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Genesis NY Concept Set to Become 3rd Sedan in New Luxury Brand’s Line-up

3-Series fighter will also spawn new SUV, sports coupe.

by on Mar.23, 2016

The Hyundai New York Concept will morph into a 3-Series fighter by early 2018 or sooner.

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When Hyundai rolled out its distinctive Vision-G Concept vehicle last summer it signaled changes afoot, something the Korean carmaker confirmed a few months later by announcing plans to spin off the all-new Genesis luxury division.

So, what to make of the equally eye-catching Genesis New York Concept making its debut, appropriately enough, in the Big Apple this week? Plenty. As has learned from the proverbial “well-placed sources,” the new show car will morph into a production vehicle set to hit market sometime late in 2017 or early 2018.

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The production version, known internally as the IK, and set to be badged the Genesis G70, will be what one source described as “our (BMW) 3-Series fighter.” More importantly, the underlying platform will serve as the basis of at least two additional Hyundai models, including a compact crossover and a new sports coupe.


GM’s Reuss Confims Cadillac’s Plans for Flagship Sedan

A book-end for a rapidly expanding product line-up.

by on Aug.20, 2014

The Cadillac Elmiraj concept is expected to have a strong influence on the new flagship, though it will go with a sedan body style.

Cadillac will finally bring to market a full-size luxury flagship sedan late next year, Mark Reuss, the global product development chief for General Motors confirmed.

The new model, as previously reported, is expected to go up against some of the toughest competitors in the luxury automotive market, including the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the best-selling premium sedan. Industry analysts expect the new model to showcase Caddy’s distinctive Art & Science design language while also offering an array of new comfort, performance and safety features.

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“What we do there has got to be a symbol of excellence,” Reuss said during a media scrum following a GM event for student interns. “This is a car that Cadillac needs that will define this brand in terms of innovation and excellence.”


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. 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.


First Look: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Firing on all – 12 – cylinders.

by on Nov.08, 2013

Mercedes brings back its V-12 with the launch of the new 2015 S65 AMG model.

For those who think the recently redesigned Mercedes-Benz S-Class isn’t quite exclusive – or powerful – enough, the maker has an alternative making its debut at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show in the form of the 2015 Mercedes S65 AMG.

The new model – not to be confused with the more plebian S63 – brings back the Teutonic twelve-cylinder powertrain, here making an impressive 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, more than enough to leave the kid in the Mustang GT gob-smacked when the light turns green.

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Of course, performance isn’t all that matters when you’re talking about something that in the European market is expected to go for an equally jaw-dropping € 232,050. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG will be outfitted with such niceties as diamond-quilted nappa leather and only the most exclusive woods. There’ll also be an IWC Schaffhausen clock mounted in the dashboard.


Hyundai Aims to Push More Up-Market with Genesis 2.0

New premium sedan set to reach U.S. showrooms in early 2014.

by on Oct.24, 2013

Hyundai aims to more directly take on its European rivals with the newly redesigned 2015 Genesis sedan.

Few cars have done more to transform an automaker’s image than the original Hyundai Genesis sedan which landed a slew of awards – including the coveted North American Car of the Year trophy – when it first came to market in 2008.

Now, the Korean carmaker is set to roll out Genesis 2.0, if you will, the second-generation sedan aiming to take Hyundai even more up-market with a more distinctive design, more refined features and – perhaps most critically – the promised of improved ride and handling which, the company says, was aimed to take on the benchmark BMW 5-Series.

“The evolved all-new Genesis is the product of Hyundai’s best resources and capabilities and we strongly believe it will be a game-changer in the market,” said Moon Sik Kwon, head of Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Center, located just outside the Korean capital of Seoul.

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The second-generation Hyundai Genesis, which is being shown to a small group of Korean and foreign journalists for the first time this week, is the product of a 500 billion won, or roughly $500 million, program that Kwon stressed during a dinner interview us “critical” for the Korean maker.  Hyundai has significant aspirations of moving its image more upscale, a process that it began with the 2008 launch of the original Genesis and continued with the more recent introduction of the bigger Equus model.


2014 Cadillac CTS Will Be Bigger; So Will Price Tag

New sedan takes more direct aim at Euro imports.

by on Jun.14, 2013

The 2014 Cadillac CTS makes its debut at the recent New York International Auto Show.

