Hyundai Aims to Build ‘World’s Best Powertrains’

Hyundai Aims to Build ‘World’s Best Powertrains’

No automaker can afford to stand still these days. The pace of development is absolutely relentless, especially when it comes to powertrains. To keep its vehicles as competitive as possible, Hyundai has refined two of its engines.

According to John Juriga, director of powertrain at the Hyundai American Technical Center Inc. (HATCI) the company is aiming to build the world’s best powertrains, something he admits is a bold goal.

Juriga also noted that you can’t do everything for everyone; they’re trying to focus on the technologies they can, things like combustion efficiency and friction reduction. In spite of these challenges he also said “you have to be out in front, trying to innovate.”

Engineers have improved two engines in the Hyundai lineup, which on a global scale spans everything from a 1.0-liter unit all the way up to their flagship 5.0-liter Tau V8.

The Gamma family 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder has been upgraded and it will soon see duty in a new model, the Kia Forte Koup.

With a twin-scroll turbocharger performance has been improved across the rev range. It delivers 201 horsepower with 195 lb-ft of billiard-table flat torque. They’ve also improved the responsiveness of the blower and integrated the exhaust manifold and turbo housing into one unit.

On the high end of the spectrum, the Tau V8 received a little attention as well. It still puts out 429 horsepower and 378 lb-ft of torque but it received “incremental changes” according to Juriga. One of those small upgrades includes a new front crankshaft oil seal to help reduce friction.

There’s more Hyundai powertrain news to share but it’s off limits until future auto shows so stay tuned…

Discuss this story on our Hyundai forum.

  • Pers0369

    So, having LESS thrid row headroom is an advantage? 

  • Kris

    You’re reading the chart wrong.

  • Hhk


  • Lmagee010

    CVT is not an advantage…at least when it comes to performance.

  • Matthias

    Infiniti JX is ugly, it looks like a mini-van, and that symbol at the front just keeps getting bigger like on a Mercedes, Infiniti should stop copying that. Acura MDX is not pretty, but it does have a lot more power than the Infiniti and better performance.

  • Guest

    how is having a CVT an advantage over a six-speed, especially in a big luxury-sporty SUV? both are great cars, yet the this generation MDX has been around for way longer, and still is better in most areas.

    the MDX is one of the best luxury SUVs to have ever been made, maybe THE best IMO

  • Dangtheluan2010

    If you are not own these two truck or drives both then stop bitching and hater

  • Shazi00

    Now you said that…it does look like a darn Minivan…..I agree with the logo…looks prettier on a Benz !

  • Super Dad

    I have driven both and own a minivan. Neither look like a minivan.  I also did not notice an appreciable difference in power. The JX drivess more like a car, has noticable more leg room inthe third row and has better access to the third row. 

  • both are nice

  • Kanswetch2012

    Matthias is completely right, the Infiniti JX does look like an ugly mini-van! And yeah, they need to stop copying Mercedes with the large logo at the front. It looks great on Mercedes, not on Infiniti.

  • akj

    JX is essentially an pathfinder refresh which is yet to be released.  Don’t call me when you have to replace multiple CATs after a couple of years….

  • Beefeater

    learn to spell gooder

  • AlbertRego

    I’ve owned two MDX’s a 2003 & 2007. Best SUV’s I’ve ever owned. Best driving SUV for the $$$.

  • Mladi19

    Having owned Infiniti (not SUV but regardless) and now a proud owner of an MDX there is no comparison. Acura is leaps and bounds above Infiniti in everything and MDX is Acura’s signatur SUV. Clearly there is some bias in this review, wonder who paid for the article.

  • Superfly

    JX has no chance, MDX is one of the best family SUVes ever built, period. Sorry but Infiniti is just a copy cat. 

  • Superfly

     Completely agree.

  • Superfly

     What? English (insert line from Pulp Fiction).

  • Amitpari

    JX is designed keeping safety and comfort in mind, and not performance. Its more of a family oriented car. If you need better performance go for MDX, but if you care more about comfort and safety go for JX. BTW, checkout the 3rd row seat on JX. It can fit in two adults or three kids easily. Lots of head and leg room.

