Cars, hyundai, Spyshots

SPIED: Hyundai 45 – angular production crossover


Remember the rather fantastical Hyundai 45 Concept from last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show? Well it turns out the car wasn’t so fantastical after all, because it looks like this minimalist crossover is headed to production, as these photos from our European spy photographers show.

The development prototype that you see here may be covered in copious amounts of camouflage, but that arrow-shaped front end, sharp creases and angular rear hatch mark it out as a car clearly inspired by the show car. The almost beak-like full-width front grille remains, but the headlights are more conventional than the concept’s cubic items, though that may just be for this test mule.

Shutlines have also been reduced thanks to a clamshell bonnet, while lower down, the bumper sports just a single air intake opening. Along the side, the outlandish quad sliding doors have been replaced by conventional portals and handles, and the side-view cameras have given way to rather basic-looking mirrors. The car will still get SUV-style body mouldings, however, based on the pressings on the front fenders.

The rear end is heavily disguised, but expect the production car to retain the concept’s heavily creased rump, albeit without some of the fancy pixelated lighting effects. Finishing off the look are the wheels, which may not be quite as intricate as those of the concept, but they still have a radical geometric design that almost has a Ferrari F40 look to it.

As the 45 Concept was designed as an all-electric vehicle, so should the production version. Currently, Hyundai’s most advanced electric powertrain can be found in the Kona Electric, which is powered by a 204 PS/395 Nm motor juiced by a 64 kWh lithium-ion battery, giving the similarly-sized crossover a range of 482 km on the WLTP cycle. It’s unclear if the 45 will get a more powerful setup, perhaps with all-wheel drive.

The 45 is inspired and named after Hyundai’s first ever concept car, the 45-year-old Pony Coupé Concept. It’s also so named because the exterior styling, exhibiting a unique version of the company’s Sensuous Sportiness design language, features 45-degree cuts at the front and rear, which is set to be a feature on Hyundai’s future EVs.

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Cars, hyundai, Spyshots

SPIED: 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe facelift – new hybrid?


The Hyundai Santa Fe is arguably the automaker’s best-selling SUV globally, so it’s big news when our spy photographers managed to catch a facelifted unit undergoing tests just two years after the fourth-generation TM model debuted.

Apparently, the D-segment SUV will get a considerable exterior makeover, but more importantly Hyundai will introduce hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of it, too. According to the spy photographers, this particular prototype is of the hybrid, with the assumption being based off the wheel size and design.

On the design side of things, it’s said that the headlights will get a new T-shaped LED daytime running light design on each side, as well as a new Cascading Grille, front and rear bumpers, as well as new tail lights.

Currently, the Santa Fe is available with a total of six engines, starting with the entry-level 2.4 litre four-cylinder Theta II MPI engine (available in tunes of 170 hp and 185 hp), 2.0 litre T-GDI engine, 2.0 litre and 2.2 litre turbodiesel mills, as well as the top 3.5 litre V6 Lambda engine. Depending on the engine, the car can be had with either a six-speed manual, six-speed auto, or eight-speed automatic transmissions.

Whether or not the existing powertrains will continue to be offered remains to be seen. It’ll also be interesting to see how Hyundai plans to position the hybrid offerings.

Elsewhere, expect the cabin to get the same three-tiered dashboard design, but updated with the latest infotainment display and new trim materials. Interior space is one of the Santa Fe’s strong suits – Hyundai claims the lengthier wheelbase provides best-in-class legroom for the second row and improved headroom for the third row, but hybrid variants will likely lose out on third row seating (like the Nissan X-Trail Hybrid) to accommodate the battery pack.

GALLERY: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium

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Cars, EVs and Alternative Fuel, Hybrids, hyundai, International News

Hyundai eco-friendly car for Chicago – Sonata Hybrid?


At the Chicago Auto Show later this week, Hyundai will be introducing a new eco-friendly model for the United States market, and judging by the current lineup, it will most likely be the new Sonata Hybrid. The outgoing seventh-generation model has been on sale in the US since 2015, and the company has already confirmed that the latest version will arrive sometime this year.

Based on the outlandish coupé-like eighth-generation Sonata, the new Hybrid is powered by a Smartstream G 2.0 litre direct-injected petrol engine, which in its home market of South Korea makes 150 hp and 188 Nm of torque. It is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with an integrated 38 kW (51 hp)/205 Nm electric motor, providing a total system output of 192 hp.

