Friday, April 21, 2017

KELLEY BLUE BOOK RECOGNIZES FOUR HYUNDAI MODELS AS TOP ECO-FRIENDLY CARS FOR EARTH DAY 2017

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., April 19, 2017 Ahead of Earth Day 2017, Hyundai’s 2017 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) models and 2017 Ioniq Hybrid and Electric models have been recognized by Kelley Blue Book as some of the top eco-friendly vehicles on the market. Both the Sonata and Ioniq were included in the Top 10 Best Hybrid Cars under $40,000, while the Sonata PHEV and Ioniq Electric were recognized as top five at the same price point in their respective categories.
Kelley Blue Book recognized the Sonata and Ioniq Hybrid models for driver experience and performance, highlighting the Sonata’s interior as “one of the segment’s best designed and most practical,” while it commended the Ioniq for its class-leading efficiency, as well as handling and braking. The Sonata PHEV’s leading warranty was recognized in its ranking and the company also highlighted the affordability for the all-electric Ioniq.

“Our commitment to the future of eco-friendly driving doesn’t mean we’re just building a lot of environmentally-friendly cars, but that we make the entire experience of these cars better,” said Brandon Ramirez, senior group manager, product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “From interior comfort to affordability to performance, we look beyond just fuel economy to create an enjoyable ownership experience and smooth the transition into a more ecological way of driving.”

“With these rankings our experts inform consumers and the industry of the best environmental and economic values among eco-friendly vehicles,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Hyundai’s strong showing on these rankings indicates the company’s dedication to developing advanced environmentally friendly cars and letting a wider array of consumers access them.”


HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICAHyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 835 dealerships nationwide. All new Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes a 5-year/60,000-mile fully-transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

HYUNDAI ANNOUNCES BLUE LINK AGENT FOR THE GOOGLE ASSISTANT

Hyundai Owners Can Now Control Their Cars with the Google Assistant on Google Home
Blue Link Agent for the Google Assistant Debuts with the 2018 Hyundai Sonata

NEW YORK, April 13, 2017 – Hyundai’s Blue Link Agent for the Google Assistant, demonstrated at Pepcom’s Digital Experience prior to the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES®) is now available for use by Hyundai owners. The announcement was made during a press conference at the New York International Auto Show today.

The Blue Link Agent for the Google Assistant allows control of various functions of a Hyundai vehicle with simple voice commands. These commands can include “Ok Google, Tell Blue Link to start my Santa Fe and set the temperature to 82 degrees, “Ok Google, Tell Blue Link to send the address of the Empire State Building to my Sonata”, and “Ok Google, ask Blue Link to unlock my car”.

To make these voice-activated features available to even more Hyundai owners, Blue Link Connected Care, Remote and Guidance packages are now free for three years on all 2018 Hyundai models and the 2017 IONIQ lineup. This announcement was also made at the New York International Auto Show today.

“We continue to lead the industry with these better customer-focused integrations,” said Manish Mehrotra, director, digital business planning and connected operations, Hyundai Motor America. “With the advent of Google Assistant’s capabilities, we want to provide Hyundai owners with the comfort of remote starting their car on a hot summer afternoon or the security of remotely locking their Sonata Hybrid while it’s parked in the garage at the end of a long day.”

Google Home is a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant that can provide real-time answers, activate streaming music services, smart home devices, and now, cars.

Google Home and the 2017 IONIQ Electric
Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into Hyundai cars with technologies including Remote Start with Climate Control, Destination Search powered by Google®, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link services can be easily accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror and center stack, the web or via the Blue Link owners’ smartphone app. In addition to the action on the Google Assistant, some of these features can also be controlled via the latest Android Wear and Apple Watch smartwatch offerings.

How It WorksTo send commands to the Hyundai Vehicles via the Google Assistant on Google Home, engineers developed a way to link a customer’s Blue Link Account with the Google Assistant voice activated services. Once a customer has successfully linked his or her account, Remote Service commands will only be sent to Hyundai vehicles after the Google Assistant prompts owners for their Blue Link Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Examples of Exchanges between Google Home and Hyundai Blue Link
Example User Statement to Google Assistant
Example Google Assistant’s Response to User
“Ok Google, tell Blue Link to send the address of the nearest Starbucks to my Santa Fe.”
“The address I found for the nearest Starbucks is 350 Fifth Ave, New York, New York. Would you like to send it to your blue Santa Fe?”
Yes.
“A request to send point of interest has been sent.”

