New Models and Engines are coming to Hyundai

From AW
***** Looking to sustain its sales momentum, Hyundai will bring out a series of new and redesigned products in the United States during the next 12
months.
Executives at a press event in Seoul, South Korea, described a wave of new models, including redesigns of the Elantra and Accent, a small Elantra-based sporty coupe, the Equus luxury sedan and hybrid and turbocharged versions of the Sonata sedan. Hyundai is also studying a Sonata wagon.
A string of engine upgrades also are in the works.
Over the past two years, Hyundai has moved closer to its three main Japanese rivals in the United States: Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Hyundai's sales are up 23 percent through May in an overall market that rose 17 percent. It was one of only three brands with higher U.S. sales last year.
The American consumer's perception of Hyundai has, until now, been oriented by its lower pricing, but the automaker hopes to change that, said Chang-Hwan Han, Hyundai Motor senior vice president, Americas regional division. "By launching these new models, our brand image in the U.S. will be enhanced," he said. "The purchasing pattern will be changed."
First up are new versions of the Montgomery, Ala.-built Sonata that will debut this fall. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder Sonata is designed to compete with V6 entries in the mid-sized sedan segment. The Sonata Turbo will deliver 274 hp and 32 mpg for a sticker price below $25,000, said John Krafcik, COO of Hyundai Motor America.
A hybrid version, which will have different fascia than the standard Sonata, is expected to get 40 mpg. It will be the first mainstream vehicle on sale that uses lithium polymer batteries. Instead of a continuously variable transmission, the Sonata hybrid will use a six-speed automatic with no torque converter attached, Krafcik said.
The Equus luxury sedan will arrive in fall with an expected base sticker price between $55,000 and $60,000. The Equus will debut with a 366-hp 4.6-liter V8 but will have a running change next spring to a direct-injection 5.0-liter V8 with 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, said H.B. Lee, senior manager of Hyundai Motor R&D powertrain development. Hyundai's Genesis sedan will get the new V8 engine at the same time.
In January, Hyundai will launch a redesigned Elantra sedan, similar in appearance to the swoopy Avante that debuted in Korea this year, said Michael Deitz, product planning manager for Hyundai Motor America.
The Elantra's engine family also will be updated with a 1.6-liter Gamma-series four-cylinder. Hyundai has yet to decide whether the engine will be multiport-injected or direct-injected. The U.S. version will debut at the Los Angeles auto show in November.
A redesigned Accent subcompact will arrive next spring. The new Accent will get a redesigned Gamma-series engine with smaller displacement than the Elantra's engine, said Tim White, senior manager of powertrain development for the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center.
A small sporty coupe, tentatively called the Veloster, is based on the Elantra platform and will arrive next spring. Spy photos show a hatchback roofline. Krafcik said the car will be powered by a 1.6-liter direct-injection engine that generates 140 hp. He said it will get about 40 mpg on the highway.
Once the redesigned Elantra and Accent debut next year, every vehicle in the Hyundai lineup will have timing chains, as opposed to cheaper, but less durable, timing belts.
Hyundai's U.S. product planners also are studying the launch of a Sonata wagon. So far the wagon is only scheduled for Europe, but Krafcik says he is interested in the segment.
*****
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