So equipped, the Sonata Hybrid is capable of delivering a fuel consumption figure of 20.1 km per litre, though the US’ more stringent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tests may result in lower numbers. The Korean-market Sonata is also available with a solar panel roof that recharges the battery and provides a claimed 1,300 km of extra travel distance a year, although it’s unclear if the US will receive it.

Other new items for the Hybrid include Active Shift Control (ASC), which uses the electric motor to align the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission. This is claimed to cut shift times by 30% and minimise friction while shifting, leading to increased durability. The boot size has also increased dramatically, jumping from 377 litres to 510.

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Cars, hyundai, International News

Grab, Hyundai introduce GrabCar Elektrik in Indonesia


Earlier this week, ride-sharing provider Grab – in partnership with Korean automaker Hyundai – officially introduced its GrabCar Electric service in Indonesia. The initial fleet consists of 50 Hyundai Ioniq Electric EVs, with the pilot service operating from Terminal 3 at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.

The programme, due to expand later to around 500 EVs by the end of the year, is part of the #LangkahHijau Grab campaign, which supports the use of electric vehicles as a solution to reduce air pollution. The introduction of GrabCar Electrik also officially marks the start of Hyundai’s Electric Vehicle Mobility Service operations in Indonesia.

Hyundai has been working very closely with Grab since early 2018, when the two parties announced a strategic partnership where Hyundai would place a direct investment in the Singapore-based on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform, with the Ioniq Electric set to feature as one of the primary vehicles.

Later that year, the two companies said they would be working together to develop a Southeast Asia-wide electric vehicle (EV) network that will pilot EV programmes across the region, beginning with Singapore.

Both companies have also pledged their support for an Indonesian government initiative to bring two million electric vehicles to the country’s roads by 2025. The automaker has also been busy making inroads of its own in the republic. In November last year, Hyundai announced that it would be investing US$1.55 billion to establish a manufacturing plant in Indonesia, expanding on its original intent outlined a year earlier.

The Ioniq Electric used by the fleet is the facelift that was introduced last year. It features a permanent magnet synchronous motor offering 136 PS and 295 Nm of torque, and a higher capacity 38.3 kWh lithium-ion battery (with 113 kW output) offers a range of up to 294 km (WLTP cycle).

It takes just over six hours to charge via a standard 240V route, but quick charging only takes about 57 minutes to charge from zero to 80% with a 50 kW charge point, or 54 minutes with 100 kW.

Customers will be able to order a GrabCar Electric ride from Terminal 3 of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport by selecting the GrabCar Electrik option under available rides in the Grab app. According to news reports, rides with the Ioniq Electric will cost around 10-15% more than a regular GrabCar airport service.

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Cars, EVs and Alternative Fuel, Hybrids, hyundai, International News

Hyundai pick-up truck may get Genesis GV80 inline-six


The new inline-six diesel engine which powers the Genesis GV80 could also go into the future Hyundai pick-up truck, Car Sales reported. “(For) this engine, we can have so many applications. (Hyundai) also make commercial vehicles and so on, so this engine will be out there for quite some time,” Hyundai R&D chief Albert Biermann told the Australian website.

This suggests that the new inline-six diesel will almost certainly be employed for powering other models that the engine can be fitted to, as the company will want to maximise its returns after the development of a new engine. Is it a confirmation that it will go into vehicles outside the Genesis banner, though? “We have not finally decided yet,” Biermann said.

In the Genesis GV80, the turbodiesel straight-six produces 278 PS and 600 Nm of torque; if installed in the forthcoming Hyundai pick-up truck in the same state of tune, this would endow it with more power and torque than the Mercedes-Benz X 350 d, which has 258 hp and 550 Nm of torque, and the Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 TDI, which has 258 hp and 580 Nm of torque in its most potent guise.

Though previously the X-Class was rumoured to have a V8 variant in development, such a model is less likely because this mid-sized pick-up segment is predominantly focused on four-cylinder variants, and the X-Class range as a whole was reportedly due to be dropped from Mercedes-Benz’s product line-up.

Hyundai chose to develop an inline-six diesel because it is inherently refined, and the longitudinal layout posed no packaging problems in the GV80, just as it wouldn’t be an issue in a large commercial vehicles, Biermann said. “It just makes the smoothest power. We developed the car from the beginning – the new platform (which will underpin the next G80 sedan) was already considered with that engine,” he said.

That the GV80 is bound for the European market with the diesel six-cylinder engine shows that Hyundai wants to spread the engine’s development costs over the widest possible range of applications, the Australian website noted, and Biermann confirmed that the GV80 will meet Euro 6 ‘Step II’ emissions regulations.

