sports league.

After a quarter-century of selling cars in the U.S., Hyundai has improved its products and its business enough that it sees itself in the same league with Honda and Toyota. With the start of football season, Hyundai is spending big to show it belongs there.

"The bigger and more costly the platform, the more you have to focus on it as a company to make sure you get a return on your investment," Dean Evans, who was hired in August as CMO of Hyundai Motor America, told Automotive News. "Over the course of the partnership, we'll look at our positive sentiment numbers and make sure it's giving us a lift. Hopefully, at the end of the day, we're selling more cars."

Hyundai's first NFL-theme TV ad features an Arizona Cardinals fan and his Hyundai Tucson.

Going pro

Over the past few years, the NFL has suffered black eye after black eye. The league has faced allegations that it downplayed and covered up research on head trauma among former players. It has struggled to respond to domestic violence incidents involving several of its biggest stars, as well as a cheating scandal involving four-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady. Yet the league has never been more popular or profitable, making it irresistible to consumer-facing companies such as Hyundai.

During the event at Pier 35, next to a gold-wrapped Hyundai Tucson and a carnival game in which passersby tried to throw a football through a hole in exchange for prizes, Hyundai posted a banner: "Hyundai Goes Pro."

That day, Hyundai also presented a free concert in downtown San Francisco with pop musicians Train and Ellie Goulding. Pedestrians who couldn't make it into the plaza for the concert stood outside on concrete planters, extending their arms to take photos and videos for social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat.

Above them on a balcony and observing the spectacle was Harry Han, a Korean dispatch who oversees Hyundai's U.S. business as chief executive coordinator. Evans was in Seoul, getting live updates via email.

"We were really happy with the number of people showing up and taking pictures and sharing pictures," Evans said. "We're really fixated on getting this brand more love than ever before. To do that, you've got to meet people and engage with people."

The sprint to September

After the NFL deal was announced in June, Hyundai's marketers in the U.S. quickly discovered that there was a lot of work left to do. For example, the deal didn't include any teams or athletes. What good is the NFL logo if you can't show any football players?

Luckily for Hyundai, the brand's regional dealer associations already had sponsorship deals with the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans, Trea Reedy, senior group manager of experiential marketing at HMA, said in an interview.

This fortunate fact explains why the Cardinals featured prominently in Hyundai's first NFL-theme TV spot, in which a man irritates his wife by tearing out a piece of their picket fence to use as a prop for his "defense" chant at the stadium.

Looking forward, Hyundai will focus its branding efforts on the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft. However, the company doesn't expect to award a new car -- say, a Genesis luxury sedan -- to the winner of the Most Valuable Player award at the Super Bowl, an annual custom when GM held the sponsorship. Reedy said the NFL has not offered Hyundai that opportunity.

"It's not that we didn't want it," Reedy said. "It could be something that we talk about in the future, but right now it's not there."