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Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept Asks: When is a Truck Not a Truck

by on Jan.13, 2015

Hyundai hopes show-goers will give thumbs up to the potential segment-busting Santa Cruz concept. Photo credit: Len Katz

In today’s crowded market, automakers are constantly looking for new opportunities, so called “white spaces” where they can target a new niche of buyers.

After years of toying with the idea of entering the pickup truck market, Hyundai may have come up with an alternative in the form of the Santa Cruz Concept making its debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show.

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Santa Cruz , starts with a 5-seat crossover-like cabin mated to a shortened, pickup-style bed. But don’t call it a pickup, insists Hyundai Director of Corporate Planning Mark Dytko. “No everyone who needs an open bed wants a pickup,” he says.

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Hyundai Finds Religion with 2nd-Generation Genesis

Let there be light: Korean carmaker out to win over disbelievers.

by on Jan.13, 2014

Hyundai aims to take its big Genesis up a notch when the second-generation sedan reaches market. Photo credit: Len Katz.

Let there be light, said the Korean carmaker and, lo, there was, proving to the many disbelievers that Hyundai actually could build something more impressive than a low-priced econobox.  The maker’s first effort to move up-market with the mid-luxury Genesis proved one of the big surprises of the last decade, winning an array of awards that included North American Car of the Year.

But was it more than just a one-time fluke? That’s the question skeptics continue to ask – and which the question Hyundai hopes to put to rest as it rolls out a second version of the big Genesis sedan for 2015.  TheDetroitBureau.com got an early look at the new model last autumn but, like everyone else gathering at this week’s North American International Auto Show, we’re taking a closer look to see just how far the Koreans have gone the second time around.

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It doesn’t take more than a quick glance to recognize the answer is: quite a bit, certainly from a styling standpoint.  The original, 2008 Hyundai Genesis was a handsome enough car in a me-too sort of way.  This time ‘round, the Seoul-based maker is more confidently pushing the boundaries of its new Fluidic Sculpture design language – now dubbed version 2.0 — and to good effect. The 2015 Genesis doesn’t look a rip-off of anyone else’s styling.

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Hyundai HCD-14 Reveals New Design Direction

From concept to production with next-gen Genesis.

by on Jan.14, 2013

The new Hyundai HCD-14 Concept will have a strong influence on the design of the next-gen Genesis sedan.

Few automotive brands have delivered more surprises than Hyundai.

At the Detroit Auto Show on Monday, the automaker once again threw out a concept that shakes up the establishment with the intention of taking its premium offerings to another level.

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik said that while its HCD-14 Genesis Concept is not the next version of the Genesis sedan, it is a “spiritual guide” for its future premium cars.

Hyundai used a cool movie-style clip highlighting some of the concept’s high-tech features including eye-tracking technology and hand-gesture controls for making phone calls, changing the temperature and choosing music.

“We think it’s once again time to defy convention and delight our premium customers,” Krafcik said.

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No one expected the Korean carmaker to so effectively move up-market with models like the original Genesis sedan and more recent Equus. And now, if the new Hyundai HCD-14 Concept debuting at the 2013 North American International Auto Show is any indication, the maker is going to offer an even more serious challenge to upscale competitors like Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

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Hyundai HCD-14 Concept Offers Hints of Next Genesis Sedan

First signature car from Korean maker’s new US design chief.

by on Jan.07, 2013

Is this the next Hyundai Genesis?

If you’re wondering where Hyundai might take things when it updates its popular Genesis sedan in a few years you might want to take a close look when the HCD-14 concept vehicle makes its debut at the Detroit Auto Show next week.

The Korean carmaker has offered up this first teaser image of the sedan and while Hyundai isn’t saying much more, the image does reveal quite a bit about what has emerged from the maker’s Southern California design studio, known as HATCHI.

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Significantly, the HCD-14 – the name signaling it’s the 14th concept model to come from the California design center – is being described by Hyundai sources as the “first signature car” developed under the guidance of new California design director Chris Chapman. He’s the well-regarded stylist whom Hyundai lured away from BMW last year.

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First Look: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Now, it's the little engine that could.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Hyundai puts the Veloster Turbo on steroids, bumping horsepower up by nearly 50%.

The Hyundai Veloster is certainly a head-turner, but the unusual 3-door coupe that came to market last year was more poseur than powerhouse, with a little engine that couldn’t.  No more.  In a surprisingly rapid response to customer demand, the maker is rolling out a new turbo model for 2013.

Hyundai officials admit they were taken a bit by surprise.  They didn’t think the market would want a truly sporty version of the little Veloster, which features twin doors on the passenger side and a single door on the driver’s side – plus a hatchback.  But the desire for more power became quickly apparent as media and buyers alike raved about the Veloster’s basics but lamented its lack of performance.

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“The Turbo further broadens Veloster’s hero role in the Hyundai line-up to attract our next generation of buyers,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president, product and corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America.

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First Look: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

More aggressive design, improved performance.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Hyundai's Genesis Coupe gets a more aggressive look for 2013 - along with the added power to back that up.

The original Hyundai Genesis sedan scored a grand slam for the Korean carmaker, winning the coveted North American Car of the Year trophy and plenty of demand for a first entry into the luxury market.  But while the little coupe that shared the Genesis name was certainly fun to drive it didn’t quite find its own identity.

Hyundai hopes to resolve that problem with the 2013 update of the Genesis Coupe, giving the 2-door a more luxurious, refined and decidedly aggressive appearance and backing that up with some serious performance credentials.

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The overall look and key dimensions of the rear-drive Genesis Coupe remain the same, with the 2-door featuring the long wheelbase and short overhangs of a classic sports coupe.  Nonetheless, changes are visible right up front, where the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe sports a more aggressive front fascia, trapezoid grille, lamps and hood heat extractor cues – which, unfortunately are just that; they are not actually functional.

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