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With the companies current shift towards inspired design, Kia motors will produce the GT concept which was first shown at the Frankfurt auto show in 2011. The GT’s slick design is clearly aimed at competing with European luxury brands such as Audi.
Kia is saying that the introduction of the GT will not be a one off model but will be followed possibly by a two-door coupe and even a station wagon thus adding a new family of vehicles to the already growing brands ranks. The GT shown at the Frankfurt show was presented with a 390 horsepower turbocharged V6 which seems like part of the ploy to convert a few Audi and BMW owners over to the Korean brand. Kia wants to present the GT as a cheaper alternative to those interested in buying a luxury car at a cheaper than luxury price.
Peter Schreyer, Chief designer for Kia has even hinted that he would like to design a budget sports car for the brand that would compete with the Mazda MX-5. Although the general direction of the company as of late would suggest that this could be a reality, there is nothing concrete to say that it is.
For a long time, the only brand with a poorer reputation than Hyundai was Kia. Despite being a subsidiary of Hyundai, Kia‘s vehicles were often a grade lower in quality, using decade-old Mazda engineering and projecting an image of cheap vehicles for those with poor credit (or poor taste).
Now, Kia is on a roll, with sharp designs and technology borrowed from Hyundai, which has become a segment leader in many respects. Kia’s Optima sedan is outselling the Hyundai Sonata in their home market of South Korea, something few would have predicted even a year ago.
Executives at Hyundai fear that sales cannibalization will occur if action isn’t taken to differentiate the brands. Hyundai is said to become the more premium, upscale brand while Kia will take on a sportier image. In the United States, the company’s lineups have a lot of overlap, but in the rest of the world, more differentiation exists, and Kia and Hyundai have established dominant positions in different reasons.
Hyundai has already admitted that they have two sets of tooling for their three-door Veloster, so that Hyundai can switch the door’s location for either left or right-hand drive markets, and the company has admitted that a Veloster with two rear doors is a possibility for the future.
Hyundai is apparently planning a five-door version for European markets, and company representatives were coy when asked whether it was coming to the U.S. Hyundai was similarly evasive regarding the Elantra Touring coming to the U.S., but with previous versions having already made the trip across the ocean, we might as well expect it at an upcoming auto show.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Although our German isn’t too great, Auto Motor und Sport, the automotive publication of record in Germany, is reporting that the Hyundai i30, also known as the Elantra Touring, will get a plug-in hybrid version in 2013.
Hyundai has hinted at a competitor to the Toyota Prius before, and the i30, designed with the ultra-competitive European market in mind, is a stylish product that attracted attention from Volkswagen’s CEO at a recent car show due to its outstanding build quality. Such a product would be a great platform for a plug-in hybrid, which would serve as a halo for Hyundai’s “green” image.
Although Hyundai has previously stressed that hybrids and electric cars wouldn’t play a major part in its portfolio, hybrids are an undeniable image booster and plug-in hybrids are exempt from congestion charges in major urban centers like London. With this in mind, Hyundai would be wise to bring a product like an i30 plug-in to market, and hopefully the Korean company will decide to bring it to North America as well.
[Source: Auto Motor und Sport]
Kia‘s heart-stoppingly cool GT concept was was powered by a 3.3L turbo V6 packing 400 horsepower – but the production version might not get such an exotic powertrain.
Speaking with Auto Express, Kia styling boss Peter Schreyer said that “I think done in the right way, with a smaller engine or hybrid technology, it would work,” he said. “It would still be fast, but return good fuel economy, too.”
Screyer said that the GT is aiming for the German coupe set, which we can assume as being the BMW 3-Series and Audi A5. Schreyer also described the GT as Kia’s “halo car”.
Kia will unveil its first electric vehicle by the start of 2012, but did not say whether the vehicle would be sold in the United States.
The EV will reportedly be based on the Hyundai i10, a vehicle considered much too small for North American tastes. A production run of just 2,000 units is expected in 2012. A second electric vehicle is expected to follow in 2014 for Kia, with Hyundai launching a mass market EV in 2015. Hyundai currently has a small fleet of i10-based EVs testing in South Korea.
