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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 26 2010, 1:47 PM

There was a time when Hyundai was a back-marker among car companies, and not very highly respected among buyers. Those days are well behind them now as they keep posting record sales year after year.

2010 will go down as an exceptional year for this South Korean manufacturer, as it sold over 200,000 units of its stylish new Sonata in North America alone, which is a record.

Even more importantly, Hyundai delivered over 530,000 vehicles in America with an additional 110,000 vehicles sold in Canada, where it broke all its previous sales records.

According to Hyundai, about 70% of buyers for the new Sonata were first time customers to the brand, with 20% of those coming from Japanese makes like Toyota and Honda.

John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO said that the “Sonata is the Hyundai brand and it’s appropriate that it has led our best year ever. Sonata’s innovation has reset the most hotly contested, largest segment in the U.S. car market, with Sonata delivering more year-over-year retail sales growth – about 90,000 units – than any other car in the entire industry.”

With attractive styling, good features and prices that start at $18,440 it is not surprising the Sonata has done so well. We wish them an equally good year next year.

Read AutoGuide’s Review of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata by Clicking Here

 |  Oct 05 2010, 9:42 PM

The new crash results for 2011 models are in, and only the BMW 5 Series and Hyundai Sonata got a 5-star rating overall.

The government-run tests were the first that employed a “female” crash-test dummy, and a direct crash into a pole. The vehicles were rated from 1 to 5 stars, which are based on a weighted average of risk of injury in the front and side crashes and rollover resistance compared to other vehicles. The only vehicles to earn 5 stars were Hyundai and BMW, and were among the first 34 vehicles tested this new way.

These new tests were put in place in order to give shoppers more information, since high scores had become so common.”More stars equal safer cars,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Through new tests, better crash data and higher standards, we are making the safety ratings tougher and more meaningful for consumers.”

Most surprising were the results for the 2011 Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in the U.S. that got just 3 stars overall (the 2010 model, which was nearly identical, got top scores last year). The only other car to get a 3-star rating was the Camry Hybrid.

Placing at the bottom was the 2011 Nissan Versa, which was also the only vehicle to score just 2 stars overall. The blame of this poor score, says Nissan, is the Versa’s old design, and the company is working on ways to improve the car’s crash-test scores without a full redesign. The automaker believes that the 2011 Juke, which is based on the Versa platform, should score higher as it’s a newer iteration.

As for the rest of the vehicles, the remaining 2011 vehicles that were tested ranked with 4 stars overall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is planning on testing 22 more 2011 models.

See after the jump for the full list of models tested under the new 2011 rules:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jun 22 2010, 8:50 AM

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Hyundai is extremely proud of the new 2011 Sonata‘s fuel economy, even making it the focal point at the car’s launch event earlier this year. To see just how fuel efficient it is, Wayne Gerdes of CleanMPG.com and a hypermiling expert is going to attempt to drive 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas. His plan is to drive from Milwaukee, WI to New York City – roughly 1,000 miles.

To achieve this goal, he’ll need to squeeze over 54-mpg out of every gallon of gas in the Sonata’s 18.5 gallon tank. That’s well above the Sonata’s 35-mpg highway rating, but not an entirely unrealistic goal, based on our own experience.

Back at the Sonata launch event we achieved a third place finish in Hyundai’s fuel economy challenge, managing 46.8-mpg. The first place team were able to get an amazing 52.8-mpg.

The world record for the most miles traveled on a single tank of gas is held by the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which managed 1445 miles.

We’ll keep you updated on the result.

[Source: CleanMPG via AutoblogGreen]

 |  Jun 01 2010, 5:05 PM

Just like the title says, it appears that Hyundai is prepping a wagon variant of its slick new Sonata sedan. Wagons have traditionally been met with a cool reception here in North America, but they are a must have vehicle for any manufacturer outside Canada or the U.S., where they are the family car of choice, rather than the SUV or Minivan.

Hyundai’s i35 (known here as the Elantra Touring) has been met with a positive reception in Europe. The Sonata has been sold in Europe before, but the new car has yet to go on sale, perhaps because Hyundai is waiting to launch both sedan and wagon at the same time. The Sonata has knocked off the mighty Honda Accord from the family sedan throne, and we expect the wagon to be a compelling rival to the Subaru Outback, as well as other crossovers…if it ever comes here.