“Ok Google, what is the weather like today?”
“Today’s forecast for Ann Arbor is 38 degrees with rain and snow.”
“Ok Google, ask Blue Link to Start my Tucson and set the temperature to 75 degrees.”
“To remote start and set climate control of your black Tucson to 75 degrees, please say your Blue Link PIN. Or, say cancel.”
“9115.”
“A request to remote start and set climate control has been sent.”

“Ok Google, tell Blue Link to start charging my IONIQ”
“To remote start charging your gray IONIQ, please say your Blue Link PIN. Or, say cancel.”
“1978.”
“A request to remote charge has been sent.”

Blue Link action on Google Home demonstration features include:
  • Sending a destination to the car’s navigation system
  • Remote horn/lights
  • Start and stop charging of Hyundai electric and plug-in vehicles
  • Remote Start with Climate Control
  • Remote Lock
  • Remote Unlock


HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICAHyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 835 dealerships nationwide. All new Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes a 5-year/60,000-mile fully-transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

Monday, April 17, 2017

HYUNDAI MAKES REMOTE SERVICES STANDARD ON IONIQ AND BLUE LINK-EQUIPPED 2018 MODELS

Blue Link Connected Care, Remote and Guidance Packages Free for Three Years

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., April 13, 2017 – Remote door lock, Remote Start with Climate Control and the Monthly Vehicle Health Report are among the Blue Link services Hyundai Motor America will make standard via smartphone, smartwatch and Amazon Alexa for three years.

Hyundai Motor America announced the updated standard services packages for Blue Link-equipped 2018 Hyundai vehicles and 2017 IONIQ models. The rollout of the standard services will begin with the launch of the 2018 Elantra GT, Santa Fe Sport and redesigned 2018 Sonata models. The redesigned 2018 Sonata debuted at the New York International Auto Show today. In addition, Hyundai has also enhanced the Blue Link Remote Start with Climate Control feature to include control of the rear defroster and heated side mirrors for 2018 Elantra GT and Sonata.
“Remote start has always been our most popular remote service,” said Manish Mehrotra, director, digital business planning and connected operations, Hyundai Motor America. “Hyundai owners request more than one million remote starts a month during the winter and perform more than a million remote locks annually. Our customers love to be connected, so improving their value and overall experience at no additional cost maintains our commitment to do better.”

Hyundai is going above and beyond the competition by making key Blue Link safety and security features like Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Recovery standard to subscribers. These important features include immediate access to the Blue Link Emergency Response Center in the event of an accident, faster connection to emergency services and 24/7, 365 days/year access to emergency assistance via the dedicated SOS button. Blue Link can also assist the police in locating and recovering an owner’s stolen car.
In addition to making the current features standard, Hyundai will tackle the inconvenience of outdated map software by offering free downloads to maintain up-to-date navigation programming on the system’s SD card via the MyHyundai website. The complimentary updates also will be available for three years as part of the Guidance Package.
The complete set of standard features included are:
  • Connected Care Package
    • Automatic Collision Notification
    • SOS Emergency Assistance
    • Monthly Vehicle Health Report
    • Automatic Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification
    • Service Link
    • Maintenance Reminder
    • Driving Information
    • On-Demand Diagnostics
    • Enhanced Roadside Assistance
    • Blue Link Mobile App now with Charge Management for electric and PHEV models
  • Remote Package – Most features can be activated via Amazon Alexa skill, smartphone app or smartwatch
    • Remote Door Lock / Unlock
    • Remote Horn and Lights
    • Remote Start with Climate Control (Requires push button start)
    • Car Finder
    • Stolen Vehicle Recovery
    • Stolen Vehicle Slowdown
    • Stolen Vehicle Immobilization
    • Alarm Notification
    • Curfew Alert
    • Geo-Fence
    • Speed Alert
    • Valet Alert
  • Guidance Package - Requires Onboard Navigation
    • Multimedia and Navigation Updates (Provides complimentary map updates)
    • Destination Search Powered by Google
    • Destination Send-to-Car by Google

