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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.
Although only a sketch has been released so far, the familiar design language brought forth by Kia styling boss Peter Schreyer. Mechanically, the car should share the new Accent’s 1.6L Gamma 4-cylinder, which is estimated to return 37 mpg in the city and an astounding 50 mpg on the highway.
Hit the jump to see the official press release
Hyundai has finally released details on their new CURB crossover Urban Activity Vehicle, described as a vehicle for “Generation Y living an urban lifestyle with an active night life.” The wild sport-cross concept shared the stage with the new Veloster during its debut at the Detroit Auto Show.
Despite the nebulous marketing spin, the CURB seems to be a conventional-looking rival for the Nissan Juke. Aside from a more spacious cargo area, the CURB also comes with a touch-screen that’s hooked up to Hyundai’s BlueLink telematic system (think OnStar), an integrated bike rack and 22-inch wheels.
Motivation comes from a direct-injection turbocharged 1.6L 4-cylinder making 175 horsepower and a dual clutch gearbox, which we’ll also see on the Veloster sports coupe. Fuel economy is estimated and 30 city mpg and 40 on the highway. In-car electronics, like touchscreens and heads-up displays feature prominently, as a concession to Gen Y’s apparent love of technology, while the bike rack is touted as allowing the driver to park the car and ride a “fixie” (Hyundai’s wording, not ours) which sounds like it’s aimed at the Brooklyn hipster crowd.
Maybe an ironic plaid interior will be optional, with a special cupholder for your Pabst Blue Ribbon.
GALLERY: Hyundai Curb Concept Debut
GALLERY: Hyundai Curb Concept
Hyundai is taking a bold step into the world of in-car telematics with their BlueLink system. Much like GM’s OnStar, BlueLink can provide directions, schedule servicing, remotely lock or unlock the car doors, notify emergency services in case of a crash and remotely start the car, with the ability to pre-heat or cool the vehicle based on your preferences.
Other cool (and slightly spooky) features include an automatic slowdown feature in case your vehicle is reported stolen and being pursued by the police, and a feature known as “geofencing” that sends the driver a text message of the vehicle strays outside of a demarcated area. Looks like breaking curfew will be a thing of the past for children of Hyundai owners.
BlueLink will initially roll out on the Sonata and a “youth-focused model” (aka the Veloster) this summer, but will extend to the entire Hyundai range by 2013.
Press release after the jump
Kia is recalling 7,697 Sorentos due to a problem with the rear brake calipers, according to a release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Kia claims that no crashes have resulted from the problem, but is going ahead with the recall anyways.
“Some of the rear brake calipers may not have been properly machined,” said NHTSA in a statement released to the media. “As a result, brake fluid will leak, followed by illumination of the malfunction indicator light indicating the brake fluid level is low and should be checked, then a soft or spongy brake pedal feel, and if not serviced, reduced braking power which could increase the risk of a crash.”
Owners can contact Kia at 1-800-333-4542. The recall is expected to begin this month.
[Source: Inside Line]
The latest batch of Hyundai Azera photos have surfaced, and the vehicle looks to be following in the footsteps of its little brother, the Sonata, by looking nearly identical to its mid-size counterpart.
With its re-design, the Azera moves from its position as a stodgy-looking competitor to the Toyota Avalon and towards a sportier full-size car. Honestly, we can’t see why such a vehicle is necessary when the Sonata seems to be able to do it all, but with no V6 option on the Sonata, the Azera will likely have that role covered, and a 3.8L Lambda V6 is the most likely candidate.
Gallery: Hyundai Azera
[Source: Car Throttle]
For all the hype surrounding Ford‘s Fiesta subcompact, which is capable of hitting 40 mpg, it looks like subcompacts, especially those than can hit the vaunted number, aren’t selling all that well in the USA.
Even though gas prices will almost certainly hit $3 a gallon, customers are still gravitating towards compact cars, according to Cars.com’s David Thomas. This means vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra are well positioned with their 40 mpg fuel economy numbers, spacious interior and premium features…but if gas prices keep going past $3 (and they almost certainly will) then the sub compact segment may see a resurgence, just like the summer of 2008 when gas was around $4.