See all the spy photos at the link below:

[Source: Autoblog]

Hyundai Customers Most Loyal to Their Brand Says Kelley Blue Book

Korean automaker passes Honda and Toyota to take top spot

 |  Mar 16 2010, 7:28 AM

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According to the most recent numbers released by Kelley Blue Book, Hyundai now has the strongest brand loyalty among its customers. Over the past year Hyundai owners looking to purchase another Hyundai went up 10.4 percent to a total of 56.4 percent, outranking long-time first-place brand Toyota. Honda, meanwhile, continues to hold on to the second place position.

KBB lists the reason for the jump as both the result of exciting new products from Hyundai like the Sonata and Tucson as well as the Korean automaker benefiting from other factors. Included in those are the Toyota’s recent recall woes and relatively stale products by Honda.

Hyundai has also finally entered onto KBB’s Top 10 Most-Researched New Vehicles list, with the new 2011 Hyundai Sonata now ranking fifth in February, surppassed only by such industry mainstays as the Accord, Civic, Camry and CR-V.

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Feb 17 2010, 12:35 AM

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While we can’t write any driving impressions about the new 2011 Hyundai Sonata due to an embargo that lifts Monday, we can tell you that during the vehicle’s launch our car achieved an incredible 46.8 mpg. And as impressive as that number sounds, it was still only enough to earn the team of AutoGuide.com Editor-in-Chief Colum Wood and TopSpeed.com Senior Editor Philippe Daix a bronze medal. First place went to the team of Donald Buffamanti of AutoSpies and Jaime Florez of Ruedas ESPN with a 52.8 mpg rating that would even impress a Prius.

The gold medal winners got more than just praise, however, as Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik offered to treat anyone who could beat his personal time of 47.8 mpg to a private dinner.

We’ll be the first to admit that the 46.8 mpg rating was hardly done under real world conditions. Although while Buffamanti and Florez used cruise control up hills and coasted in neutral down hills (despite engineers saying that it shouldn’t matter), we even used our air conditioning, albeit only when going down hill.

For the record, Hyundai officially rates the 2011 Sonata at 24/35 mpg (city/highway) for the manual transmission and 22/35 mpg for the automatic. To put these numbers, and our 46.8 mpg number into perspective, the Toyota Prius is rated at 51/48 mpg, while during a similar fuel economy challenge we managed 65 mpg in the Prius. And while you won’t get Prius fuel economy numbers out of a Sonata, you will get a vehicle that is so spacious its technically classified as a large sedan by the EPA, plus it delivers 198-hp!

2011 Hyundai Sonata Priced from $19,195

Base models get 198-hp and a 24 mpg city, 35 mpg highway rating

 |  Feb 02 2010, 12:50 PM

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Hyundai has just announced pricing for the all-new 2011 Sonata, starting at $19,195 for a base GLS sedan with a six-speed manual transmission. The price has climbed from the outgoing model, but just by a models $500 and when you consider what the new model brings, that’s a real bargain.

Along with a beautiful new look and near-luxury interior, the 2011 Sonata gets a new direct-injection 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes an impressive 198-hp and gets 24/35 mpg (city/highway), a segment best for non-hybrids. Models equipped with a six-speed automatic get a 22/35 mpg rating, even the 200-hp SE model with dual exhaust pipes. That model will run you $22,595, and climbs to $25,295 in Limited trim.

Compared to the main competitors, the 2011 Sonata is $200 less than a Camry and almost $2,000 less than a base-model Accord.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

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Full 2011 Sonata pricing and specifications after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Feb 02 2010, 12:02 PM

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Ahead of their official airing during Super Bowl XLIV, Hyundai has released two of its commercials. The first is called “10 Years/Favre” and is set 10 years in the future where a 50-year-old Favre (even more gray-haired than now) accepts the MVP award and contemplates retiring… again. With the words, “We don’t know what things will be like 10 years from now,” Hyundai points out that its powertrain warranty on your new Hyundai will still be around.

The second commercial, called “Paint” isn’t humorous, but highlights the all-new 2011 Sonata (its paint in particular) as a work of art. Hyundai also returns to its old gimmick of comparing its products to some rather high-end models, ending the clip with the words, “Better paint quality than a Mercedes CLS550.”

Both commercials are narrated by actor Jeff Bridges, who’s voice is rivaled only by Morgan Freeman.