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICAHyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 835 dealerships nationwide. All new Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes a 5-year/60,000-mile fully-transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

Friday, April 14, 2017

2018 SONATA: DEFINING THE BENCHMARK FOR MID-SIZED SEDANS

New Features, Technology and Hardware 

Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Now Standard Equipment

NEW YORK, April 12, 2017 –The redesigned 2018 Sonata enters the market with a new look from the front, side and rear thanks to a “cascading grill,” a more assertive profile and an entirely new rear; showcasing a clean and handsome approach with reimagined, slim taillights.



“It’s all about making an impact,” said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai North American Design Center. “We wanted to deliver an exciting expressive car to our customers and show the world how passionate Hyundai is about design and craftsmanship. The objective was to make an impact, this design provides the visual excitement and unique identity our customers associate with Sonata.”

Created at Hyundai’s California Design Studio with American aesthetic tastes in mind, the new Sonata is bold, daring and beautiful. The 2018 Sonata made its North American debut today at the New York International Auto Show.

ELEVATED ELEGANCE
Supplementing the bodywork, the 2018 Sonata now lights the way with LED daytime running lights. When night falls, available LED headlamps with dynamic bending light illuminate the path and add to Sonata’s already radiant posture. The same standout style continues in the rear with sharp taillight design and enlarged Hyundai badge, which now cleverly houses the trunk release button. Chrome accents surround the daylight opening (DLO) and fresh wheel designs cap off its new look.

Inside, the renewed center stack and instrument panel echo the exterior’s catching new looks. The trend carries down to gauge dial design and a strong three-spoke steering wheel. Piano key buttons for audio and HVAC controls give a premium look and touch.

“The moment the pen left the drafting paper I knew we had something special in this re-imagined Sonata,” says Chapman, “Dynamic lines, strong graphics, and our new signature cascading grille come together in an athletic way.”



BEAUTY BENEATH THE SKIN
The new Sonata has a refined chassis with improved ride and handling. To achieve this feat, talented engineers increased the torsion bar stiffness within the steering system by 12 percent, which improves steering response and feel in all conditions. They then enhanced that improvement further with new steering calibration, focusing on responsiveness and on-center steering feel. Previous ratings for ride, handling and NVH showed customers were quite satisfied, so engineers just reset an already high bar.

In addition to these steering changes, the Sonata received an updated rear suspension. The trailing arms are 21 percent thicker, making them stiffer and better able to manage heavy suspension loads. New bushings work with the new suspension arms to allow for more ride compliance and yet quicken response time to control all other wheel motions. The result is a communicative, nimble and comfortable sedan.

For the top-of-the-line powertrain, there’s even more. The 245 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine now includes an eight-speed automatic transmission, which adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds. The eight-speed allows for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient dash down the interstate. The 2.0-liter turbo models roll on 18-inch wheels, now with Michelin tires.



COMPELLING COMFORT AND SAFETY
The 2018 Sonata features a standard seven-inch color display audio touchscreen with both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® integration. Speaking of smartphones, driver and passenger alike can keep them charged without a plug using the available Qi standard wireless charging pad. Sonata now adds a second row USB charge port, a nod to today’s connected rear-seat passengers. Available navigation systems now come with a bird’s eye view feature as well as traffic flow and incident data, without ever having to pay a subscription for the service.

The Sonata offers more safety features in 2018. In addition to seven standard airbags (dual front, side, and curtain, as well as driver’s knee) and a battery of safety systems (VSM, ESC, TCS, ABS, EBD, BA, and TPMS) comes Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). The Sonata is the only Midsize car sold with this safety technology as standard equipment. Despite drivers spending a tiny amount of time in reverse, one-quarter of all accidents happen when someone is backing up. BSD with RCTA gives drivers peace of mind that the road behind them is clear. Furthermore, there’s also a new Lane Departure Warning system with an enhanced Lane Keep Assist function available.