The big winners in the segment are still the Nissan Versa and Honda Fit respectively, with the Versa enjoying a nearly 3,000 unit lead over the Fit in November. Hyundai’s Accent and the Fit are nearly neck and neck, while the Fiesta comes in at fourth place, but cars like the Chevrolet Aveo and Toyota Yaris are nipping at its heels, even with stale-dated designs and no 40 mpg capability. We think the significant delta in price between a bare bones Aveo and a more expensive Fiesta hatch may have something to do with this.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
General Motors is harnessing the small car expertise of their Daewoo division to develop two new small cars, an upscale hatchback to be branded as a Vauxhall or Opel products, and a smaller, less expensive version likely to be sold as a Chevrolet.
The new cars are expected to slot in below the diminutive Corsa, a car considered too small for North America. But the growing popularity of cars like the Fiat 500 has provided some motivation for GM to develop their small car range, especially premium products that can compete with the 500, as well as upcoming entries from other European automakers.
In addition to the small car programs, GM is also looking to make Daewoo a hub for electric vehicle technology, including local production of the Chevrolet Volt.
[Source: Inside Line]
The Hyundai Azera has been lost amid the deafening praise for the company’s mid-size Sonata and luxurious Genesis and Equus large cars. While the Azera was briefly Hyundai’s top dog, but now occupies a strange spot as Hyundai’s premium sedan for people who don’t like rear-wheel drive.
But with the Sonata now moving to a strictly 4-cylinder engine lineup, the Azera can now occupy the 6-cylinder front-drive sedan slot. No details have been released regarding powertrains, but the corporate 3.8L Lambda V6 is the most obvious candidate. Styling is in the same vein as Hyundai’s new Elantra and Sonata, which will likely pave the way for a new “corporate look” for the automaker’s lineup.
Gallery: New Hyundai Azera
Hit the jump for the official press release
Chevrolet‘s next Aveo will see more bodystyles beyond the traditional hatchback, with a crossover and a sedan among them.
A sedan model will be essential for the U.S. market, where hatchbacks are slowly gaining acceptance, but have been a traditionally tough sell. The Aveo sedan will likely debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January, but details of the car still haven’t been fully fleshed out.
The crossover will likely be built on a stretched Aveo platform with available all wheel drive, and a premium interior with certain components taken from upmarket Opel models like the Insignia. GM Daewoo bosses, who were responsible for developing the Aveo, were quick to stress that the Aveo would not infringe on Opel or Vauxhall cars, which will retain their premium brand and get their own versions of the Aveo crossover.
The folks over at Left Lane News have spied an undisguised Hyundai Accent after it was caught at a well-known hot weather testing location by the spies at Brenda Priddy & Co.
The Accent gets some differentiating styling cues from the Korean market Accent (known as the Verna over there) and, with the American car sharing some details with the rapid-selling Sonata. Specs haven’t been announced in advance of the car’s Los Angeles Auto Show debut, but a 1.6L direct-injection four-cylinder engine making 140 horsepower is expected to motivate the car, with a 6-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Hyundai will launch it’s Genesis models in Europe starting in 2013, but the cars will be part of a separate luxury channel rather than as part of the existing Hyundai lineup.
Outlining his plans for Genesis, Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai’s managing director for the UK, told AutoExpress “Lexus did a great job in the States, although it never quite took off in Europe. But the premium route is interesting, and it could work for Genesis here.”
Reports suggest that trial runs will happen in left-hand drive countries, as there are no RHD Genesis or Equus models currently available. 20 percent of Hyundai’s 152 European dealers would sell the Genesis range, which would include both the Genesis Coupe and Sedan and the Equus super-luxury sedan.
Hyundai has yet another SEMA car, this time in the form of a hotted up Genesis Coupe. While the car is undoubtedly a show car, a Gogogear car is slated to run in the U.S Touring Car Championship, a sanctioned sports car class overseen by the National Auto Sports Association.
Nobody would ever confuse this car, with a full interior and heavy, gloss black rims for a race car, the car’s powertrain stays pretty close to stock, with a bolt on intake and exhaust, while the the suspension has been heavily overworked with ARK shocks, springs and coilover sleeves as well as QA1 bearings. Stoptech brakes and Earl’s oil lines and associated fittings help the car achieve 1.4 lateral G’s during cornering, and keep oil flowing to the engine under these conditions.
Many may scratch their heads at the “mild” nature of the engine mods, but in many sanctioned racing series, these are tightly restricted, while chassis tweaks are where many cars make up their speed. We’re happy to see Gogogear take this approach, rather than the dreadful “Import2NR” style that still exists in the sport compact community.
