Category Archives: Hyundai

Hyundai To Offer N Sport Models In Near Future

When the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N made its first appearance alongside its revamped mainstream cousins at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, it sent shock waves through Cobo Center, and the entire world thanks to its 275 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder engine, as well as its suite of performance upgrades. However, it appears that the hot hatch was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg with a massive brand extension in the wings.
In a recent interview with Car & Driver magazine, Albert Biermann chief of the N brand revealed that the N moniker could trickle its way throughout Hyundai’s vehicle lineup in a manner similar to Mercedes and its AMG sub brand. Dubbed “N Sport” these models would not be all out offerings like the Veloster N, but each one would feature distinctive sporty styling and features to help them stand out on dealer lots.
“Each model will be tuned for a more sporty driving experience” stated Biermann. “They will also feature a few visual updates inside and out. What they won’t get, though, will be things like a different engine, bigger brakes, or a whole new suspension and axles.”
It’s unknown how many models will get the N Sport package, but while crossovers like the Kona and the Santa Fe will likely receive half baked “performance styling” packages. Our attention is focused on the Elantra and Elantra GT models, which could see a much more extensive upgrade. Designed to challenge rivals such as the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf, the duo could receive slightly stiffened suspensions, unique interior accents, as well as tweaked versions of their turbocharged 1.6 liter four cylinder engines to draw in younger buyers. We also hold out hope that the Elantra GT will eventually get its time to shine, and have an N package of its own, especially since its European twin (the i30) has such an option and it would be cool alongside the Veloster N.

Look for more information on the N Sport range to be revealed once the Veloster N has had some time to formally enter the marketplace. Speaking of that model, pricing still has not been revealed as of this writing, but Hyundai promises that it will be a “compelling affordability option.”

NAIAS 2018: 2019 Hyundai Veloster Gains New Moves, N Veloster Marks U.S. Debut of N Performance Brand

Prior to the unveiling of the 2019 Veloster at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, the Hyundai Veloster seemed to be a shoo in candidate for vehicles that were about to be axed. Its odd proportions made it not that great of a hatchback, and its driving manners (even in Turbo guise) were nothing to write home about. In an age where the crossover is slowly surpassing the car as king of the jungle, killing it seemed like a good choice. But alas, it has been redesigned, and the 2019 Veloster’s fine details make us glad that it has been given a second crack at redefining itself.

The similarities between it and its predecessor are obvious to see, with the base and turbo Velosters carrying over their 2.0 liter and 1.6 liter engines into the new model year. The 1.6 liter turbo retains its 201 horsepower figure, but the base naturally aspirated 2.0 liter gets some air blown into its lungs, and it now makes a healthy 147 horsepower (a gain of over 15 horsepower.) Six speed manual transmissions are standard across the board, but the base Veloster can be equipped with an optional 6-speed automatic, wheras the Veloster Turbo works with a 7-speed dual clutch unit.

The exterior styling retains its odd asymmetrical layout, with two doors on one side, and a lone door on the opposite side, but it is more refined, and the front fascia in particular gives it more of a resemblance to the recently launched Elantra GT. The rear fascia is still a hit or miss affair, but we will give Hyundai props for putting a solid effort in making the funky rear end more chiseled and angular than its decidedly more rounded ancestor.

The biggest news however, is that the Veloster also has been given a special task for 2019, launching the N performance brand in the U.S. market. While it is NOT the good looking i30 based N hatchback that Europe gets, Hyundai engineers made sure that no detail was spared in creating our country’s potent hot hatch offering. The front and rear fascias are exclusive to the N model, and all new brake ducts help keep the brakes cool under hard track work. Aggressive rocker panels, red accent lines, and an equally slick shade of light blue help the N stand out from its lesser siblings, and also gives notice to potential opponents wondering whats in store for them should they choose to take it on head to head.

N Velosters also benefit from sticky Michelin Pilot SuperSport tires with even stickier Pirelli P-Zero summer tires and optional 19-inch wheels enhancing the ready to race aura even further. Braking comes from standard 13 inch front brake rotors and 11.8 units in the rear. Naturally, N will also have bigger 13.6 and 12.4 inch rotors (front and rear respectively) available as options. A high flow active exhaust provides an exclamation point to the rear of the car, which has been equipped with a rear diffuser, a roof mounted spoiler, and plenty of chiseled creases. The front of the car incorporates an integrated splitter, and it looks good in person.

The interior of the N Veloster even gets its fair share of upgrades, including an N designed steering wheel, N emblazoned shift lever, and unique sport seats with good amounts of bolstering to keep occupants firmly in place during sharp cornering. it also retains some of the Velosters funky charm, and we look forward to spending more time with the N Veloster in the near future to see if it can hold its ground against the Volkswagen GTI and the Focus ST.

