Hyundai Azera Se/limited - Change Of Heart on 2040-cars
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Auto blogMon, 07 Jul 2014 13:30:00 EST
Hyundai remains in hot water in its home market after the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport alleged that the country's largest automaker, along with Ssangyong, misstated fuel economy numbers on some of its crossovers. Now, though, the country's consumers are going after Hyundai, with a lawsuit from 1,500 Santa Fe owners.
The suit was filed in Seoul Central District Court by a firm called Yeyul. Its spokesperson, Kim Woong, said the suit was a sign that angry consumers could go after the manufacturer if they're wronged by a company's product.
"It is essential that as many affected consumers as possible take part in this lawsuit to show not just the carmaker but the rest of the companies in Korea that you can get a red card if you mess with your customers," Kim told Bloomberg.
It's been well over a year since Hyundai revealed its initial prototype for the i20 WRC at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. Now it's revealed the final version (pictured above, complete with Shell Helix livery) and it's also announced the full team that will field it next year in the World Rally Championship, including Thierry Neuville and additional drivers Juho Hänninen, Dani Sordo and Chris Atkinson. That's plenty exciting for rally fans, but the news that caught our attention was buried deeper in the press release.
That is the announcement of Hyundai's new N performance sub-brand. Named after the company's R&D facility in Namyang, South Korean, the N brand "will be used to symbolize Hyundai's high performance technology," not just on the rally car but also "future mass-produced high performance cars" for the road. The WRC car wears the logo that we'd expect to represent that new cadre of performance Hyundais.
Having hinted at the emergence of a European performance sub-brand a couple of months ago, the Korean automaker hasn't revealed any further details on which those road cars might be, but promises to transfer lessons it learns from the rally stage to the marketplace. We're looking forward to finding out more, but a roadgoing i20 hot hatch would be a good first bet. Here's hoping the North American product lineup won't be left out.
The Dude abides, but his deep voice is going to be coming from your TV a little less. After seven years of his earthiness, laid back actor Jeff Bridges is no longer the voice of Hyundai in the brand's advertising. He has been replaced by comedian Paul Rudd who is already narrating the new commercial for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.
"We were looking for a voice that could be recognizable and relatable to a new generation of car buyers," said Steve Shannon, vice president of Marketing, Hyundai Motor America, in the company's announcement of the deal. "Rudd can be serious, humorous, informative and entertaining all at the same time."
According to Hyundai spokesperson Derek Joyce speaking to Autoblog, the deal with Rudd goes for the next three years. "He's our tier one voice, and that's going to affect tone" in the company's ads," Joyce said. The first spot with Rudd is titled Co-Pilot, and it stars a backseat driver losing out to the Sonata's navigation system and safety features at every turn. Rudd isn't physically in the commercial but does the ending voiceover. The company wouldn't say when the next ad with the new pitchman might debut.