Hyundai is no stranger to the hybrid game, selling a gas-electric version of the Sonata in the US since 2011. The 2015-model-year version gets 38 miles per gallon combined, which is certainly admirable but not quite in the same league as the hybrid champion Toyota Prius (50 mpg combined). New spy shots reveal that Hyundai might be finally ready to targeting the non-plug-in fuel economy leader. Why else would some mysterious Hyundai prototypes be cruising through the desert hills with a few Priuses in tow? Our photographers believe these mules hint at an all-new hybrid model, which makes us think of the Blue Will concept from the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. At the time, Hyundai said the concept could be a preview of a future dedicated hybrid that would compete with the Prius. We don't know what it all means for sure, but our spy photographers found four heavily modified Elantra GT prototypes driving around with a standard Prius and a Prius V. As if that wasn't enough of a clue, the four changed Elantras represent different approaches Hyundai might be using to go after Toyota, since there were two versions driving by our photographer's lenses, with different rear extensions indicating that both the standard Prius and the larger V might be in Hyundai's sights.
Automotive News reports Hyundai is set to give its sales strategy for premium vehicles a once-over. Moving forward, each of the automaker's five North American regions will have a premium product operations manager. Those managers will all report directly to a senior group manager based at the Hyundai headquarters in California. To begin with, the group will start by identifying what dealers are currently doing right to sell the automaker's luxury hardware. From there, the group will then help spread those practices to the 320 dealerships currently authorized to sell the Equus. All told, Hyundai has some 800 dealers in the US. The move comes ahead of the launch of the second-generation Genesis and Equus. Both sedans are slated to hit showrooms by early next year. The Genesis debuted in 2008 with the Genesis Coupe following along in 2009, while the Equus first landed on US shores in 2011.
Never heard of the Hyundai Grandeur? That's alright, because that's just the name the model uses domestically. Over here it's known as the Azera, but it's back in Korea where Hyundai has revealed a revised version of what is currently the company's largest front-drive sedan. Compared with the previous Grandeur and even the recently redone Azera we know, the new model is marginally longer and benefits from a redesigned bumpers front and rear, a new grille, new LED fog lamps and upgraded equipment. Inside there's a reshaped center stack with upgraded HVAC controls and an eight-inch nav screen, and keeping it all on the straight and narrow are all the latest electronic aids you'd expect of a high-end model from a global automaker. Whereas the Azera is offered here with a 3.3-liter V6 packing 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, back home Grandeur buyers get a choice of the 2.4-liter Theta II four-cylinder with 187 hp and 178 lb-ft or a 2.2-liter diesel with 199 hp and 325 lb-ft.