[Source: Automotive News]
Kia will hold off on expanding its production facilities and sales targets in favor of improving the quality of its vehicles, CEO Lee Sam-ung told Automotive News at a launch event for its new Rio hatchback.
“Quantitative growth is important, but qualitative growth is also important. We plan to focus on improving product quality and our brand,” said Sam-ung. Industry analysts worry that limited production capacity will be the biggest factor stunting Kia’s future growth. Sam-ung set a goal of 2.5 million vehicles sold in 2011, and wants to boost Rio sales from 110,000 in 2011 to 260,000 in 2012.
Sam-ung also said that Kia will get an all-electric compact car in 2015, one year after Hyundai launches their own model.
[Source: Automotive News]
While Hyundai and Kia are the best known Korean automakers, Ssangyong, still exists in the rest of the world, and the automaker (who has never sold vehicles in North America) has some very ambitious goals for the near future.
Ssangyong wants to sell 160,000 vehicles worldwide by 2013, and hopes to raise that number to 300,000 by 2016. Accompanying the sales targets will be a whole range of both facelifted and fully re-designed vehicles. Although Ssangyong released a series of goals that are little more than marketing fluff, the key to their progress seems to be leveraging their tie-up with Indian corporate whale Mahindra, which has the financial resources to help Ssangyong make something of itself.
Kia will launch their 2012 Rio Hatchback with a starting price of $13,600, plus a $750 destination charge (bringing the total to $14,350).
The base car will come only with a manual gearbox, while an automatic transmission equipped version will cost $14,700 ($15,540 with destination included) while the top-of-the-line SX model will set you back $18,000 ($18,750 with destination included). The Rio will come generously equipped with air-conditioning, power steering, stability control, ABS, a hill-holder for manual transmission cars, and a 1.8L 138-horsepower engine capable of returning 30/40 mpg.
The Rio will also offer a start-stop feature, a class exclusive, that will boost city fuel economy to 31 mpg.
While Hyundai CEO John Krafcik didn’t give us full pricing on the upcoming Hyundai Veloster, a tweet by Hyundai’s head honcho did reveal that the highly anticipated sports coupe will start at $17,300 for a 6-speed manual version, while the Dual-Clutch Transmission will cost $18,550, while delivering 40 mpg on the highway.
In addition to a $760 freight charge, options include a “Style” package (featuring 18-inch wheels, a chrome grill, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof, leatherette and an 8-speaker audio system) and a “Tech” package (which must be ordered with the “Style” package and features different 18-inch wheels, navigation, automatic headlights, keyless start, backup sensors and a backup camera).
The Honda CR-Z starts at $19,345 and is capable of 39 mpg on the open road. The CR-Z hasn’t fared well in the marketplace, and Hyundai’s massive marketing machine, cheaper base price and superior fuel economy bragging rights may spell doom for Honda’s own sports coupe.
We’ll be driving the Veloster in early September, so check back for more at AutoGuide.com
Hit the jump to see the official press release
Hyundai is taking the fight to General Motors‘ OnStar System by offering its Blue Link system as standard equipment. The Blue Link system is capable of providing direct connection to emergency services but also delivers traffic and weather updates as well as allowing owners easy access to roadside assistance. The system also lets users pair their smartphones to locate the vehicle in crowded parkinglots. The system will also keep track of the vehicle position and how fast it’s being driven.
Hyundai also improved the fuel efficiency of the Sonata. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine now gets 24 mpg, gaining 2 mpg in the city and 35 mpg highway. The Sonata equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will now get 22 mpg and 34 mpg highway, an increase from 33 mpg highway in last years model.
Hyundai states that the Sonata leads all mid-sized sedans in fuel economy, excluding hybrids.
The 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan has officially been launched and priced at $34,200. The 2012 Genesis which debuted at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, received minor changes to the interior and exterior, but the big change is the engine.
For $34,200, the base Genesis is available with a direct-injected 3.8-liter V6, rated at 333-hp and 291 lb-ft of torque, up 43-hp and 27 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and the car can achieve 29 miles per gallon on the highway.