BETTER BLUE LINK
As our cars become a mobile extension of the connected world, Blue Link continues to add more features to integrate your life. Blue Link now talks to Amazon Echo™, allowing you to control your car inside your home, or wherever the Amazon device is located.

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 835 dealerships nationwide. All new Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes a 5-year/60,000-mile fully-transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

IONIQ INFOGRAPHIC

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., April 11, 2017 — The road to efficient, eco-conscious performance starts with the Hyundai Ioniq. The world's first dedicated vehicle with three electrified low- and zero-emission powertrain choices, the Ioniq Hybrid boasts an EPA-estimated 58 MPG (combined), making it the most efficient vehicle in the U.S. market without a plug. Even the interior is constructed with the environment in mind, crafted from renewable materials such as bio-fabrics and recycled plastics.

In the following infographic, Hyundai outlines how the Ioniq models help reduce both fuel and electricity use, while still getting you where you need to go — wherever that may be.



HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 835 dealerships nationwide. All new Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes a 5-year/60,000-mile fully-transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hyundai looks to Millenials with its Ioniq

Hyundai is looking to a new generation of car buyers as it rolls out a trio of powertrains under the same eco-friendly banner.

That vehicle, the Ioniq, was on display Friday during a press event at the company’s Hyundai America Technical Center headquarters in Washtenaw County’s Superior Township.The Ioniq comes in three flavors of electric – hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric – and the company is touting the car’s green credentials, which it expects to appeal to changing generational tastes.

“Ioniq will attract an entirely new group of eco- and efficiency-oriented buyers in the U.S. market,” according to Mike O’Brien, vice president of Corporate and Product Planning for Hyundai Motor America.

By 2020, sales to Millenials will account for 40 percent of new vehicle sales, which is key because, according to the company, Millenials indicate a “higher preference for — and are more likely to consider — purchase of an alternative powertrain vehicle.”

That openness reflects a “societal sea change” that the company expects to “transform the automotive marketplace.” That transformation is expected to include more urban living and a preference for vehicles with technology that can keep people connected.

Those predictions come at a time when consumer tastes have shifted more toward trucks and SUVs, but the company is looking toward a future when the Millenial generation dominates the marketplace.
O’Brien indicated other factors will influence the marketplace in the short term.

Whether or not the Trump administration relaxes fuel economy standards will not be an issue for automakers until after 2021. That — and requirements in California and several other states for so-called zero-emission vehicles — mean electric vehicles will continue to have a place.

But customers have to want to buy the cars, O’Brien said, noting that the company tried to make the compact Ioniq drive like a standard vehicle, one that is touted as the first on the market to offer three powertrains on one dedicated platform.

Here are a few details on the three versions:

The Hybrid model, at 58 miles per gallon combined, has the highest mileage rating of "any non-plug-in vehicle sold in the U.S. market.”

The Ioniq plug-in hybrid promises an all-electric range of more than 27 miles. And the Ioniq Electric’s lithium-ion polymer battery touts a driving range of 124 miles.

The Ioniq Hybrid and the plug-in Hybrid use a dual-clutch transmission to engage the driver for a “spirited and fun-to-drive character,” according to the company. The vehicles also offer sport and eco modes.

Appealing to the green car segment, the Ioniq "uses eco-focused interior design materials," including bio-fabrics and recycled plastics with sugar cane and volcanic rock derivatives.

The Hybrid is available now, the Electric will roll out first in California this month and the Plug-in Hybrid is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing on the hybrid starts at $22,200 and the Electric at $29,500 before the $7,500 federal tax credit. Pricing is not yet available on the Plug-in Hybrid.

Source: http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2017/04/07/hyundai-ioniq-hybrid/100187936/

Friday, April 07, 2017

LIVE BROADCAST OF NEW 2018 HYUNDAI SONATA AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Press conference will debut the 2018 Sonata and showcase new features
  • Broadcast of press conference begins Wednesday, April 12 at 1:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time at Jacob Javits Convention Center inside the Hyundai Booth (#202)
  • The live stream will be available via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhxR72RtLVA
  • After the event ends links will provide replays of the press conference.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., April 7, 2017
– Hyundai Motor America will be live-streaming its press conference at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, allowing a wider audience to find out all the news about the 2018 Sonata. Media, fans and enthusiasts around the world whom cannot attend the show can be part of the experience thanks to the live-stream broadcast.

