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Hyundai Elantra Goes Eco

Turbo model delivers up to 40 mpg on highway.

by on May.12, 2016

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco.

Traditionally one of the least environmentally focused brands, Hyundai has been making a major shift towards more eco-friendly products over the last few years, and the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco is the latest example.

The all-new trim level takes the fuel economy of the Korean carmaker’s compact model up a big notch, boosting fuel economy to as much as 40 miles per gallon on the highway, with an EPA-certified city rating of 32 mpg and a combined 35 mpg.

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Like other recent products, Hyundai has been putting more emphasis on things like performance, ride quality and refinement, but with the Elantra Eco, said product planning director Mike Evanoff, Hyundai “committed (itself) to delivering a compelling value proposition.”

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More New Debuts Announced for LA Auto Show

50 unveilings planned from Porsche, Nissan, Range Rover, Ford, others.

by on Oct.21, 2015

Expect the production version of the Infiniti QX30 to make its formal debut in L.A. next month.

The 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show is shaping up to be a big event, with at least 50 new products set to make their U.S. or global debuts during the two-day media preview.

The LA show also expects to put a premium on technology, with a third day devoted specifically to new connected car technology. And the annual “Green Car of the Year” will be unveiled, as well, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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Porsche, Buick, Ford, Range Rover, Nissan, Infiniti and Jaguar are among the manufacturers who’ve already scheduled more than 30 separate product unveilings during the annual media preview. Volvo, Hyundai and a variety of industry suppliers will also hold news conferences to discuss technology breakthroughs.

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New Hyundai Elantra Makes Early Debut in Korea

U.S. version to premier at LA Auto Show.

by on Sep.21, 2015

The Korean Hyundai Avante will morph into the U.S. Hyundai Elantra in time for the LA Auto Show.

We’re not supposed to see the all-new Hyundai Elantra until it makes its splashy debut at the L.A. Auto Show in November. But if you ignore the “Avante” badge on the new mode that has just been unveiled in the Korean carmaker’s home market, well, you’ve got a good guess of what the new Elantra will look like.

For those who were disappointed when the latest-generation Hyundai Sonata adopted a more conservative design, don’t worry. The new Elantra maintains the edgy styling that made it such a standout in the traditionally stodgy compact sedan segment when the current model debuted a few years back.

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The new Hyundai Elantra will also grow a wee bit larger, add a variety of new high-tech features – such as emergency auto braking — and likely deliver a little bit better performance and fuel economy.

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Debuts to Watch at Frankfurt Motor Show

From ragtop microcars to the world’s most expensive SUV.

by on Sep.14, 2015

The exterior of the 2016 Audi A4 doesn't change much - but there's more here than meets the eye.

With automotive sales and profits soaring, the industry mood is jubilant heading into the biennial Frankfurt Motor Show – and that should translate into good news for car buyers not only in Europe but also the rest of the world.

The first big show of the 2016 model-year is expected to see dozens of new models make their world debut during the two-day media preview. Not surprisingly, some of the biggest news will come from German makers like Audi, which has erected a three-story building of its own at the sprawling Frankfurt Messe, and BMW, which has set up a quarter-mile test track inside its own hall.

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Among the German makers, “The coffers are full and confidence levels are high — as, it seems, is the desire to one-up neighbors and closest competitors on home turf,” said Tim Urquhart, an analyst with IHS Automotive. (more…)

Picking the Hottest Debuts at 2015 LA Auto Show

Tinseltown event to bring 50 unveilings, 30 world debuts.

by on Sep.04, 2015

A first glimpse of the direction Hyundai will take with the next-generation Elantra.

The annual auto show season is just getting underway, with manufacturers set to kick things off in Frankfurt, Germany barely two weeks from now. Then the automotive circus will move on to Los Angeles, the first of the big U.S. extravaganzas.

And it looks like the 2015 L.A. Auto Show could be a big one, at least based on preliminary numbers suggesting there will be 50 vehicle unveilings, including 30 world debuts.

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With the Frankfurt Motor Show still yet to begin, most automakers are being tight-lipped about Tinseltown plans, but Infiniti has already confirmed it will reveal the new QX30 – barely two months after showing its near-twin, the Q30, in Germany. Hyundai, meanwhile, will be on hand to unveil the next-generation Elantra line.

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Hyundai Offers Glimpse of New Elantra

“A move to modern styling” with the next-gen compact.

by on Aug.20, 2015

A first glimpse of the direction Hyundai will take with the next-generation Elantra.

The edgy styling of the outgoing model helped redefine the compact sedan segment, and now Hyundai is hoping to score again with the upcoming update of its compact Elantra.

A rendering of the new sedan, released by Hyundai corporate headquarters in Seoul, shows that the maker isn’t going for a complete makeover but, rather, a further refinement of the current Elantra’s coupe-like shape. That includes more distinctive “active character lines” and new wheel arches.

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“The All-new Elantra captures the car’s unique design characteristics that really place this model in a class of its own,” declared Peter Schreyer, Hyundai Motor Co.’s president and Chief Design Officer, in a statement. (more…)

Hyundai Introduces Freshened Elantra for 2014

New model gets more powerful engine, improved handling.

by on Nov.21, 2013

Hyundai freshened the Elantra for 2014 giving it a sportier look and improving its performance.