Look for the 2019 Hyundai Veloster and Veloster N to go on sale later this year, but for buyers that can’t wait that long, and happen to own a copy of Forza Motorsport 7. Hyundai is working with game developer Turn 10 on a free DLC pack for the game that features both the N and its slightly milder sibling the Veloster Turbo.

Kia Teases 2019 Sorento Ahead Of L.A. Debut

The Kia Sorento has always been a favorite here at Autoinfoquest due to its blend of styling, capability, and affordability. With the 2017 L.A. Auto Show fast approaching, Kia has prepared a suite of updates to help keep the 2019 Sorento fresh in the minds of buyers.

The front fascia is lightly freshened with a new front bumper and tweaked headlights, but it still retains the basic styling formula that we have come to expect from Kia. The rear fascia is equally restrained, and comes equipped with lightly tweaked LED tail lights as well as new C-shaped pieces of chrome trim. While neither of these changes are evolutionary, they do help keep the Sorento fresh for a few more years, before it eventually migrates to the next model cycle.

The interior was not revealed with today’s image dump, but expect the usual suite of updates, including higher grade materials, updated infotainment offerings, and new optional extras. The model pictured here is the range topping SX Limited which currently starts at $44,600, but look for this magic to trickle down to the lower spec models as well. The engine lineup is not expected to change much, but the Sorento could finally gain an all new eight speed automatic  transmission that would help enhance fuel economy while also allowing it to catch up to some of its rivals.

The eight speed could also explain Kia’s decision to bring the Sorento to “Hell’s Revenge in the Moab desert, where the big Kia was said to have successfully completed the six and a half mile rock crawling course including the notoriously difficult Hell’s Gate obstacle. Kia admitted that the bulk of Sorento buyers will not push their vehicles this hard, but wanted to show that the 2019 Sorento can go beyond a typical grocery hauling vehicle if the need arises. We’re impressed, and we look forward to hearing more, especially when it makes its official debut at the L.A. Auto Show.

2018 GT Stinger

Kia Rules Out Range Topping Stinger GTR, Says Its Too Early To Go All In

While the Kia Stinger has yet to fully complete its distribution to all of the world’s markets, Kia is already shedding some light on potential variants of the already desirable liftback, including perhaps a range topping performance model that would slot above the current GT model, and possibly adopt the GTR moniker.

These revelations come from Albert Biermann the chief exec behind the company’s performance models during a recent interview with the folks at Motoring magazine. Biermann revealed that while “The car technically has more potential no doubt” the reason why Kia has not introduced any variants of the Stinger yet is actually very simple and straightforward.

According to Biermann before the company can introduce a “GTR or something” Kia has to know how  the current iterations of the Stinger will do in terms of overall sales, as well as their long term sustainability in the broader marketplace. Biermann also revealed that Kia needs to identify the customer base for the car, and after that it will then make its mind up on whether there should be a spicier version of the Stinger for buyers that want to have even more performance than the current range topping model, the Stinger GT.

With that said, it appears that for the moment, the Stinger GT (which is the fastest accelerating car Kia has ever produced) will remain the flagship version. As for U.S. buyers, the StingerGT will arrive in our country by the end of the year in either rear or all-wheel drive with a 3.3 liter biturbo V6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to propel the car to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds, so look for the proposed performance model (whenever it arrives) to shave some seconds off of that figure as well as a higher top speed than the GT’s 167 mph.

Source: Motoring

Hyundai Teases Kona Front Fascia

Hyundai has big plans for its CUV lineup, with the Korean automaker continuing its teaser campaign for the upcoming Kona CUV, which is expected to make its debut in the near future and serve as Hyundai’s entry into the compact CUV segment.

Named after a district on Hawaii’s Big Island, the Kona is designed to appeal to buyers that want a family hauler, but don’t want to step up to bigger entries like the Tuscon and the Santa Fe. Hyundai claims that the Kona has “true SUV genes, progressive design, and premium features.”  That is not a whole lot to go on, but the new teaser image Hyundai released does appear to shed some light on the styling of the Kona, with the soft roader embracing a more dynamic design especially when compared to the decidedly more reserved design language that is seen on Hyundai’s bigger SUV entries.

The LED daytime running lights for example are placed a bit higher than the grille itself, while the headlights are much lower, and are reminiscent of the look achieved by the NIssan Juke and Jeep Cherokee. If we had to grade the Kona on this regard, it would be somewhere in the middle, with the Kona easily outclassing the Juke but falling a bit short of the Jeep. That can change though once Hyundai formally unveils the Kona in all of its unobstructed glory.

Like its exterior styling, the technical aspects that underpin the Kona have also been shrouded in a veil of secrecy. However, it is known that the Kona will follow the general blueprint laid out by others in its segment, and offer front wheel drive as standard equipment, with all-wheel drive being an optional extra. Also expect four cylinder engines to be the dominant engine choice for the Kona, with an automatic possibly being the sole transmission offering available.

