Looking to sustain its sales momentum, Hyundai will bring out a
of new and redesigned products in the United States during the next 12
Executives at a press event in Seoul, South Korea, described a wave of
new models, including redesigns of the Elantra and Accent, a small
sporty coupe, the Equus luxury sedan and hybrid and
turbocharged versions of the
Sonata sedan. Hyundai is also studying a
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
Hyundai's sales are up 23 percent through May in an overall market
rose 17 percent. It was one of only three brands with higher
U.S. sales last
The American consumer's perception of Hyundai has, until now, been
oriented by its lower pricing, but the automaker hopes to change
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
below $25,000, said John Krafcik, COO of Hyundai Motor America.
hybrid version, which will have different fascia than the standard
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
sticker price between $55,000 and $60,000. The Equus will debut
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,
Lee, senior manager of Hyundai Motor R&D powertrain
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
engine will be multiport-injected or direct-injected. The U.S.
version will debut at the Los Angeles auto show in November.
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
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
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
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
Krafcik says he is interested in the segment.