“There was a time, two years ago, when everybody was saying ‘diesel is over’, but now you have people saying: ‘with this new diesel technology, the air that comes from the tailpipe is cleaner than the air (the engine) sucks in, right?’ It is like that with the next level, so will it die or not die? Time will tell,” Biermann said regarding the viability of diesel in Europe.

Regardless of the outlook for diesel, Hyundai is ready, along with hybrid, mild hybrid, PHEV, fully electric as well as fuel-cell models in development, Biermann said, also adding that the 3.0 litre inline-six diesel is compatible with hybrid drive, though he did not elaborate further.

With Genesis head William Lee stating that the luxury brand will skip hybrids and head directly to EVs, hybrid drive applications for the diesel inline-six appears to be focused outside the Genesis brand, which adds weight to the idea of this powertrain going into other future Hyundai models.

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Cars, hyundai, International News

GALLERY: 2020 Hyundai Veloster Turbo previewed at Thailand Motor Expo – 1.6L turbo engine with 201 hp


A nice surprise at the Hyundai booth at this year’s Thailand Motor Expo is the second-generation Veloster, with a Turbo variant being put on display at the event. This is part of an official preview for the model, with a launch set to take place in the Kingdom next year. The coupe was first revealed at last year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, and features a significant redesign to its exterior and interior.

Like the first-generation model, the two-plus-one asymmetrical body style is retained from before, but the overall design has evolved to be more angular. The front face now sports a wider, hexagonal-shaped grille, which is paired with sharper headlights, a sculpted bonnet and an aggressive-looking bumper.

Down the sides, the new Veloster cuts a familiar profile as its predecessor, although the roofline has been altered slightly to promote better rear cabin headroom, which also warrants a reshaping of the side windows. Cues such as the flared fenders and gently scalloped section are carried over, but are further emphasised here.

The rear end continues the evolutionary approach to styling, as the noticeable bulge on the first-gen is still present, albeit less pronounced and accompanied by larger, reflectors in the corners. The scalloped sections on the tailgate have also been omitted, with the new-design, two-piece taillights pushed closer to the base of the larger rear window. The central-mounted, twin-pipe exhaust is specific to the Turbo variant.

Moving inside, we see an all-new dashboard layout that does away with the prominent V-shaped section for the infotainment and climate controls. Instead, there’s now a free-standing touchscreen display flanked by two smaller air-con vents, while the controls for the infotainment have been pushed down to beside the push start button.

Further down is the climate control switchgear, followed by the gear lever and drive mode selector. The centre stack has also been tweaked to be more driver-focused, with a higher partition placed on the passenger side, while other items include a new steering wheel and instrument cluster.

Under the bonnet, the Veloster Turbo features a 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 201 hp at 6,000 rpm and 264 Nm from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm – an overboost function brings peak torque to 274 Nm. Transmission options include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters and Shiftronic gear control – the latter being what you see here.

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2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, Cars, hyundai, International News

Hyundai Vision T plug-in hybrid SUV concept teased ahead of LA debut – preview of next-gen Tucson?


Hyundai is presenting a new concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. The Vision T, as it’s set to be called, is a plug-in hybrid SUV that repurposes the company’s Sensuous Sportiness global design language, first seen on the Le Fil Rouge concept and Sonata sedan, onto a taller crossover body style.

The fact this car is called the Vision T hints that it is a thinly-veiled preview of the next-generation Tucson, which is set to debut next year. Further evidence of this can be found in the teaser images shown here, where the show car displays key design cues also seen on recent Tucson test mules.

Most obvious of these is the massive front grille that takes up the entire width of the fascia, very similar to that of the Le Fil Rouge. It features hidden signature lighting and a tessellated pattern that functions as an active grille shutter, adjusting at higher speeds to not only optimise air flow and aerodynamics, but also to give the car a more dynamic look when it is in motion.

Flanking the grille are large air intakes (where the main headlight units will sit on the Tucson) to give the car a distinctive X-shaped graphic. Along the sides, the Vision T features angular wheel arches and prominent fender bulges, along with a sharp shoulder line that stretches from the front doors to the rear of the car – again, very Tucson-like. The low-slung roofline gets a chrome fillet that contrasts the upswept window line.

No other details have been announced just yet, but the presence of a plug-in hybrid powertrain could mean that a similar system may very well make its way to the Tucson too.