The Kona was designed mainly for the European market, with Hyundai hoping that the compact Kona will help the Korean automaker achieve its goal of being the number one automaker in Europe by 2021. This strong focus on the European market also helps add a degree of uncertainty into its apperance in the U.S. market, but Hyundai could eventually change its mind, especially if factors change, and promote a buying enviroment that is favorable to the Kona.

2018 GT Stinger

Kia Unveils 2018 Stinger GT Sport Sedan [Live Images]

Concluding a string of compelling video teasers, Kia has formally unveiled the 2018 Kia GT Stinger sport sedan ahead of its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

The moniker does a good job invoking memories of the two door GT4 Stinger concept that made its debut three years ago in Detroit. At the time, many considered the car to perhaps2018 GT Stinger be a veiled preview to a contender that would rival entries such as the Subaru BRZ and the recently renamed Scion FR-S.

However, Kia pulled a swerve, and while the GT Stinger name carries over, it now graces a stylish four door sedan that was crafted to take advantage of its aggressive undertones. A long muscular hood and bold front fenders stretch nicely to the rear of the car. The roofline serves as a compelling transition to the short rear deck, which is becoming a must-have item in sport sedans these days. This allows the GT Stinger to be on par with stylish rivals such as the Audi A7 and the BMW Gran Coupe. Strong character lines located at the rocker panels help trim down visual heft in its overall profile, though the presentation is marred somewhat by a shiny fender vent.

The 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder that defined the original concept car has been pitched in lieu of a 3.3 liter twin-turbocharged V6 which is good for 365 horsepower, and allows the GT Stinger to rocket its way to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.

Unfortunately, the concept’s six speed manual gearbox didn’t survive the transition from concept to reality, and the production sedan makes do with an 8-speed automatic 2018 GT Stingertransmission. This is fine with us, especially since the take rate for a pure manual offering would’ve been comparably low versus a more mass market oriented automatic. Hopefully, Kia will eventually add a manual gearbox in the future especially on a more hardcore version of the GT Stinger. As a bonus, the transmission helps channel all 376 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, which is another sport sedan must have feature.

The low slung cabin is a compelling balance of occupant coddling luxury and performance inspired cues. The front seats can be shod in ultra soft Nappa leather and come equipped with air cell bladders that deliver maximum levels of comfort and support. The center console is split into two distinct areas, and the gauges feature metal rims as well as bold red needles.

A bold color TFT screen between the gauges is home to performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times, and also engine oil pressure and can also display more traditional readouts such as navigation, diagnostics, and other ancillary information. The GT Stinger’s long wheelbase helps produce exceptional amounts of front and rear legroom while the low seating position provides good amounts of headroom in both the front and back seats.

This move is admittedly unexpected, especially at a time where the market is being motivated by the strong  demand for crossovers.  However, we are glad Kia is taking a step outside the box in producing not only a shapely throwback to proper four door sedans, but also a rolling tribute an era when non-alphanumeric nameplates ruled the streets. Stay tuned tomorrow when we will learn more about the GT Stinger, as well as live pictures from the show floor.

 

 

Kia Unveils New GT Concept Teaser Video

Kia has big things planned for its upcoming GT Concept, and has released a new video that sheds new light on its upcoming sport sedan entry.

The new video dubbed “The Silhouette” was shot in darkness, and teases the outline of the car from various angles. While it has just about as much detail as Kia’s first video, there are still several new hints that leap their way to the surface.

For instance the walkaround reveals elements that steal a page or two from the Ford Mustang playbook especially with its hood sculpting and intergrated rear spoiler. A glimpse of the wheels round out the package, and they look very stylish though time will tell if they will make the jump to production or not.

Like last time, the interior was not revealed, but look for it to be a sportier departure from Kia’s more tech oriented theme especially in terms of the basic design for the gauge cluster, as well as sportier seats and splashes of performance inspired trim. This will allow the car to standout from rivals like BMW, and also give it a leg up over the Dodge Charger especially in regards to interior dedign and fit and finish.

Kia is expected to formally unveil its new sport sedan at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in a few weeks. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for further updates as well as our live coverage of the unveiling.

 

Kia Teases Production GT Concept Car [Video]

With the clock ticking ever closer to its official debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Kia has launched a new micro site to promote the debut of its all new sport sedan which is based on the GT Concept car.

According to the site, the car is scheduled to make its formal debut on January 8th which is one day before the kickoff of the North American International Auto Show. Kia also provided a brief teaser video which debuted in conjunction with the site.

In the video we see a car being pushed through its paces at the famed Nurburgring Racetrack in Germany. While no lap time was released (a change of pace,) the brief clip does show that the car is built for performance with the speedometer going past 150 mph at one point.