The highlight of the show will be the design of the new Sonata and Hyundai’s new ‘Cascading Grille’ that will be used across models.

To view the Hyundai press conference live on Wednesday, April 12, visit:

The Hyundai live player can be embedded in other websites, to access the embed code visit:

After the event ends links will replay of the press conference.

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICAHyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 835 dealerships nationwide. All new Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes a 5-year/60,000-mile fully-transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA REPORTS MARCH SALES

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., April 3, 2017 – Hyundai Motor America today reported sales of 69,265 for the month of March, down eight percent versus a record-setting March 2016.

Hyundai Division posts sales of 67,510 units|“Tucson, Santa Fe and Elantra were the bright spots for the month, while softness in the mid-size sedan segment continued,” said Derrick Hatami, vice president of national sales for Hyundai Motor America. “Ioniq models are now arriving at dealerships across the country, broadening our consumer base and appeal to a wide range of buyers.”

Genesis Division posts sales of 1,755 units“The Genesis brand gains momentum as G80 and G90s continue to arrive at dealerships,” said Erwin Raphael, general manager of Genesis in the U.S. market. “Sales were up for both models over February.”

SALES BY BRAND
 
MAR/2017
MAR/2016
CY/2017
CY/2016
HYUNDAI
67,510
75,310
163,637
173,330
GENESIS
1,755
0
5,155
0
TOTAL
69,265
75,310
168,792
173,330

MODELS
CARLINE
MAR/2017
MAR/2016
CY/2017
CY/2016
ACCENT
4,349
7,879
14,763
17,826
SONATA
15,357
28,778
37,869
61,457
ELANTRA
25,063
17,505
54,202
39,363
SANTA FE
11,446
6,546
28,102
17,217
AZERA
380
508
952
1,355
TUCSON
8,985
7,830
21,155
20,384
VELOSTER
1,386
2,342
5,548
6,466
IONIQ
327
0
332
0
GENESIS
210
3,762
698
8,645
EQUUS
7
160
16
617
G80
1,347
0
3,952
0
G90
408
0
1,203
0


HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICAHyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 835 dealerships nationwide. All new Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes a 5-year/60,000-mile fully-transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Hyundai Doubles Down on Fuel Cell Technology With New SUV

The proposed market-leading SUV will have a 500-mile range.

Despite being the first automaker to mass-produce fuel cell vehicles, Hyundai has trailed behind its Japanese rivals—Honda and Toyota—in fuel cell vehicle sales for several years. In a move to take back some market share, Hyundai has announced it will unveil a long-range fuel cell SUV sometime next year, Bloomberg reports.

Kim Sae-hoon, head of fuel cell research at both Hyundai and Kia—an affiliate of Hyundai—said that the new SUV will debut alongside a new fuel cell bus during the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang next year. This week, though, Hyundai will have a long-range fuel cell SUV on display at the Seoul Motor Show. This SUV will feature a range of roughly 500 miles, according to the report.

One of the reasons why Hyundai has trailed in the wake of Toyota with respect to fuel cell vehicles sales is due to an undeveloped fuel cell infrastructure in South Korea and the high cost of its fuel cell cars overseas, Bloomberg reports. Speaking at Hyundai's fuel cell research and development center in Mabuk, Kim said, "We want to lead the changes in terms of technology. When there is industrial restructuring and emergence of new technologies, it gives a new opportunity to us."

Compared to Toyota, which sold 2,050 Mirais—the brand's fuel cell vehicle—Hyundai only sold 242 of its ix35 fuel cell vehicles. And at least in South Korea, the infrastructure just isn't quite there yet to support the proliferation of fuel cell-powered cars, compared to Japan. For comparison, South Korea may have 10 hydrogen charging stations, but they're all for research and not for commercial use. Japan, on the other hand, already has 79 charging stations with 12 more in the works.

