Despite advancements in hybrid power-trains and electrification technology, gasoline engines remain the predominant choice in passenger cars because of continued efficiency improvements, most recently through the increased use of direct injection technology. But are you gambling when buying a car with DI, which still has its fair share of concerns and problems?
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The 2012 Kia Sorento will get an optional 2.4-liter GDI direct-injection four-cylinder engine and the company’s hands-free UVO infotainment system. The company is hoping these two features will appeal to Ford consumers.
The Sorento will also have available options including Kia’s YES Essential seat treatment, which makes the seats resistant to stains and static electricity. The YES system will also include an anti-bacterial chemical to help protect the seats.
The current base engine is does not use direct-injection and makes 175-hp. Adding GDI should deliver as much as 200-hp like in the Kia Optima and could also result in improved fuel economy.
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]