  • AJ

    I saw an Infiniti JX in a parking lot. It looks AWFUL, UGLY. If I need more third row space, and want to ‘move’ my family, then I will prefer the much less expensive new 2012 Odyssey, which has enough luxury appointments – including hard drive, privacy glass and a climate controlled chill box! The JX’s front is the ugliest i’ve seen, atleast acura has got ‘sharp’ styling and drives like a car, with all other features of a 7 seater SUV. The side profile of JX is like a mini-van. The infiniti JX falls in a no-man’s land with this kind of styling and non-performance oriented car, because if i need space for family there are better looking cars and obviously for performance, there are still better cars including MDX.

  • Guest

    Acura’s are way overpriced vehicles for the technology and safety in them. The Infiniti JX is a crossover that is big on the inside and small enough to drive easily on the outside. The JX is a nicer looking car with a much more comfortable and welcoming interior compared to the MDX which is an awkward car overall (style, ride, accents) . The Infiniti is a better deal because it comes with so much more technology, safety, and luxury features compared to the Acura. Infinitis are much more comfortable and versatile compared to Acuras, which barely meet the common luxury standards, and are priced too high. The JX would definitely be the better choice due to price, feature, and safety comparison. It is a luxury car that is comfortable and versatile for families or any driver/owners. The Acura is none of that

  • Sam J

    Infiniti JX is based on a cheap Nissan Murano, that is so pathetic. That just proves the JX is overpriced and underperforming. 

  • kique

    I own a 2010 MDX i absolutely love it,the jx is attractive but im not sure about the cvt? I also bought a 2009 nissan maxima it had the same engine and cvt thats offered in the jx.The revs were too noisy and the vibration was annoying at low rpms,still a bit iffy.

  • Kappa

     Wow, work for Infiniti or something? You obviously have no clue what Acura MDX is and your analysis is equivalent to that of a 5 year old. I owned 1 infiniti in my life and I will never make that mistake again.

  • The Infinity JX is indeed unattractive, but that is purely subjective.  However, only 248 hp is a real concern.  At this price range, more power is expected.

  • Quoctri82

    the mdx weight alot more too mdx curb weigth 4645 lb vs jx35 4219 lb and best of all jx35 get much better fuel economy, more space and cheaper price

  • Quoctri82

    jx35 has 265 hp and 248 torque because it was tune for fuel effieciency to and able to run with regular gas

  • Quoctri82

    jx has more technology, more space and better fuel economy and lower price, lighter weight how it got no chance?

  • Sburton8

    I love my 2009 mdx, best suv I ever own.

  • Stablendo

    all of u are bastards…buy honda civic

  • Sec1982

    I just bought a jx. Needed something bigger than my accord to fit two carseats. I haven’t had it long but so far I like it. It’s much bigger than it looks. I considered the MDX but didn’t want to get a 2012 only to have the body style change in a year or two. I’ve got another baby due soon and couldn’t wait. Needed something now. The Lexus gx is too top heavy and doesn’t feel safe to me, the Audi q7 seemed cramped for space. And the Volvo xc90, BMW x5, and Acura MDX are all due for new body styles soon so I nixed those. It came down to the jx or the ml. Jx was a better value, IMO. And seats 7 to the ml’s 5 and has better warranty than the ml. And I’m just wary of Mercedes bc of reliability issues.
    That said, I’m a mom who is mainly focused on something safe to drive the kiddos around and I cannot bring myself to go the minivan route. I think the jx will appeal to a lot of younger moms who are staunchly anti-minivan.

  • smitty195

    I just bought a JX with every option possible (the Tech Package is AMAZING). I test drove everything before buying the JX. When I first started searching, I thought for sure I would buy the Acura. However, once I drove the JX, I fell in love. It is so smooth and quiet, and is such a pleasure to drive, it’s almost beyond words. With the active radar and crash avoidance it has, I can sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway during rush hour and NEVER put my foot on the brake! All I do is work the throttle, and when the cars in front of me stop or slow down, so does the JX—automatically without me doing anything. It’s amazing, and it makes the car very easy to drive in commute traffic. The car is loaded with “gizmos”, which I just love! I got Obsidian Black with the graphite (black) interior—looks stunning. My only gripe—and it is very minor—is that I wish they had made the steering wheel more luxurious, like in the Lexus, where it is a combo of leather and wood. The JX’s steering wheel is all leather, and it’s a weird type of leather–you would swear it’s plastic. But that’s my only complaint, and I can easily live with that!