Despite being behind its Japanese rivals for fuel cell adoption, South Korea is setting itself up for change. In August, the country created a government-industry group to set up 100 charging stations in the country, get 10,000 fuel cell vehicles on the road, and export 14,000 fuel cell vehicles abroad by 2020. Another committee has also been set up to aid in the widespread adoption of fuel cell vehicles across the country.

Source: http://www.thedrive.com/news/8808/hyundai-doubles-down-on-fuel-cell-technology-with-new-suv

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hyundai's New N-Brand Performance Car Ready To Burn Rubber

Sometimes, given its fast climb over the past decade, it’s hard to remember that Hyundai Motor celebrates only its 50th anniversary this year. That’s one reason the brand can seem “late” to certain traditional milestones already achieved by other carmakers that have a 100-year history.

Hyundai will hit one of those milestones later this year with the introduction of the first vehicle in its N-brand performance line. Many automakers have performance lines. They are the fast-moving, tight-cornering versions of existing models, with souped-up engines, stiffer suspensions and other improvements targeted at buyers for whom driving is a joyful experience, not merely a method of getting around.

Typically, these performance brands also have a higher sticker price, which adds to the profitability of the overall lineup. In a larger sense, a performance brand adds prestige to an automaker and often goes hand-in-hand with, or is the outgrowth of, an automaker’s racing operation, which is another station of the cross of a mature automaker.

Mercedes-Benz has the AMG performance brand. BMW has the M badge. Audi has the S and RS lines. Nissan has Nismo. Now, Hyundai has the N brand. The N stands for “Namyang,” site of Hyundai’s biggest R&D center, about 45 minutes south of its Seoul, South Korea, headquarters.

Hyundai has promised that its first N-brand vehicle – a high-performance version of its i30 hatchback, one of its most popular cars in Europe – will hit the streets soon. It’s fitting that it’s the i30 and it’s Europe. Europe is home to the world’s most demanding, and probably most accomplished, driving enthusiasts.

If you’re a rich European auto enthusiast, you hit the autobahn in your $120,000 Benz AMG. If you’re like the rest of us, you chase the AMG in your hot hatch. A hot hatch is exactly what it sounds like – a hatchback that’s been tuned to go really fast. The king of European hot hatches forever has been the Volkswagen Golf R, though the Ford Focus RS gives it a good run.

If Hyundai is going to establish itself with a hot hatch as the cornerstone of its N performance brand, it has to go right at the Golf, and the i30 is in the same segment. The i30 has good genes – it was the first Hyundai to be a European car of the year finalist. Now, with a 2.0-liter, 275hp turbocharged engine and a dual-clutch racing transmission, the i30N looks to run with the Golfs and Focuses on the autobahn. To head its N-brand line, Hyundai hired Albert Biermann, the former head of BMW’s M division.

Hyundai’s launch of the N-brand is the third leg of its attempt to establish its performance bona fides. The effort began when Hyundai re-entered racing in 2013, when it announced its return to the World Rally Championship circuit. Hyundai had dabbled in rally car racing earlier in its life, but had outsourced the effort, had little success and gave up in 2003. Ten years later -- and 10 years more technically proficient -- Hyundai came back with an in-house motorsport team, built its own headquarters in Germany and hired the best personnel it could from other teams. This time, Hyundai has won races, and currently sits in second place in the WRC standings, trailing only – naturally – Volkswagen.

Hyundai’s second important step in proving its performance ambitions was the 2013 opening of a shimmering, polished-steel auto garage at Germany’s legendary Nurburgring, a 13-mile race track that twists and turns and climbs and falls through the forest. Driver Jackie Stewart dubbed the track “the green hell.” Hyundai’s i30N was put through its paces in last year’s Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race.

Hyundai raised its garage on prime real estate at the track – overlooking the start-finish line – in a clear announcement of intent to the rest of the auto brands. Testing your cars at the ‘ring, as it’s called, is a high-performance stamp of approval for gearheads the world-around.

Now, finally, Hyundai completes the third leg of its performance strategy by putting performance cars on the street. Hyundai promises additional N-brand versions of its cars, including some in its new stand-alone luxury line, Genesis.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/frankahrens/2017/03/29/hyundais-new-n-brand-performance-car-ready-to-burn-rubber/#64e8ccc1d145