Brooklyn, New York, United States
Despite launching in late 2011, Hyundai has managed to keep its funky Veloster hatchback relatively fresh in our minds, with the Turbo and R-Spec, several special edition models and even a cloth-roofed concept. Here at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, we're seeing the next iteration of Veloster creativity, the limited-edition Re:Flex.
The Veloster Re:Flex isn't a hugely different car from the standard hatchback, and the theme of this car is chrome, chrome, chrome. Hyundai has added 18-inch chrome-finished wheels, chrome door handles and chrome hood accents (yep). There's also the usual Re:Flex badging on the actual hatch itself. Inside, the Re:Flex gets full leather seating, in either black or red, and the car can be purchased in a new Ice Pearl color, in addition to Century White, Vitamin C (orange), Ultra Black and Boston Red.
Hyundai is only offering the Re:Flex edition on the base Veloster, powered by a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine. All Re:Flex models are fitted with the company's six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (sorry, manual fans).
Hyundai has held an IDEA festival for the past three years that gives its engineers a break from seat belts, and electrical harnesses and wheel arch moldings. Each festival serves up a theme for personal mobility, after that there's no limit - competing teams can come up with anything that serves the theme and are encouraged to get creative.
That's how you get concepts like the E4U 'egg car' (pictured); a single-stander mode of transportation that channels Mork from Ork. The oddest thing about the egg is not the yellow shell but the helmet the 'driver' wears. Other ideas included a flying car with 16 (!) rotors, a bicycle that could serve as a spare tire and a car with five joints. Although most appeared totally impractical, all were totally cool.
This year's festival is in the works, the theme being the rather ambiguous "R&D for customers," the point is apparently to come up with concepts that Hyundai customers might actually use. There's a video with scenes of last year's festival and a press release below (our vote goes to the Pandora).
To all you Hyundai dealers and customers eager to plunk your posteriors into the broad, leather-lined seats of the redesigned 2014 Equus, we have some bad news: Your ship hasn't come in - literally. According to USA Today, a Korean freighter with the first 61 examples of the luxury sedan packed away in its belly has lost engine power in the western Pacific Ocean, and is adrift.
The ship, Morning Spruce, has apparently been without power for several days and is floating in the Sea of Okhotsk. It isn't clear when it will be repaired or reach US shores to divulge its contents. As a result of the wandering Spruce, Hyundai has reportedly had to reschedule some of its planned marketing efforts for the new model.
The 2014 Equus receives a suite of changes inside and out, including freshened styling, revamped center stack controls, a new instrument cluster and additional tech. Underneath, the rear-drive sedan gets a reworked suspension and a new sport mode to ease some of its nautical-by-nature handling. The 5.0-liter Tau V8 and eight-speed transmission - updates for 2012 - stay the course for 2014.