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    Frankfurt: 2017 Bentley Bentayga

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      And now, the first SUV from Bentley! (You Don't Need Cover Your Eyes For This)


    We knew it was coming and Bentley has revealed it before Frankfurt. Meet the 2017 Bentley Bentayga, the luxury automaker's first SUV - along with being the fastest and most powerful one.

     

    The Bentayga is the result of Bentley going back to the drawing board and revising the EXP 9F concept that got a lukewarm reception at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The SUV bears a number of design cues seen on Bentley's current lineup such as as four round LED headlamps, mesh grille insert, and crease along the hood. The side profile boasts muscular haunches and a bold character line. One of the interesting features of the Bentayga deals with the roof as 60 percent is made up of glass. Comprised of two panes, the front one has the ability to tilt and slide.

     

    The interior is comprised of handcrafted leather, wood, and metal trim. The front seats get power adjustments and feature ventilation, heating, and massage functions. The rear offers seating for two or three people. Technology-wise, the Bentayga features a eight-inch touchscreen in the dashboard with a 60GB hard drive, 10.2-inch Android tablet for rear-seat entertainment, and the choice of three different audio systems.

     

    Power comes from a 6.0L twin-turbo W12 with 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, the Bentayga can hit 60 MPH in 4 seconds and reach a top speed of 187 MPH, making it the fastest SUV 'in the world'. Other mechanical bits include a four-mode adjustable air suspension, electronic active roll control, and a electric power-assisted variable steering system.

     

    Bentley will begin deliveries of the Bentayga next spring.

     

    Source: Bentley

     

     

    Press Release is on Page 2



    BENTLEY BENTAYGA: THE FASTEST, MOST POWERFUL, MOST LUXURIOUS AND MOST EXCLUSIVE SUV IN THE WORLD

    • A true Bentley, combining unparalleled luxury with sporting ability, off-road performance and everyday usability
    • Innovative and advanced technology – cutting-edge features with trademark exquisite luxury
    • Designed, engineered and built in Crewe, UK, sector-defining SUV takes Bentley luxury to new places
    • Sculptural design with elegant, timeless execution, balances athleticism with presence
    • Bentley workforce blend exceptional craft and skill with modern production techniques and materials
    • Intricate detailing and precision in wood, metal and leather creates a modern, luxurious handcrafted interior
    • Effortless Bentley performance, unrestrained by climate or terrain
    • A new highly advanced chassis for ultimate ride quality and comfort
    • All-new Crewe-built W12 offers unrivalled power and torque, efficiency and refinement, the most powerful and fastest SUV ever
    • Launch model is joined later by high performance, clean technology diesel and plug-in hybrid, as well as a seven seat option


    (Crewe, 9 September, 2015) Bentley Motors is today announcing full details of its pinnacle, sector-defining new model, the Bentayga.

     


    The Bentley Bentayga combines unparalleled luxury with effortless performance and everyday usability.

     

    With an all-new W12 powertrain, the Bentayga is the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world. It offers a true Bentley driving experience and showcases innovative technology features.

     

    Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Crewe, the Bentayga’s styling is pure Bentley. Sculptural with an elegant, timeless execution, it perfectly balances athleticism with confidence. From the four round LED headlamps and large matrix grille, to the distinctive power line and muscular haunches, the Bentley DNA is apparent throughout.

     

    The Bentley Bentayga boasts the world’s finest automotive cabin, with unrivalled levels of precision. The detailing in metal, wood and leather – including meticulous tolerances between elements of trim – is the epitome of modern British luxury. This level of perfection is only achievable thanks to the exceptional craft and skill of Bentley’s colleagues in Crewe.

     

    An all-new twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine is at the heart of the new Bentayga. The mighty 12-cylinder unit combines efficiency and refinement with ultra-luxurious levels of power and torque. With 608 PS (600 bhp / 447kW) and 900 Nm (663 lb. ft) delivering a 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds) and a top speed of 187 mph (301 km/h), the Bentayga is the world’s most powerful and fastest SUV.

     

    Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, comments: “The Bentayga is truly the Bentley of SUVs. It redefines luxury in the SUV sector and offers a genuine Bentley experience in any environment, thanks to a combination of unparalleled attention to detail, go-anywhere ability and cutting-edge technology. With this extraordinary car we are looking forward

     

    to an exciting period of strong growth and sales success for Bentley. The Bentayga is the next step in our brand’s bold future.”

     

    The Bentayga will make its full public debut at the IAA Frankfurt Show from 15 to 27 September. Customer deliveries commence in early 2016.

     

    Further details about the Bentayga, including video interviews with key members of the design and development team, are available at www.bentleymedia.com.

     

    Innovative Features and Advanced Technologies
    A suite of state-of-the-art driver assistance systems and infotainment features designed to enhance safety, comfort and convenience make the Bentayga an innovative, advanced and connected luxury SUV.