See after the jump for both videos, as well as a few of Hyundai’s past Super Bowl ads.

Continue Reading…

 |  Dec 03 2009, 10:48 AM

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After having just debuted the all-new 2011 Sonata with an impressive new direct-injection 4-cylinder engine, Hyundai has announced it will offer a high-performance turbocharged model (as well as a hybrid) starting next year. The news of the hybrid model has been known for quite some time, but this is the first Hyundai has said about a turbocharged version, using the company’s 2.0-liter Theta engine and direct-injection technology

In fact, we’re quite surprised Hyundai is taking this step, as this new turbo motor is set to replace the V6 option it the company’s lineup. Hyundai has already admitted that in the past just 10 percent of consumers opted for the V6 and with a significantly more powerful 4-cylinder for 2011, a more powerful option seems almost trivial. Still, we’re certain this new motor will make its way into many other Hyundai products in the near future.

The new GDI engine, offered standard in the 2011 Sonata makes 198-hp (or 200-hp in the SE trim level with a dual-exhaust setup). Torque is rated at 186 ft-lbs. In total, that’s 25 more horsepower and 18 more ft-lbs of torque than the old 4-cylinder. The car’s fuel-economy rating is set at 23/35 mpg (city/highway), which Hyundai says will make it the most fuel-efficient (non-hybrid) mid-size sedan on the marker.

As for the Hybrid Blue Drive model, it will use the new 2.4-liter GDI Theta II engine and a lithium polymer battery pack.

Hyundai will provide more details on both the Sonata Hybrid and turbo models at the New York Auto Show in the Spring of next year.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Dec 02 2009, 2:57 PM

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Hyundai is all set to stir up the family sedan segment with the stylish, powerful and efficient 2011 Sonata. The latest in Hyundai’s new lineup of products, the Sonata gets a coupe-like shape reminiscent of the Volkswagen CC. And that’s a very big compliment to be sure. The car is one of just a few Hyundai products to be designed in the United States at the company’s California Design Center.

Under the hood, there’s a direct-injection version of Hyundai’s Theta II 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 198-hp (or 200-hp in the SE trim level with a dual-exhaust setup). Torque is rated at 186 ft-lbs. In total, that’s 25 more horsepower and 18 more ft-lbs of torque than the old 4-cylinder. In fact, with improved 4-cylinder performance and the fact that only 10 percent of previous generation Sonata buyers opted for the V6, Hyundai hasn’t announced any plans to offer a V6 model and probably won’t.

The car’s fuel-economy rating is set at 23/35 mpg (city/highway), which Hyundai says will make it the most fuel-efficient (non-hybrid) mid-size sedan on the marker. Although, to be truthful, the 2011 sonata, like its predecessor, is so roomy inside that it is technically classified as a full-size sedan.

The direct-injection powerlant isn’t the only reason for the improved fuel-economy, however, as the 2011 Sonata also gets a new six-speed automatic transmission (which will find it’s way into the Tucson, as well as the next Santa Fe and Azera). Not only does the extra gear help for improved highway fuel mileage but the unit weights 26 lbs less, is more compact and uses 62 fewer parts.

On top of all this, Hyundia says the high compression 2.4-liter engine will deliver full power on regular 87 octane pump gas.

A few vehicle highlights include trunk pulls for the rear seats to fold down and the option of heated rear seats. Hyundai is also eager to point out that despite the car’s slowing roofline it has the same amount of rear headroom as the previous generation car, which is more than any other car in its class except the Honda Accord.

Hyundai will offer the Sonata in three trim levels, GLS, SE (Sport) and Limited (luxury). SE models will get the dual-exhaust pipes with the 200-hp rating, as well as paddle shifters, tighter steering and larger sway bars to help deliver improved handling.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata is set to go on sale in January. Pricing has not yet been released.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

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 |  Nov 20 2009, 1:39 PM

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All future Hyundai products are likely to get direct injection technology, boosting both fuel economy and performance and allowing for smaller and lighter displacement engines to take the place of larger units.

The news comes from Hyundai Motor America’s top engineer John Juriga, who made the comments during a technical presentation at Hyundai’s North American Engineering facility in Michigan.

