Hyundai Azera Se/limited - Change Of Heart on 2040-cars
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Auto blogFri, 28 Dec 2012 09:33:00 EST
Automotive News reports Peter Schreyer has been appointed the first non-Korean president of Hyundai-Kia Motor Group. Schreyer is expected to retain his role as the chief designer for Kia, while also taking on new, high-level executive duties. He is now one of three presidents at the automaker.
The designer made a name for himself at Volkswagen, where he penned the 1998 New Beetle and lent his eye to the Audi TT. In 2006, Schreyer moved to Kia, where he quickly revised the brand's styling from bland, forgettable lines to bold, "tiger nose" creations. Analysts attribute much of the brand's recent sales success to Schreyer's influence.
Kia is expected to move 2.75 million units worldwide next year, while sister company Hyundai will likely beat its 2012 sales forecast of 4.29 million units, according to CFO Lee Won Hee.
The wholly renewed 2015 Hyundai Sonata is on the verge of launching here in the United States, but it appears there's a bit more to the story first told at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. Hyundai has just revealed the first images and details of the Sonata Eco, a new entry in its midsize sedan lineup that combines a small, turbocharged engine and dual-clutch transmission to achieve an estimated 28 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg highway.
That new powertrain is Hyundai's 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four, rated at 177 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. That power is sent through a new, seven-speed dual-clutch 'box - the first gearbox of its type in the segment. Hyundai points out that the Sonata Eco's 32 mpg combined rating offers a 10 percent improvement over the 2015 Sonata SE with its 2.4-liter naturally aspirated inline-four.
38 mpg highway is pretty impressive, especially considering rivals like Toyota's electrified Camry Hybrid musters up only one better, with 39 mpg on the highway (though its 43 mpg city fuel economy is, obviously, much better). And while Hyundai still has not detailed news about a next-generation Sonata Hybrid, we've heard the company is still committed to offering one.
It's only been on the market since 2010, but such is the hectic pace of the family sedan world that the Hyundai Sonata finds itself as the elder statesmen of the midsize segment. The current, sixth-generation sedan put the Korean automaker in the hunt with its audacious Fluidic Sculpture styling and bold powertrain choices (it was the first to eschew a six-cylinder option), but time has brought with it tough new competitors from the likes of Ford, Honda, Mazda and others, so it's time for a new model.
Previewed here in this official teaser rendering is an all-new, seventh-generation model, and at first blush, it looks markedly more conservative and refined than its predecessor, with more restrained surfacing and a more traditional six-sided grille. Scheduled for a world premiere in Korea later this month, the Sonata is expected to make its first show circuit appearance at the New York Auto Show in April.
Built atop a platform with significantly more advanced high-strength steel (51 percent vs. 21 percent) and increased use of structural adhesives, the Sonata's bones promise to be both more rigid (by 40 percent) and lighter. Cloaked in Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 bodywork, so far Hyundai isn't saying much about powertrain updates, but it is trumpeting a redesigned interior with a new infotainment interface and redesigned seats.