The vehicle in the video is most likely the production car, and will share styling cues with the GT concept as well as a mystery car that was unfortunatley leaked to the internet a few days ago. A key element of the new sport sedan is its sloping roofline which will give the four door a coupe like profile, and allow it to capitalize on the recent success of other four door coupes.

The formal name of the car is also a mystery at this point. In Korea the sedan will most likely be called the K8 which is reflective of the alphanumeric naming scheme Kia has in its home market. As for the U.S. the sleek four door could adopt the Stinger nameplate which first made its apperance on the GT4 Stinger concept car a few years back.

Regardless of which moniker it will ultimately assume, the new sport sedan will share its platform with the upcoming Genesis G70 which is expected to arrive with standard rear wheel drive. All wheel drive could make its way to the slick Kia later in its production cycle, which should please potential buyers out in the snowbelt.

Performance will most likely come from a suite of V6 engines including the 3.3 liter turbocharged V6 used in the Genesis lineup. A turbocharged four cylinder could also make an apperance in the base model, but we’ll have to wait until it is formally unveiled to know if it is indeed the case.

Kia is already promoting its next teaser video so stay tuned for more information as it becomes avalible. In the mean time you can check out the forementioned video below.

 

Kia Considering All Electric Version Of Nero CUV

With the launch of the hybrid version of the Niro CUV, a new report suggests that Kia is considering an all electric version of the Niro in a bid to help it nab sales as well as increase Kia’s reputation and pedigree in the growing green car segment.

This comes from a statement released by Kia Motors operating chief Tae-Hyun-Oh who revealed in an interview with the British publication Car Dealer magazine that the Niro’s size, utility, as well as stricter emissions laws could force the Korean firm to build a Niro EV. Kia’s sister company Hyundai already sells the Tuscon Fuel Cell crossover in limited markets, as such Kia could also be considering a fuel cell car in order to further expand the brand’s experience in this segment even further.

Currently the Niro has done relatively well for Kia with the brand selling roughly 1,000 units to customers since it made its formal debut in dealer lots back in August. The all-electric version of the Niro would be underpinned on the same platform as the Kia Ioniq. The Ioniq was designed to feature hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric variants with all three part of a unified “three pronged attack” that was designed to help maximize the Ioniq’s exposure in the marketplace. The all electric version of the Ioniq made its debut in South Korea and is expected to make its way to the U.S. before the end of 2016. When it eventually arrives, the car will feature a 28 kilowatt-hour battery pack that provides a driving range of about 110 miles on a single charge.

At the moment, Kia sells an all electric version of the Soul crossover in select markets. That model has a 93 mile driving range but it could increase thanks to a 2018 refresh that Kia has planned for the Soul. This boost would allow the Soul EV to better compete against rivals like the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3.

Look for the momentum of this project to hinge on sales of the Niro hybrid and whether they are high enough to justify expanding the Niro family especially as an all electric vehicle which tends to make development expensive.

Kia Reveals Revamped 2017 Rio Compact

The Kia Rio has always been a peculiar case in styling with older Rios being known more for their bland aesthetics and equally bland performance numbers. A redesign in 2012 helped bring much needed refinement and modern technology to the Rio but was chided for being cute-sy. Kia claims that it has resolved this dilemma with the 2017 Rio.

The exterior styling of the 2017 Kia Rio loudly broadcasts this, and will not be mistaken for being just another cute entry. The front fascia for example features slimmer headlights that ditch the bubble looking units for much needed aggression. Some of the gentle 4th generation kia rio_rear_mediumcurves have also been shelved in favor of more flat planes which helps further enhance its styling. As a bonus, the 2017 Rio is slightly longer, wider, and shorter than the old model. Kia claims that these new dimensions also influenced the styling with the Korean firm claiming that many of the changes highlight the extra width inside and out.

Kia also touched up the Rio’s interior and has added a much nicer blend of plastics and materials that aims to eliminate complaints about the Rio’s cheap plastics. The design is sound for the most part, but the infotainment system stands out as the lone oddball of the group. Kia claims that the unit was designed to achieve a “floating” effect with the unit 2017 Kia Rio Interiorextending up and over the dashboard a trick also used by the Honda Civic. The good news is that Kia chose to retain physical buttons and knobs for ease of use and ergonomics, the bad news is that the overall setup looks odd with some of the buttons actually extend up with the screen. This makes the system look like it was added as an afterthought and could cause initial confusion with its overall layout.

Kia did not reveal performance information or any other specifics on the car. But unlike the British spec version (pictured) look for the U.S. grade Rio to retain its all four cylinder engine lineup with slight gains in emissions and overall performance. Look for the 2017 Kia Rio to make its formal debut at the Paris Motor Show in September with the first units arriving in U.S. showrooms sometime next year.