Juriga said the technology is likely to roll out across the product lineup over time, to V6 and even V8 engines. He likened it to the change from carburetors to fuel-injection and said that while new alternative-fuel engines will be coming, over the next 5 to 10 years the internal combustion engine will remain dominant and so there will be a focus on improving it.

When asked if future Hyundais will get a combination of direct injection and turbochargers, Juriga didn’t confirm anything but did say that the two technologies were, “made for each other.”

Hyundai has just announced its first direct-injection engine, a 200-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder that gets 35-mpg highway and will debut on the new 2011 Sonata (above).

 |  Nov 20 2009, 12:07 PM

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Hyundai Motor America has confirmed the introduction of the company’s first direct-injection gasoline engine will debut in the 2011 Sonata.

Called the 2.4 GDI Theta II, the engine will make 200-hp at 6300 rpm and 186 ft-lbs of torque at 4250 rpm in the SE model. Hyundai has also confirmed that despite the engine’s 11.3 compression ratio it will get full power on regular 87 octane gas. A GLS model will make slightly less power, with 198-hp on call.

In total, this is an increase of 25-hp and 18 ft-lbs of torque over the old 2.4-liter motor.

Along with DI technology, the GDI Theta II will also get a six-speed automatic transmission that is more compact, has 62 fewer moving parts and weighs about 20 lbs less.

The result is what Hyundai believes will be best-in-class fuel economy of 23 and 35 mpg.

 |  Nov 17 2009, 12:46 PM

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Hyundai won’t be offering the all-new 2011 Sonata with a V6 engine, opting instead to go the four-cylinder route. It’s not clear if the automaker plans to offer two different four-cylinders, but this week in South Korea, Hyundai did take the wraps off of the company’s first direct-injection engine, a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder.

Using direct injection technology to get added power and reduced fuel consumption, the 2.4-liter four-banger makes an impressive 198-hp and 184 ft-lbs of torque. In comparison, the old 2.4-liter motor made 175-hp and 168 ft-lbs of torque.

No fuel-economy numbers have been announced, but with the old engine achieving 22/32 mpg, this new motor should get closer to 24/35 mpg.

It’s entirely possible that this will be the only engine Hyundai will offer for the Sonata (until the hybrid model is announced), however, there is a possibility of a smaller, less powerful 4-cylinder, as well as a turbocharged version that would make V6-like power. A more powerful option isn’t a sure thing, however, as V6 versions of mid-size sedans like the Sonata, Accord or Camry, make up a small fraction of a model’s overall sales.

We expect to hear more about the new 2011 Sonata and this engine at the LA Auto Show in early December.

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

Report: Hyundai Drops V6 Option for Next 2011 Sonata

New direct-injection 4-cylinder to be top engine choice

 |  Sep 28 2009, 10:06 AM

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When Hyundai recently unveiled the all-new 2011 Sonata in South Korea there was no mention of a V6 engine, but that’s not unusual for markets outside North America. Now word is out that there won’t be a V6 at all.

Instead, the company will offer a base four-cylinder engine as well as a direct-injection version of the same engine. As a result, expect a significant improvement in fuel-economy. Currently, the 2009 model with the 3.3-liter V6 gets 19/29 mpg.

Hyundai says that V6 models account for a small percentage of overall sales with just a 15 percent take rate. The remaining 85 percent are four-cylinders. The Korean automaker is not the exception either as in 2008, 76 percent of Honda Accords were 4-cylinder models while 90 percent of non-hybrid Toyota Camry’s were 4-cylinder models.

The V6 option is also expected to be dropped from the upcoming Tucson.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata will get its North American debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

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[Source: WardsAutoWorld]

 |  Sep 21 2009, 10:25 AM

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Hyundai has just officially revealed the 2011 Sonata model in its home market of Korea. As the numerous spy photos have shown, the Sonata has a coupe-like design and is certainly no boring family-hauler.

There is no specific word on what will be under the hood when the car launches in the U.S., but in Korea it will come standard with a 165-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder that gets 30.1 mpg. The base U.S. 4-cylinder is expected to make slightly more power thanks to a larger 2.4-liter displacement and the use of direct-injection. All models will be offered with six-speed automatic transmissions.

After its official release, a hybrid model will follow.