  • 123

    mo betta

  • lasvegascolonel

    I’ve had two Infinitis but would not get this one as long as it had the underpowered 3.5 engine.  I have the 3.7 and its clearly superior to the 3.5 I had.  Infiniti reliability, though, does trump the rather unreliable German vehicles.

  • Confused

    How are the seats in JX? I test drive a JX, and I found the seats are too hard when compared to MDX. 

  • Tubob_shakur

    This review nails our sentiments exactly. We were looking for a spacious, luxury, 7-seat vehicle in which to haul around our toddler. We cared far more about the safety, comfort, and convenience features than we did about a powerful engine. We test drove the MDX, and it was among our top 3 choices. However, the JX ultimately better suited our needs, and the engine is more than adequate to suit our needs. We also paid less for the JX than we would’ve paid for a comparably equipped MDX.

  • Tubob_shakur

    Very interesting. My perception was precisely the opposite. To me, the driver’s seat of the JX feels like a cushy BarcaLounger (which I mean as a compliment). In contrast, I felt nearly claustrophobic in the driver’s seat of the MDX. The center console between the two seats is relatively wide, so I felt a bit “squeezed” – ala riding coach in an airplane. And I’m only 5’10”.

    That said, my wife is 5’4 / 110#, and she would’ve been the primary driver. She said that the driver’s seat fit her perfectly, and was really comfortable to her.

  • Tubob_shakur

    I agree with this. I really don’t understand the strong / h8er comments in response to this article. Both are nice cars that simply emphasize safety / comfort and performance in varying degrees. If performance is paramount to you, you’d want an MDX over a JX.

    When we test drove the MDX, the sales guy took us to a winding road and encouraged me to gun it. It was fun, and the MDX’s performance was impressive for an SUV. But, we were looking for a car to haul around our toddler, and we’d never drive like that with the toddler in the car. So, the sales guy was emphasizing a feature that was relatively unimportant to us. Similarly, if you don’t have a baby or a kid, you might not care about how easy it is to access the third row of seats if you’ve installed a child seat in the second row. (Which is infinitely easier in the JX, btw.)

  • David

    the jx is really an overpriced nissan pathfinder.  note;pathfinder gets 23 mpg combined while costing up to $13,000 less

  • Lcref09

    That is in error.  It is  265 hp.  Still, it should have the modern, better 3.7 that Infiniti puts in all its other vehicles.  Save the 3.5 for the cheaper Pathfinder.

  • Lcref09

    Yes.  For the difference in price, the JX should have the better 3.7 engine as well as the nicer interior.

  • Skakh

    The MDX is a superior vehicle in overall styling and performance.  Only 265 HP for a vehicle of this size is a big deficiency.  The look of the JX is simply boring.  The CVT is something to be avoided, ok on a Sentra but not on a $40k vehicle. The final kicker is Honda/Acura reliability versus Nissan/Infiniti of which there is little comparison.

  • racezx9

    I test drove a host of SUVs and the JX was taken off my list almost immediately, I like the styling (although it has a station wagon look to it), but the lack of power and handling for me was pretty much a fatal flaw. I also test drove the Mercedes GL, Audi Q7, and QX56, BMW. and I ended up test driving the MDX and bought it, it has the luxury interior all the extra feature I wanted (heated sterring wheel and rain sensing wiper would have been nice) but it it drove so much better than all the rest and the Umber interior was very nice and I got it for 2,500 below invoice (due to dealer cash rebate).  The MDX was on the bottom of my list ( i had owned a 2007) when I started but ended up being my favorite..again.

  • Mikepr60

    Sam: JX is “losely”based on the Murano. That means its frame is shared (although substantially revised) with the JX. It most certainly is NOT a Nissan Murano in any sense of the word.

  • eddie collins

    exclamation points always give away a fake review

  • Patrick

    I get tired of people saying the JX is a fancy Pathfinder, like the MDX isn’t a fancy Pilot