Boasting multiple design changes and a more powerful engine, Hyundai unveiled the refreshed 2014 Elantra at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The updated Elantra features 75 additional or redesigned pieces, according to Mike O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America vice president of product development.

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“It’s more than just a facelift,” said O’Brien, who noted that while the Elantra has held its own in the compact segment, including cars such as the Mazda3, Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai was committed to make significant improvements in the 2014 model. (more…)

Toyota Not Waiting for LA to Reveal Corolla Replacement

All-new model likely to pick up cues from Furia Concept.

by on Apr.02, 2013

The Toyota Furia Concept unveiled in Detroit in January.

It may be one of the less popular models with automotive journalists, but the Toyota Corolla continues to ring up strong sales. That said, the Japanese maker also knows it can’t wait much longer to bring in a replacement for the aging compact model as competitors from Japan, Korea and the U.S. continue to chip away at Corolla’s once-solid grip on the segment.

The automaker gave a hint of what’s to come in January when it rolled out the Toyota Corolla Furia Concept, a sharp-edged show car that was intended to pick up on the Japanese giant’s increasing focus on “passionate” design. But for those who expected to see the production Corolla roll into the Jacob Javits convention center for the New York Auto Show, the production Corolla proved a no-show.

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At a separate industry conference in New York, Toyota Senior Vice President Bob Carter did confirm the new Corolla is on the way, however, confirming the unveiling will occur “somewhere in the U.S.,” while also hinting that the well-anticipated event will occur before the next big American auto show in Los Angeles in November.

A spokesman later explained that it is not always possible to time key product launches to meet the schedule of the auto show circuit. Toyota isn’t alone in that thinking. During his keynote speech at the New York International Auto Show last week, Ford’s global marketing czar Jim Farley noted the maker has recently skipped the auto show route with launches including the latest Explorer, which he called “a really big learning experience,” and something that it will repeat with some other models in the future.

In fact, a growing number of manufacturers are finding there are opportunities to create stand-alone events where they don’t have to compete for attention with other brands – as can occur at a show like New York, where two dozen models debuted, or Detroit, where the count is usually more than 50. Occasionally, makers will tap into smaller car shows that might otherwise make no news except on the local level, such as the one in Miami. Ford has turned to the annual Texas State Fair for some big truck announcements in the past.

So, where might the 2014 Toyota Corolla launch? Beyond making it clear a U.S. introduction is at hand, with Toyota almost certain to want it in place by early in the coming model-year, that’s the big question.

Or, at least, one of them. Another issue is just how much of the distinctive Toyota Corolla Furia Concept details will remain once the production car emerges. In years past, the Asian maker has had a tendency to sand off the sharp edges of its concepts and return to familiar vanilla styling. But CEO Akio Toyoda has promised to put more “passion” into Toyota products, the new Avalon sedan being perhaps the best example.

Going that route could be particularly important considering the emphasis competitors such as the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra have taken. And Toyota planners can’t have missed the drubbing Honda took with the launch of the Civic two years ago – the poorly received design forcing Honda to pull together an “emergency refresh” that just recently came to market.

Spanish for “fury,” the Furia show car was more angular than the current, rounded out Corolla, with distinctive design elements such as the honeycomb headlight assembly, carbon fiber trunk lid spoiler, pronounced fender flares and ultra-bright LED taillamps.

At 106.3 inches, it had a wheelbase nearly four inches longer than the outgoing Corolla, with the total length stretched about two inches, to 181.9 inches. It measured nearly two inches wider, at 71.0 inches, but was also lower, at 56.1 inches compared to the 2013 compact’s 57.7 inches.

Toyota will clearly have solid momentum when the replacement Corolla comes to market but the wave of new competitors will also take every shot they can at the next-generation offering. So, it’s no surprise the world’s best-selling automaker doesn’t want to wait to get its new model into the ring.

Production Shortage Dragging Down Hyundai’s Market Share

But incentives fall while transaction prices soar.

by on Mar.15, 2013

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is the latest addition to the maker's line-up.

Hyundai has set sales records in each of the last two months yet could still wind up losing market share this year because of a chronic shortage of vehicles.

The problem is one of global scale and reflects the maker’s cautious approach to boosting production capacity, Hyundai Motor America Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik told TheDetroitBureau.com. But the Korean carmaker is beginning to look for ways to address the situation.

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There is a positive side to the shortage. It has reinforced Hyundai’s effort to transform itself from a “value-based brand to a valuable brand,” according to Krafcik, and in the process, the maker has been able to cut incentives while average transaction prices have jumped to record highs on most of its products.

“We’ve never sold as many cars in January and February as we did in the first two months of this year,” Krafcik noted.

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First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

A European spin on a popular Korean compact.

by on Aug.08, 2012

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT.

After scoring a hit with its latest compact sedan, the Elantra, Hyundai is aiming to broaden the nameplate’s appeal with two spin-offs, the Elantra Turbo and the even sportier Elantra GT.

The maker has good reason to want to expand the line-up, considering Elantra’s success in the U.S. market.  The base car won the coveted North American Car of the Year award, last January, and Hyundai has ever since been struggling to meet demand. If anything, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT could put the model in even shorter supply.

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The GT is more than just a tarted-up version of the current Hyundai Elantra sedan. It features a distinctive hatchback body originally developed for Europe, where it is sold as the i30.  The version we’ll get here is largely the same motorists can buy in London or Berlin – though Hyundai has softened the suspension a bit for American tastes.

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