The next step up is the Genesis 4.6 starting from $44,500. This engine will produce the same numbers as 2011 with 385-hp and 333-lb-ft of torque mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
For 2012, Hyundai has introduced the new 5.0-liter direct-injected V8 R-Spec model. Coupled to the new eight-speed automatic, this engine will produce a whopping 429-hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy will be 16/25 mpg city/highway. Special features on the R-Spec include unique 19-inch rims, sportier suspension tuning and more aggressive appearance updates. The R-Spec retails at $46,500.
Gallery: 2012 Hyundai Genesis R-Spec
Hyundai will apparently launch a competitor to the Toyota Prius in 2013, but the new hybrid Hyundai will be a plug-in hybrid vehicle from the get-go, unlike its Japanese rival, which is slowly rolling out its own plug-in variant.
While the news came from an anonymous source within Hyundai, the Korean automaker is making a strong push in the hybrid segment, as rising gas prices and the launch of the Sonata Hybrid sedan have put Hyundai in an excellent position. Hyundai is also buoyed by Toyota’s hamstrung hybrid lineup, which has seen production difficulties due to Japan’s March 11th earthquake. Hyundai is projecting annual sales of 18,000 units for the Sonata Hybrid in South Korea.
The Hyundai Genesis will get all-wheel drive, but it won’t come until 2014, when the car is updated with a revised platform and other changes.
While Hyundai CEO John Krafcik has confirmed in the past that the Genesis, Genesis Coupe and Equus will offer this set-up, a report in Car and Driver indicates that it won’t be offered on the current generation models. The addition of AWD will certainly help sales of the car in the Snow Belt states, where buyers almost universally opt for AWD over their two-wheel counterparts. In the meantime, the Genesis gets revised powertrains, including an 8-speed automatic transmission and a new 429-horsepower 5.0L V8.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Hyundai boosted its quarterly profit by 46 percent, and managed to outsell Honda, whose production was hampered by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March.
Hyundai managed to sell 919,000 units in the quarter, compared to 860,000 for Honda. Honda’s earnings, output and total sales were down markedly, in line with other Japanese auto makers who have been forced to curtail production. While Honda expects production to be down until June, analysts say that the Japanese auto industry’s slump may help Hyundai surpass other Japanese OEM’s like Toyota and Nissan.
[Source: The Detroit News]
The previous Accent was the kind of car that you bought out of necessity rather than desire, but the newest subcompact Hyundai looks like it will find homes among many, thanks to handsome styling and 40 mpg capability without any special order option packages. Motivation comes from a direct-injection 138-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that makes 123 ft-lbs of torque while returning 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission will be offered, and automatic transmission models will feature a driver selectable Eco mode that is said to improve “real-world” fuel economy by as much as 7 percent.
Despite its diminutive exterior, Hyundai claims that interior space is so large that the car is classified as a compact. Items like stability control, ABS, and power steering are standard, while Bluetooth connectivity, an iPod connector and 16″ allow wheels are optional. The Accent will start at around $12,000 for a base model, bringing an end to the days where an Accent could be had brand new for under $10,000.
Gallery: 2012 Hyundai Accent
While Hyundai‘s undoubtedly been on a roll lately, they haven’t quite managed to bend the laws of physics, despite what their newest stunt may suggest.
Hyundai’s Malaysian arm suspended a 2012 Accent from the vertical face of a building, and had a driver wearing some futuristic garb descend towards the Accent. Through the use of some trick 3D projection and properly spinning wheels, the Accent really looks like it’s driving. Check out the video below.
The car will use an upgraded version of the Gamma 1.6L direct-injection 4-cylinder producing 208 horsepower, putting it in direct competition with the Volkswagen GTI, MINI Cooper S and other boosted hot hatches. Hyundai is also reportedly aiming to get close to the base Veloster’s 40 mpg rating.
UPDATE: Hyundai has confirmed that this rumor is just speculation and that a Veloster Turbo will not debut in New York. As previously reported, Hyundai will instead unveil the new 2012 Accent.
Get more Hyundai Veloster news and info at Veloster.org
For all the skepticism surrounding the Hyundai Equus, the Korean luxury sedan appears to be doing well, even exceeding Hyundai’s own expectations.
Hyundai’s Midwestern PR head Dean Bedore gave us some insight into the success of the Equus, noting that it currently has a 5 percent market share of the luxury car segment, while Hyundai itself has the same overall market share. Bedore noted that the only thing stopping Hyundai from selling more of them was a lack of supply.