     

    It offers the widest range of on- and off-road drive settings of any vehicle via Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Mode and optional Responsive Off-Road Setting. Up to eight modes are available, allowing drivers, at the simple turn of a dial, to select the perfect dynamic set-up for any surface or road condition. This versatility is complemented by Bentley Dynamic Ride (electrically activated 48V active roll control) and Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS).

     

    Responsive Off-Road Setting allows the customer to select the appropriate vehicle settings for a wide range of off-road surfaces, while the Driver Information Panel displays information on pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass bearing and altitude.

     

    Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) including Stop & Go, Predictive ACC and Traffic Assist enables the driver to maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. Predictive ACC uses the navigation data, sensors and cameras to predict upcoming corners, city boundaries and speed-limit changes and can then modify the vehicle speed accordingly, improving both comfort and fuel economy.

     

    In urban environments, there are a number of driver aids available on the Bentayga. These systems – such as Traffic Sign Recognition, which detects a wide variety of traffic signs and displays information to the driver; Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, which uses radar technology to detect crossing traffic when reversing out of a parking space; and Top View, a system which uses four cameras to display an overall picture of the vehicle’s surroundings – combine to enhance everyday usability.

     

    The Bentayga is also available with Park Assist – a system that detects suitable parking spaces (both parallel and perpendicular) before autonomous steering takes over to support parking manoeuvres, even in narrow and tricky spaces.

     

    Other innovative systems available on the Bentayga include Electronic Night Vision, which uses infra-red technology to identify potential obstacles ahead, and a Head-Up Display, which reduces driver distraction and increases safety.

     

    The Bentayga’s all-new, cutting-edge 8” touch screen infotainment system boasts class-leading navigation technology, a 60GB hard drive, and a choice of up to 30 languages.

     

    Rear seat passengers benefit from the introduction of the Bentley Entertainment Tablet – a removable 10.2” Android device with 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth for effortless, high-speed on-board connectivity.

     

    Customers can choose between three different sound systems for the Bentayga: Bentley Standard Audio, Bentley Signature Audio and Naim for Bentley Premium Audio. The latter is the most powerful system in the segment, with 1,950 watts, a network of 18 speakers and super-tweeters for unrivalled recreation of the highest audio frequencies.

     

    Sculptural Form, Sharp Lines and Elegant Execution
    The Bentayga’s wheel arches, fenders and bonnet deliver a balance between sportiness and SUV presence. The ultra-sharp Bentley power line and muscular rear haunch display a taut tension in side profile, as part of the largest single-piece aluminium pressing in the automotive world. Trademark Bentley features such as the large matrix grille and B-shaped wing vents afford the Bentayga a modern, dynamic elegance.

     

    The grille is flanked by four distinctive floating all-LED headlamps. The lights sit flush within the seamless superformed aluminium front fenders. Innovative design features, like the discreet headlamp washers contained within the outer lamp’s body-coloured centre, demonstrate remarkable attention to detail.

     

    To emphasise the go-anywhere nature of the Bentayga, the Bentley design team have integrated a stylish skid plate into the lower section of the front bumper, just below the floating wing motif.

     

    At the rear, within the segmented tail lights, a new ‘B’-shaped illumination graphic is incorporated that affords the Bentayga an instantly recognisable and striking night-time signature.

     

    A combination of advanced design, innovative engineering and state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies - including the use of lightweight aluminium - has enabled a total weight saving of 236kg compared to a traditional body construction.

     

    As standard, the Bentayga comes with a panoramic glass roof. Making up almost 60 per cent of the total roof surface, the 1.35m2 glass feature is split into two panes. The front panel tilts and slides, and the whole glass surface can be obscured via an electric, full-length roller blind.

     

    Either side of the glass roof are aluminium roof rails that combine two different finishes – a high-gloss black base and bright anodised top section.

     

    A new range of bespoke Bentayga alloy wheels are available, ranging in size from 20” to 22”.

     

    The World’s Finest Cabin, Handcrafted at the Home of Bentley
    Step inside the new Bentayga and you find the finest automotive interior in the world, with handcrafted wood and leather throughout – engineered with precision to deliver absolute perfection.

     

    The attention to detail in metal, wood and leather is the epitome of modern British luxury, and is only achievable thanks to the exceptional skill of the workforce in Crewe.

     

    The Bentayga’s cockpit sets new standards for both luxury and precision, with meticulous tolerances between the exquisite veneered woods and metal elements. The dashboard takes the iconic Bentley ‘wing’ design as its inspiration, with the beautifully finished surfaces flowing gracefully from door to door over the top of the instrument binnacles, down under the centre console and back up around the passenger side fascia and foot well.

