AutoGuide News Blog
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.
There are many people who accuse the Hyundai Genesis sedan of being derivative. Make no mistake, the Genesis is a fine car able to hang with offerings from Europe and Japan, but if these spy photos are accurate, then it looks like Hyundai has been playing copycat with its Bavarian rivals.
The venerable Range Rover has been given a few upgrades for 2011, including an all-new 4.4L diesel engine displacing 309 bhp and getting 30.1 mpg. The new diesel is also coupled to an 8-speed automatic, which should filter down to the rest of the lineup soon. The new Range also gets a rotary knob similar to Jaguar’s, rather than a traditional gear selector.
Outside, new wheels and a new front fascia complete the mid-cycle changes. Some of the options should filter down to North America, but don’t expect the diesel to hit our shores any time soon.
Chrysler will build a licensed version of a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox at their Indiana transmission plant. Production is expected to start in 2013, and retain roughly 1,200 jobs.
The total cost for the project will be roughly $300 million, but Chrysler Senior VP of Powertrain Paolo Ferrero said that the new 8-speed transmission will lead to a 25 percent increase in fuel economy. With a new Chrysler 300C and Dodge Charger due in 2011, the 8-speed automatic’s debut in 2013 would be perfect for a mid-cycle refresh, however another Chrysler spokesman said that the gearboxes would be imported prior to their domestic production, meaning that it could launch with the new vehicles from the get-go.
The 8-speed automatic could also see use in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram pickups. The transmission saw its first application in BMW’s 5-Series Gran Turismo and BMW 760Li.
With up to 70% of its sales volume expected to comprise of automatic transmission cars, Audi is hoping to get a leg up on the plebian 6-speed and 7-speed auto boxes offered by its German rivals by introducing an 8-speed automatic in the A4, A5 and Q5 equipped with the 2.0TFSI four-cylinder engine. The 8-speed is no bigger or heavier than the outgoing 6-speed tiptronic, but promises better fuel economy and quicker downshifts.
Gallery: Audi A5 Cabriolet
Hyundai‘s new Accent was the star of the companies exhibit at this year’s Beijing Auto Show, but the debut of two new engines and a new automatic transmission will have broader implications for the rest of the company’s lineup.
In addition to the 2.4L GDI four-cylinder in the Sonata (pictured above), two new gasoline direct-injection engines were unveiled at Beijing, a 1.6L four cylinder putting out 138 horsepower, a 28 horsepower bump over Hyundai’s current 1.6L four banger. The 1.6 GDI should appear in the Accent, Elantra, certain Kia models and the upcoming Veloster compact sports car. Even more enticing was the mention in a product video that the 1.6 could potentially be turbocharged and paired up with a dual-clutch gearbox, though no timeline was given for either technology.
Hyundai’s long awaited GDI version of the Lambda V6 was also previewed, although the engine was only rated at 296 horsepower, which is a few ponies less than the current Lambda makes in Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe. One can assume that there will be different variations, and that the engine will see a bump in power when it comes Stateside. Hyundai also joins Lexus in the elite 8-speed automatic club, and it’s a sure bet that the Genesis Sedan and Coupe will get the new 8-speed auto option.
With Hyundai positioning itself as a premium brand, the company has an obligation to innovate on its own, and not just play catch-up – even if they’re hot on the heels of world leaders like Lexus.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]