The 2011 Sonata is expected to officially debut at either the LA Auto Show later this year, or at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit early in the new year.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Sep 01 2009, 9:27 AM

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Recently a few snap shots taken during the 2011 Hyundai Sonata’s official photo shoot were leaked onto the interweb, and now the same seems to have happened to a selection of some of the official images.

These four images show a four door coupe design that is most certainly in keeping with what Hyundai PR folks had suggested. With the 2011 Sonata, Hyundai is making a push to supplant the mainstream Japanese competitors from Honda and Toyota by offering a competitive vehicle that also has plenty of style.

These images also give us our best look yet at the dash of the Sonata, which has a Lexus-like quality to it.

There is no official word on specifications for the new model, but there are rumors of a direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 200hp. We also expect a V6 for the North American market.

The 2011 Sonata will debut next month in Korea with a U.S. debut most likely at either the L.A. Auto Show or the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

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[Source: Hyundai-Blog]

 |  Aug 24 2009, 10:00 AM

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Ahead of its official debut, we now know what the 2011 Hyundai Sonata will look like, thanks to a selection of spy photos taken during the car’s pre-release photo shoot.

On the image above we get a great idea of what the new front fascia of the Sonata will look like, and we also get a glimpse at how the official images show such a wide angle of the interior of a car – by chopping the roof off.

Hyundai has continued to promise the new Sonata would be a class-leader in terms of design and while we have to admit we doubted that statement after seeing earlier spy photos, these images certainly show an impressive four-door coupe profile. From the back, the design of the trunk certainly seems reminiscent of the Mercedes CLS.

There are even interior shots which show an interior that looks significantly more premium than you would expect for a mid-sized family hauler.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Spy Photos

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[Source: Hyundai-Blog]

 |  Jul 17 2009, 12:22 PM

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It may be a whole half year away but already some details are emerging about the cars expected to debut at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. And the first vehicle is the all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

Recently the Sonata was spied testing in Dubai and it gave us a pretty good indication of what the vehicle will look like. Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik has said that it is intended to be a bold design that will help set the car apart from its successful Japanese competitors from Honda and Toyota. In fact, the 2011 Sonata is supposed to have a trendy four-door coupe profile.

There is no word on engine choices, but it’s not hard to guess that a four-cylinder engine will be standard with a V6 optional. High-technology items like direct-injection and a six-speed automatic transmission are also possibilities.

Additionally, Hyundai is expected to release a hybrid version of the 2011 Sonata, although that particular model is likely due out later.

[Source: Edmunds]

[Photo Credit: Assayyarat]

 |  Jul 08 2009, 12:06 PM

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Thanks to a few careless Hyundai employees who left their test mule sitting around unattended in Dubai, we have these photos of what is reportedly the 2011 Sonata. Taken by Autoblog reader Sammy_R-Gti while on vacation in Dubai this is easily our best look yet at a vehicle that, given Hyundai’s recent successes, is sure to be a serious competitor in the mid-sized sedan segment.

From the side and rear the car look more like a Chevy Malibu although there are hints of the Lexus ES350. The front, however, is much more dramatic than either of those vehicles and even resembles a Mercedes. It also appears as though the car will get a more distinguishable three-bar front grille, like the one found on the Genesis sedan.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Spy Photos

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[Source: Assayyarat via Autoblog]

Future Hyundai Product Lineup Leaked

Five new models expected in next two years

 |  Jun 22 2009, 11:19 AM

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Hyundai is planning to release five new models between now and 2012, according to a company info obtained by Autoweek.nl. Three of the five models are expected to make their way to North America.

The first model is the next generation Tucson, which will be based on the ix-ONIC concept that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show last March. It is expected to use a new turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and make 140hp. We captured a few spy photos (like the one above) of the new Tucson testing in California.

After the Tucson, will come two MPV versions of the i20 and i30, for sale in Europe and Asia.

In 2011, Hyundai is then expected to reveal the new Sonata (also known as the i40 in some markets). As well as a sedan, Hyundai is reportedly readying a wagon version of the car.

The final product will emerge at the end of 2011 and will be the “replacement” for the Tiburon. In fact, it won’t be much like a Tiburon at all and will actually be considerably smaller. Based on the Veloster concept, the car will feature a unique layout with two passenger doors but just one driver’s door and will be a hatchback. Power will come from either a 140hp turbocharged 1.6-lite four-cylinder or a 172hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

[Source: AutoWeek.nl via WorldCarFans]