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.
Driving a manual needs to be a sporty and fun experience and shifters with lots of slops make for a drab drive. Often times, that’s just what we see in economical cars.
The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this week:
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]
Hyundai and Kia have announced plans to build more fuel-efficient versions of the Accent, Elantra and Forte. These “blue” models will be much like GM’s XFE (Xtra Fuel Efficient) cars and trucks and use many of the same techniques.
For starters, fuel-economy will be improved through the use of a five-speed, rather than the standard four-speed automatic transmission. The cars will also get lower rolling resistance tires, as well as electric (rather than hydraulic) power steering. Additionally, new alternators will be used that produce less drag on the engine, while special aerodynamic enhancements will help improve efficiency in that respect.
Kia says the Forte EX with the company’s add-on fuel-economy package will get a rating of 27/36 mpg (city/highway) as compared to 25/34 mpg.
Hyundai has not released expected fuel-economy numbers for the Accent or Elantra, but if Kia’s 2 mpg rating holds steady then the vehicles should get 28/37 mpg and 25/37 mpg (city/highway) respectively.
Hyundai has set a goal of a fleet average fuel-economy rating of 35 mpg by 2015 and this will no doubt help it get there.
The cost to consumers for these fuel-efficient models will vary. Kia believes buyers will pay extra ($600 extra) for a fuel-economy package, while Hyundai will offer its “blue” models as stripped down versions costing less than the other trim levels.
All three fuel-efficient vehicles will be available late this summer as 2010 models.
[Source: Car & Driver]
Launched in 2005, the current Hyundai Accent model is in desperate need of an update (if not a complete overhaul). Looking to infuse a little interest into the sub-compact the Korean automaker just released its 2010 model in Korea (known there as the Verna), with a few minor technical changes and a significantly different new look.
The updated vehicle, now called the Verna Transform in Korea gets new headlights and taillights as well as completely redesigned front and rear bumpers. The front bumper design features redesigned foglights, larger air intakes and a new two-bar Hyundai grille with the company’s logo placed above it.
Inside the center stack has also been redesigned and better materials are used throughout the cabin.
The same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine will continue to be used, but an ECO Lamp is included on the dashboard to help drivers operate the vehicle in a fuel-efficient manner. The light will turn green when the car is operating efficiently, and red when it is not.
The Verna Transform will be on sale in June in Korea, with the facelift likely making its way to North America for the 2010 model year.
GALLERY: 2010 Hyundai Accent/Verna Transform