Equus sales are currently outpacing brands like Rolls-Royce, Maybach and Bentley, along with sports cars like the BMW Z4, Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R. We are well aware of the apples vs. oranges nature of these kinds of comparisons, but we still found it neat that a $58,000 Hyundai is succeeding when even 5 years ago, such a notion would have been unthinkable.
Hit the jump to see the full list
Hyundai‘s vice-chairman, Shin Jong-Woon unequivocally quashed rumors regarding a separate premium brand for Hyundai’s upscale vehicles, telling Automotive News “There are no plans for Hyundai to make a separate brand.”
Hyundai spokesman Frank Ahrens elaborated on Jong-Woon’s comments, citing costs and branding difficulties as the main obstacles towards establishing a premium channel ala Lexus, Infiniti or Acura.
“It’s expensive. Dealerships, marketing, all those things. You don’t just spin it off at no cost,” said Ahrens. ”Secondly, you’ve heard us talk a great deal about trying to raise the brand perception. And that’s perception for all the vehicles. So how would it help the brands if we were to cut off our top level?”
While Toyota has had smashing success with their Lexus brand – it is currently the best selling luxury car brand in America – other brands like Infiniti, and to a greater extent Acura, have had difficulty emulating the success of Lexus. Hyundai is currently attempting to raise the overall profile of its brand, and top-tier products sold as Hyundai vehicles are perhaps the best solution to helping Hyundai gain more acceptance in the public’s eye.
[Source: Automotive News]
Kia is forging ahead with plans to build a rival to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, complete with a turbocharged engine and class-leading driving dynamics.
The new car will be part of Kia’s effort to differentiate itself from Hyundai by focusing on performance and excitement. The GTI rival will likely be based on the well-received Cee’d, which is sold in Europe and other markets. Power will come from the Optima Turbo’s 2.0L 4-cylinder, although the engine could be detuned from the 274 horsepower it currently makes to around 230 horsepower.
Kia also confirmed that their new convertible will hit production in 2014, but that it will be based on the Soul, and thus front-wheel drive, rather than a rear-drive rival to the Mazda MX-5.
Expected transmissions are a 6-speed manual and an automatic, rumored to be a 4-speed. The sedan will complement the hatchback previously revealed at the Geneva Auto Show. Also possible is a 138-hp direct-injection 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, similar to the one offered in the 2012 Hyundai Accent.
AutoGuide will have complete coverage of the New York Autoshow starting April 20th, so stay tuned to our site for more photos and videos.
With the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid delayed due to a change to the pedestrian warning system, the Kia Optima Hybrid will face similar delays, with units expected to arrive at dealers sometime in the summer, a full 5 months later than planned.
The Optima Hybrid, being mechanically identical to the Sonata Hybrid, must also undergo the removal of a switch to disable the pedestrian warning system, which emits a sound to alert bystanders that the vehicle is running while the silent electric motor is online. Hyundai also wants the Sonata Hybrid to debut first, and with supplies trickling to dealers at a very slow rate, the Optima Hybrid must wait on the sidelines until the Sonata has made its presence known.
[Source: Wards Auto]
Hyundai began showing a new hydrogen fuel-cell concept car today at the Seoul Motor Show. Called the Blue2, its name is a merging of Blue Drive, Hyundai’s environmentally conscious sub brand, and H2, which is the symbol for hydrogen.
Also code named the HDN-6, it is a luxury car featuring around 121 horsepower, and delivering 82 MPG of hydrogen consumption. The car shows Hyundai’s desire to gain a competitive edge, and continued commitment to this technology that allows hydrogen energy to turn an electric drive system.
The Blue2 also utilizes low rolling resistance tires and lightweight alloy wheels, and features “future concept” styling merging sporty lines with efficiency.
Among the gadgets on the Blue2 are a system to recognize and welcome the driver by opening a self-opening door. Drivers are further coddled by wider-than-usual seats for easier ingress and egress.
The Blue2 has no rear-view mirrors, relying instead on cameras displaying images on a screen. The car displays info on an LED monitor using “Transparent Organic” technology, said to be more vivid.
Climate control includes an ionizing system to clean air as it circulates through the interior.