     

    The hand-selected veneers form pure and elegant surfaces throughout the cabin, and each of the 15 pieces are shaped by Bentley’s artisans from a choice of seven different veneers, and finished with trademark Bentley attention to detail.

     

    Highly polished, handcrafted metal elements adorn the dashboard, centre console and doors. Trademark Bentley knurling on the drive mode selector, gear knob, iconic bulls-eye vents and organ pulls adds sophistication and tactile refinement.

     

    Sumptuous front seats, individually handcrafted in Crewe and featuring 22-way adjustment including adjustable cushion and backrest bolsters, provide superb support and comfort for all conditions. This cosseted feeling is further enhanced with a six-programme massage system, seat heating and ventilation.

     

    Whether selected in four- or five-seat configuration, all of the leather seats in the Bentayga are available with contrast stitching and a quilted diamond design applied to the ‘shoulders’ and bolsters, echoing the design of a finely tailored British hunting jacket.

     

    Bentley specialists individually select only the finest bull hides, all of which are sourced from cool European climates, naturally tanned and never over-printed.. Customers have the choice of 15 colours, in three duo-tone and one single mono-tone colour split.

     

    The four-seat configuration makes the ultimate statement in design, comfort and luxury. The two individual rear seats adjust in 18 different ways and include massage and ventilation functions as well as footrests. The veneered rear console hides additional functionality such as cup holders, generous storage areas and USB charging sockets.

     

    The opulent feeling is completed by the fixed back, dividing the interior cabin from the boot. Also trimmed in the signature diamond quilting and including a ski-hatch, it creates an enclosed rear cabin space that sets new standards in the SUV sector.

     

    A full-length panoramic sunroof with acoustic interlays allows ample natural sunlight to highlight the surfaces and detailing.

     

    Activate the hands-free tailgate and not only is a large, practical storage space revealed, but also another of the Bentayga’s unique features – the optional folding event seat. Ideal for those wishing to stop for a moment and enjoy a spectacular outdoor environment or pursuit, the innovative leather-trimmed folding seat matches exactly the style of the cabin seats and integrates seamlessly into the rear of the car with characteristic attention to detail.

     

    All-New W12 – Efficiency with Unrivalled Power and Torque
    At the heart of the Bentayga is the all-new Crewe-built W12 TSI engine. This 6.0-litre twin-turbo unit combines efficiency and refinement with the luxury of unrivalled power and torque.

     

    It is the most technologically advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world and develops 600 bhp (608 PS / 447 kW) @ 6,000 rpm and 900 Nm (663 lb ft) from 1,250 rpm to 4,500 rpm. These mighty outputs result in equally impressive performance figures. The Bentayga is capable of dispatching the sprint to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds) on its way to a top speed of 187 mph (301 km/h).

     

    The new W12 uses both direct and indirect fuel injection. Switching seamlessly between the two technologies, the combination of these systems maximises refinement, delivers low particulate emissions and maximises power and torque delivery.

     

    An impressive efficiency figure of 292 g/km CO2 is made possible in part thanks to Bentley’s Variable Displacement system, which shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency.

     

    The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The transmission and four-wheel-drive system has been strengthened to handle the demands and high torque levels of off-road driving.

     

    In Bentley’s advanced application of Start-Stop technology for the Bentayga, coasting is also available, as the engine rests not only when the vehicle is stationary but also at ‘near to stop’ speeds.

     

    In 5th to 8th gear, when the driver releases the throttle (at motorway cruising speed, for example) the car will open the torque converter, dropping the engine to idle and simply allowing the car to roll or ‘sail’. When the throttle is reapplied, or the car starts going downhill and detects an increase in speed, the transmission is re-engaged.

     

    The new W12 sees a 11.9% efficiency improvement compared to the existing powertrain. The Bentayga will also be available as diesel and hybrid variants in the future.

     

    Genuine Luxury with Go-Anywhere Ability
    Never before has a vehicle so coherently combined genuine luxury with go-anywhere driving ability.

     

    The development programme for the Bentayga has been the most exhaustive in the Bentley brand’s history, ranging across five continents. From the dirt and gravel of South Africa and the dunes of Dubai, to the muddy fields of Cheshire, and from -30°C in the frozen North Cape to searing 50°C desert heat, the Bentayga’s ability to perform on any surface and even in the most extreme conditions has been proven.

     

    The Bentayga has also driven more than 400 laps of the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, as part of developing the dynamic performance of the chassis and fine-tuning the relevant control and stability systems. The unique features of the Nordschleife, including the high level of topographical change, variety of surface grip levels and wide range of cornering speeds, made it the perfect place to develop the fastest, most powerful SUV in the world.