Hyundai‘s first entry into the ultra-premium sector, the 2011 Equus, will start at $58,000 in Signature trim. For an extra $6,500, buyers can upgrade to the Equus Ultimate, which is equipped fairly differently from the Signature.
The Ultimate package features a four-seater arrangement, similar to a Maybach, with reclining seats, as well as a massage function and leg support for the passenger side seat, a cooling system and an entertainment screen. Also available is a refrigerator, power headrests and vanity mirrors – all of which are for the rear seat area, which should give you a clue as to what the Equus Ultimate is really meant for.
All Equus owners will get an Apple iPad with a pre-loaded owners manual, as well as a pick-up and drop-off service for service appointments, where a dealership employee will collect and return your Equus and loan you a Genesis free of charge while your vehicle is being serviced.
Hit the jump for the official press release
Brad Benson, owner of a Hyundai dealership in South Brunswick, New Jersey, is making good on his promise to donate a car to Terry Jones, a Florida pastor who threatened to burn the Quran, after he reneged on the planned destruction of the Muslim holy book.
Benson had offered to give Jones a Hyundai Accent for free if he refrained, although it may have been the personal appeals from figures like President Barack Obama and General David Patraeus that swayed Jones’ decision.
A representative from Benson’s dealership contacted Jones, who initially declined the car. In the end, he decided to donate the vehicle to a center for battered Muslim women, a noble, if politically loaded gesture. Benson, of course, is the big winner here, racking up tons of free publicity for relatively little cost.
[Source: Autoblog via The New York Times]
Hyundai‘s Genesis 2.0T gets the lions share of attention from the tuning community, but the 3.8 V6, with a 300 horsepower V6, is potentially an even better building block for making big power.
Based on the 3.8 Genesis Coupe R-Spec, the ARK edition puts out an estimated 450-horsepower through a supercharger kit, a bolt-on exhaust and intake system (including headers, test pipes and a muffler system) and an upgraded 4-puck clutch. Volk TE37 wheels, a big brake kit and full coilovers wind out the chassis upgrades, while a Bride seat, Takata harness and a 6-point rollcage help keep you in place.
The car is set to debut at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, but we think that’s a crime. Better to let us loose on a road course so we can give our impressions right to Hyundai.
GALLERY: ARK Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec
While attending the launch of the 2011 Kia Optima, AutoGuide has just learned that Kia is planning to launch an Optima Hybrid, based on the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. The new model will make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, with sales beginning in early 2011.
Kia Motors America CEO and group president Byung Mo Ahn revealed the existence of the Optima Hybrid at the 2011 Optima’s launch in Southern California. The Hybrid will join the 2.4L and 2.0T four-cylinder engines in the lineup.
The Optima Hybrid should match the Sonata Hybrid’s figures of 37 mpg in the city and 39 mpg highway. Power will likely come from a 2.4L four-cylinder engine making 209 horsepower and 195 ft-lbs of torque, with electric driving speeds of up to 62 mph.
AutoGuide’s LA Auto Show coverage starts November 17th. Until then, check out our LA Auto Show Preview here.
Get more Kia Optima news and info at OptimaForums.com
General Motors plans to launch a fleet of Chevrolet Cruze-based electric vehicles in Korea, but the company says that there are no plans to sell such a car in the United States.
GM is partnering with Korean conglomerate LG to develop the battery technology needed to make the Cruze EV a reality. A range of 100 miles is said to be possible and according to one GM spokesperson, “provide real-world data on customer acceptance of battery electric vehicles, studying driving patterns and charging behavior.”
“This Cruze EV demonstration project reinforces GM’s commitment to being a leader in the development of electric vehicles and green technologies, building on our portfolio of hybrids and the Chevrolet Volt,” said Karl Stracke, vice president of GM global vehicle engineering, in a statement.
The Cruze EV is apparently not slated for production, but it should give us a good look at the company’s plans once the Chevrolet Volt has been launched.
Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com
[Source: Inside Line]
Jeong Sung Eun, Kia‘s Vice Chairman, took the rare step of resigning his post on September 3rd, as he accepted responsibility for a large recall of Kia vehicles.
Roughly 86,000 vehicles were recalled due to an electrical wiring issue that posed a potential fire hazard. About 35,000 Sorentos and Souls from the the 2010 and 2011 model years were affected. Jeong’s responsibilities included overseeing the production division. A spokesman told Automotive News that the company has not yet appointed a replacement.