GALLERY: 2020 Hyundai Tucson spyshots

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Audi, Audi A4, BMW, BMW 330, BMW 330 2019, BMW 330 2020, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford, Ford Fusion, Honda, Honda Accord, hyundai, Hyundai Sonata, Kia, Kia Optima, Lexus, Lexus ES 350, Mazda, Mazda Mazda6, Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Nissan, Nissan Altima, Nissan Maxima, Subaru, subaru outback, Tesla, Tesla Model 3, Toyota, Toyota Camry

IIHS Testing Finds Pedestrian Detection Systems Vary Widely in Crash Protection | News from Cars.com



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IIHS pedestrian crash system testing

IIHS images

Pedestrian crash-prevention systems with automatic braking on 16 mid-size cars vary widely in their ability to detect and avoid hitting people in the street, according to the latest round of testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Related: Which SUVs Have the Best Pedestrian Detection Systems?

But results overall were fairly positive. Four luxury and two mainstream mid-size cars and wagons got the top rating, called superior (out of superior, advanced, basic or none), for pedestrian crash prevention. Another six cars rated a notch lower, at advanced. Four non-luxury cars, however, earned only a basic rating or got no credit at all. Here are the 16 (some have two scores because they offer both standard and optional systems):

Vehicles Rated Superior

  • 2019 Audi A4 (standard system)
  • 2019-20 BMW 3 Series (standard)
  • 2020 Subaru Outback (standard)
  • 2019-20 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (optional upgraded system)
  • 2019-20 Nissan Maxima (optional for 2019, standard for 2020)
  • 2019 Volvo S60 (standard)

Vehicles Rated Advanced

  • 2019-20 BMW 3 Series (optional upgraded system — yes, worse than the base system)
  • 2019-20 Honda Accord (standard)
  • 2019-20 Lexus ES 350 (standard)
  • 2019 Mazda 6 (standard)
  • 2019-20 Nissan Altima (optional)
  • 2019-20 Tesla Model 3 (standard)
  • 2019-20 Toyota Camry (standard)

Vehicles Rated Basic

  • 2019-20 Chevrolet Malibu (optional camera-only system)
  • 2019-20 Chevrolet Malibu (optional camera and radar system)
  • 2019-20 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (standard system)

No Credit

  • 2019-20 Ford Fusion (standard system)
  • 2019 Hyundai Sonata (optional)
  • 2019 Kia Optima (optional)

More Cars Have Pedestrian Systems Standard

IIHS is ramping up testing of pedestrian protection, having earlier tested a batch of SUVs. The vast majority of automakers have agreed to make automatic emergency braking standard by 2022, and they’re increasingly upgrading such systems to detect and automatically brake for pedestrians, not just other vehicles. According to IIHS, about two-thirds of front crash systems offered on 2019 model-year vehicles have pedestrian detection. In many cases, these systems now are standard.

“Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, so it’s encouraging that pedestrian crash prevention systems are standard equipment in 12 out of the 16 mid-size cars we tested, including five out of six superior-rated systems,” said IIHS President David Harkey in a statement. The agency will factor pedestrian detection into its overall testing for Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick Plus awards beginning with the 2020 model year, spokesman Russ Rader has told Cars.com. It began testing pedestrian detection in February.

Halloween Is Scariest Day for Pedestrians

IIHS notes that its latest results come just ahead of Halloween, which is consistently the deadliest day for U.S. pedestrians. That’s thanks in part to trick-or-treaters and, we suspect, increasingly partying adults in awkward costumes. IIHS claims that from 2013 to 2017, the two deadliest days for pedestrians on average were Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 (after midnight on Halloween). Citing its own study of federal crash data, IIHS notes that annual pedestrian fatalities had increased markedly since a 2009 low. More than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2018, up 53 percent since 2009, according to the agency.

How Cars Were Tested

Most frontal crash systems use one or two cameras, in some cases augmented by radar sensors, to look for objects ahead. Vehicle software now can detect pedestrians as well as vehicles, and in some cases identify bicycles or animals. If a collision is imminent, the system alerts the driver and can hit the brakes to prevent or mitigate a crash.

IIHS tests three scenarios with dummies: an adult stepping into the street ahead of a vehicle with an unobstructed view, a child darting into the street from behind two parked cars, and an adult pedestrian near the side of the road facing away from traffic. The first two tests are done at 12 and 25 mph; the pedestrian near the side of the road is tested at 25 and 37 mph. In each test, the system has 1 or 2 seconds to stop the car to avoid the pedestrian. The tests are done in daylight on dry pavement. IIHS notes that such systems might not perform as well at night, but it says a vehicle with lights rated well in the agency’s headlight evaluations should be able to spot pedestrians.