In its first two incarnations, the Cadillac CTS was a so-called “tweener car,” sized somewhere between the BMW 3-Series and the bigger 5-Series.  And that was reflected in a price tag smaller than comparable European models.

Not anymore.  When the 2014 Cadillac CTS rolls into showrooms later this year it will be more directly targeted against its bigger German rival – and it will carry a larger MSRP, as well, the maker has announced, more in line with the BMW 5-Series.

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That means a starting price of $46,025 for the third-generation CTS, up from around $40,000 today – and much closer to the $48,725 base BMW 528i. The totally redesigned Caddy won’t quite reach as high as its German rival, however.  The new, high-performance CTS Vsport will go for $59,995 compared to $65,925 for the BMW 550i xDrive – the BMW term for all-wheel-drive. And the German maker’s own super-performance model, the M5 will set you back $92,425.


First Drive: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan

E-Class loyalists rejoice.

by on Jun.13, 2013

The ninth-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Clas debuts with the introduction of the E350 sedan and wagon.

When it comes to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, familiarity breeds anything but contempt.  By far the most popular midsize luxury sedan in the market – indeed, in just about any market in the world – the midsize Mercedes has good reason to claim an intensely loyal following.

Traditionally, while it may not have been the sportiest sedan in its segment, or the most stylish, it offers a mix of performance, features and grounded, Teutonic design that turned heads and led buyers to open their wallets, generation after generation.

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And now, the German maker is hoping to maintain its standing with an all-new ninth-generation E-Class that takes a step beyond the simple update many had expected.  To get a better feel for just how much things have changed, we spent a day driving the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan which, along with the E-wagon, is the first of a wide range of variants we’ll be seeing over the coming months.


Mercedes-Benz Betting Big on New E-Class

A new face, lots of new features.

by on Jun.13, 2013

Mercedes will offer a wide range of body styles and powertrains as the 2014 E-Class line-up rolls out.

There was a tie when luxury buyers had just a handful of models and brands to choose from. These days, “product proliferation” is the game, manufacturers flooding the market with a wide range of offerings filling just about every possible premium niche.

Yet, a handful of models maintain an outsize presence, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class being one of the best examples.  It remains one of the most popular luxury models in the U.S. and routinely accounts for 20% of the German maker’s sales here.  That’s all the more significant as the current E-Class wraps up its final months on the market by helping Mercedes nudge past rivals BMW and Lexus to take the sales lead in the critical U.S. market.

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“It’s really the bread-and-butter model for Mercedes-Benz,” says Bart Herring, chief of product management for Mercedes-Benz USA.

And the maker hopes to keep it that way. But with competition getting ever tougher, Mercedes has to work hard to stay on top – which means rolling out an all-new version of the E-class for 2014.


MKZ Back on Track – But Lincoln Still Has Problems

New sedan gains momentum – even as the rest of the line-up slips.

by on May.31, 2013

Jim Farley, Lincoln's brand boss and the global marketing chief for parent Ford Motor Co.

It’s the classic good news/bad news situation for Lincoln this month.

On the positive side, after a painfully slow start due to production snags, the luxury marque’s new MKZ is finally gaining momentum and should set a record for the nameplate when May’s final numbers are tallied. The bad news?  As Lincoln gains ground, the rest of the luxury brand’s line-up has been slipping.

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“We’ll have the best month ever with the MKZ,” predicted Jim Farley, head of the Lincoln brand and the global marketing chief for its parent Ford Motor Co.


Cadillac Changing Game with Third-Generation CTS

No more “tweener” car.

by on Mar.26, 2013

The Vsport version of the 2014 Cadillac CTS -- shown during its NY debut -- will feature the new 420-horsepower Twin Turbo V6.

It’s been a good year, so far, for Cadillac.  The new ATS compact took honors as the North American Car of the Year and, along with the equally new XTS, Caddy sales have shown the sort of momentum General Motors’ flagship brand it hasn’t seen in years.

Yet, the real story begins this week at the Big Apple’s Jacob Javits Center, where New York Auto Show Show-goers are getting their first look at the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS.  After years of trying to position the sedan in its own distinct niche, the new model is about to go head-to-head with some of the toughest competitors in the luxury market.

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“Cadillac has been on a journey the last 10 years,” since the original CTS debuted, introducing the marque’s distinctive Art & Science design language, says Cadillac Design Director Mark Adams, “And there’s no question the CTS has been the backbone of that journey.”