[Source: Automotive News]
India’s Mahindra has nearly completed a purchase of Korean carmaker circus freakshow Ssangyong, maker of the world’s ugliest vehicles.
“We give the takeover candidate (Mahindra and Mahindra) an exclusive right for negotiation, and won’t be involved in any takeover-related activities with a third party,” Ssangyong said in a statement. Financial terms were not announced but some analysts value the deal at roughly $420 million.
Ssangyong, which makes the Rodius minivan and Actyon crossover, was slated to be resurrected by Chinese carmaker SAIC, until the recession caused them to abandon plans for Ssangyong.
But enthusiasts are still waiting on the hottest Sonata (who ever thought we’d see those words together?), the 274 horsepower Sonata turbo, set to debut later this fall. Since its debut at the New York Auto Show, Hyundai has been somewhat tight-lipped about their fastest family sedan, but a press briefing in Korea this past week, Hyundai released a couple interesting details.
The Sonata turbo will be able to match the performance of a manual transmission BMW 328i, getting to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, and obtain fuel economy numbers of 22 mpg in the city and 34 mpg highway. While the Sonata turbo will only have an automatic transmission, and likely weigh close to what a 328i weighs, we can’t help but feel that Hyundai’s acceleration times are a tad conservative. Of course, the Sonata is also going to be at least $5,000 cheaper.
[Source: The Car Connection]
Hot on the heels of Kia’s awesome advertisement for their Soul compact car, Hyundai‘s South African arm has just launched a new spot for the Tuscon crossover (known as the ix35 in South Africa) taking off the wildly popular TV series Top Gear.
The spot, features a mock driving show called “Top Deer”, and features dead-on voice impressions of hosts James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond (represented by a turtle, wildebeest and hamster respectively), the familiar Top Gear episode format and typical cinematography. The ad, along with its companion segment, (where their hired gun race driver “The Stag” tests his mettle against the car) manages to take a tongue-in-cheek swipe at the BBC hit, which hasn’t always been so kind to Korean cars.
We have no idea how Hyundai is perceived in South Africa, but the cheeky ads are sure to resonate in a country gripped with the festive spirit of the World Cup and a booming new middle-class eager to buy brand new cars.
Hit the jump to see both Hyundai ads
The Hyundai Veloster, the Korean company’s replacement for their successful Tiburon coupe, will make its debut at the Paris Auto Show in September, according to Autocar magazine.
Reports say that the Veloster will be a three-door coupe, ala the Saturn SC1 of the 1990′s, with two doors on one side, to ease entry into the back seats. The Veloster will also be powered by a 1.6L four cylinder with direct injection, putting out 140-hp with a turbocharged 200-hp model to debut later. A dual clutch gearbox is also expected to be a part of the package.
K-Pop, Kimchi, and…Camaro? From 2011, Korean customers will be able to pick up a slice of Americana like the Camaro, alongside more conventional Chevrolet offerings.
The announcement was made at the Busan International Motor Show, by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology President Mike Arcamone.
“According to our market research, half of all Koreans are familiar with the brand and more than 80 percent are aware of Chevrolet’s distinctive logo,” said Arcamone. “This is indicative of the positive brand image that already exists among consumers in Korea toward Chevrolet. We see tremendous upside with its introduction.”
Chevrolet vehicles will be sold alongside GM Daewoo offerings, and Chevrolet will not be replacing the Korean Daewoo brand.
It may seem like a strange fit, but the country has taken to an earlier American pastime – baseball — becoming one of the leading nations in talent. Baseball is the country’s largest spectator sport, so we don’t think it’ll be strange if Koreans start coveting muscle cars.
Hyundai’s Genesis sedan is a vehicle of many talents; effortless highway cruiser, stoplight drag race sleeper and plush transporter of discrete well-to-do types. Now you can add “Police Interceptor” to the list.
With its snazzy blue and gold livery and copious lighting equipment, the Genesis doesn’t have the same intimidation factor as, say, a black and white Crown Vic, but the 290 horsepower V6 and 375 horsepower V8 mean that the Genesis is significantly faster than the venerable Ford.
The Genesis police car is a cool idea, but in a densely populated country where traffic moves at a snails pace, its hard to see the logic of an enormous, gas guzzling V8 sedan. A Genesis Coupe, with its 2.0L turbo four-banger is the more sensible (and cooler) choice.