The six superior-rated vehicles slowed dramatically in IIHS tests, in most cases avoiding the dummy or greatly reducing the risk of severe injury. Notably, the mainstream Nissan Maxima’s system avoided the pedestrian in all tests. Advanced-rated systems also achieved major speed reductions, though less consistently. The basic-rated systems failed to do so in one or more tests, while those that earn no credit failed in multiple scenarios. For example, the Ford Fusion, which got no credit, didn’t slow down at all for the simulated child darting into the street and slowed only slightly for the adult stepping into the street.

“The child dashing out from behind parked cars is a very challenging test,” said Harkey. “But it’s fitting that it was one of the main things that separated the top systems from the rest of the pack, since that is certainly a frightening scenario on Halloween or any day.”

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hyundai, hyundai crossover, hyundai suv used, Industry Insights, jose munoz

Hyundai Makes Progress on Goals with Help from SUVs


Hyundai recently announced its turnaround plan for the US with a goal of achieving 5.2% market share by the end of 2023. Its market share at the end of 2018 was 3.9%, and it has a three-pronged roadmap for gaining that extra share. 

The Background

Five-point-two percent market share is not unprecedented for Hyundai. The company’s previous market-share peak was 5.1%. This was likely due to improved product quality and the launch of its Hyundai Assurance marketing campaign. 

But a 1.3-percentage-point increase is more than an incremental boost. It could translate into as many as 214,000 more Hyundai vehicles on the road. For Hyundai to grow in market share, it must come at the expense of competitors like Nissan, Honda, and Toyota. 

New Leadership

Over the past year, Hyundai has made concerted efforts to bring in seasoned and proven industry executives. 

In April 2019, Hyundai hired industry titan José Muñoz from Nissan. Muñoz had previously worked as Nissan’s Chief Performance Officer, Chairman of Nissan China, EVP of Nissan North America, and President of Nissan Mexico. Under Muñoz’s leadership, Nissan’s US sales achieved a 9.2% market share, its highest ever. (Editorial Disclosure: I worked at Nissan from October 2013 to May 2015, overlapping with Muñoz. The analysis below is not impacted by my tenure at Nissan.)

Muñoz wasn’t the only former Nissan executive to join Hyundai. By May, Hyundai brought on Randy Parker, another seasoned executive from Nissan. Parker worked under Muñoz, overseeing Nissan’s West Region and later running Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, in the Americas. And most recently, Hyundai hired Robert Grafton as Director of Dealer Development. Grafton previously worked at Infiniti.

With Muñoz, Parker, and Grafton back together at Hyundai, they may be able to replicate the strategy that led to the success they achieved at Nissan.

Strong Product

Over the past few years, Hyundai has debuted and refreshed several crossovers. The Kona debuted in 2017, while the Palisade, which debuted in 2018, and hydrogen fuel-cell Nexo both went on sale in 2019. The Tucson also underwent a mid-cycle refresh for 2019. The Venue, a midsize SUV, joins the lineup for 2020.

Hyundai announced a 9% YoY growth of total sales in SUVs, with the Kona and Palisade leading the way. Despite their success, these new additions may not be enough to get Hyundai to a 5.2% market share. However, Hyundai is taking advantage of another hot vehicle category: the midsize pickup truck segment. Hyundai will launch the Santa Cruz, a midsize pickup, by 2020. While this is the first Hyundai pickup in the United States, Hyundai has ventured into the pickup segment before; the Hyundai Pony Pickup was sold in Europe in the 1980s.

As of this writing, Hyundai hasn’t announced the exact release date or pricing strategy for the Santa Cruz. However, if Hyundai launches the Santa Cruz at a price below its competitors’, this truck could be a success in a pickup segment whose average MSRP has increased approximately 25% since 2014, more than any other segment in the industry over the past six years.

Pricing

Hyundai is a brand with a lower average MSRP than its competitors’. That makes its vehicles an ideal solution for price-sensitive shoppers. If wage growth continues at its current slow pace and affordability remains one of the biggest headwinds in the industry, Hyundai will continue to gain attention from the most price-sensitive consumers.

Pricing, Product, and Leadership—Hyundai’s Holy Trinity

Hyundai has brought in leaders who led Nissan to its best US sales year in history, it has shifted its product mix to favor SUVs, and it has maintained its affordability.

The initial results of these changes are promising. As of October 1, Hyundai has reported a 5% YoY increase in total sales and a 9% YoY increase in total sales of crossovers, laying the groundwork to reach its goals.

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