     

    The Bentayga introduces Bentley Dynamic Ride – the world’s first electric active roll control technology that utilises an unrivalled 48V system. Inherent in larger vehicles with a higher centre of gravity, this system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre contact to deliver class-leading cabin stability, ride comfort and exceptional handling.

     

    While conventional anti-roll bars present a compromise between body control and ride comfort, Bentley’s adaptive and reactive system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Bentayga to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The pioneering use of a 48V system results in silent, instantaneous responses and sufficient power on hand to deal with all road surfaces.

     

    Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) is also featured on the Bentayga. The new system improves feedback to the driver, while providing isolation from steering kick-back both on- and off-road. EPAS also features a variable rack ratio, permitting light and fast steering while manoeuvring at low speeds, as well as a more subdued response for excellent stability at high speeds.

     

    The Bentayga offers class-leading ride comfort, steering feel and handling thanks to the partnership of a highly sophisticated chassis and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). In addition to advanced, multi-mode Traction Control (TCS), the Bentayga also features Hill Descent Control (HDC).

     

    HDC automatically regulates the vehicle’s speed on steep declines, allowing the driver to concentrate fully on steering and obstacles ahead. It can be pre-set at speeds between two and 30 km/h (going in either direction) and works on gradients greater than five per cent.

     

    As with all Bentleys, the Bentayga comes with multi-mode air suspension. The Bentayga driver has four different modes to choose from: High 2, High 1, Normal and Low. High 2, for example, can be manually selected when tackling more severe off-road surfaces. Customers can also lower the rear suspension via a switch in the boot, to ease loading and trailer hitching.

     

    Bentley Personalisation Options and Mulliner Bespoke
    The Bentayga redefines personalisation and bespoke luxury. Paint, leather, veneer and lifestyle options are unlimited and tailored to the individual.

     

    The standard palette alone comprises 17 exterior paint colours, with up to 90 hues available in the extended range. There are also 15 luxurious carpet options, seven different handcrafted veneers and 15 choices of interior trim hide, which means that customers are able to specify their own choice of luxury finish. In addition, customers can choose between a new range of bespoke Bentayga alloy wheels, ranging in size from 20” to 22”.

     

    Six lifestyle-orientated specification packages will be available from launch, including two styling packs. In addition to these options, the Bentayga is available with the widest range of lifestyle accessories ever offered by the Bentley brand. For example, customers with an interest in watersports may wish to specify the Load-Assist Tray and Wet Gear Stowage options.

     

    As with all Bentleys, the Bentayga can also be handed over to the highly skilled and dedicated craftspeople at Mulliner, who will respond to bespoke customer requirements.

     

    At launch, the Bentayga is available with an exquisite integrated Mulliner Hamper Set, complete with refrigerator, bespoke fine Linley china cutlery, crockery and crystal glass, and storage area for dry goods. For comfort in the great outdoors, sections of the hamper can be removed and used as seats.

     

    A bespoke mechanical Mulliner Tourbillon by Breitling clock can also be specified. The most complex of watch mechanisms, the Mulliner Tourbillon is automatically wound periodically by a dedicated high-precision winding mechanism within the car. This masterpiece is machined in solid gold (customers can select from either rose or white gold), with a choice of either a mother-of-pearl or black ebony face and decorated with eight diamond indexes.

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    The interior is nice, the outside looks a bit like a station wagon or an 80s Jeep Wagoneer.  I don't know, the outside looks sort of ugly I think.  Huge power though, the performance stats are pretty amazing for an SUV.

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    Exterior will be a hit with sport jocks, music stars and some hollywood types. Interior is nice, exterior I have mixed emotions on, end result, because of its limited status, the uber rich will buy and show off. This will be a hit.

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    Bentley DESPERATELY needs a new design team. The outside is a combination of the anonymous/pedestrian, yet the front end stretching & pulling of the sedan's nose over the structure of an SUV just doesn't work. Bottom line : It doesn't look expensive

    Inside suffers from the same issues- slightly dated, slightly pedestrian = nothing special. I really believe Bentley 'didn't need to go there' on this one.

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    I think it will be a hit with the ballers and musicians.  Because they will want to upstage their counterparts that have an Escalade or Cayenne.  Creates competition for the G-wagen too, I still want to see a Maybach GL with a V12 to battle this thing.

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    Do they pronounce it BenTAYga or BentayGA?

     

    The first could sound Southern and the second could sound Asian.

     

    Maybe that is why the name is what it is - the Chinese Middle Class is the prime market (if it is still around in the next few years).

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    Big lump of ugly.

    LOL, Watch it Ocnblu, they just might then take this to the next level of making this ugly brick an EV.

    :P

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    Do they pronounce it BenTAYga or BentayGA?

     

    The first could sound Southern and the second could sound Asian.

     

    Maybe that is why the name is what it is - the Chinese Middle Class is the prime market (if it is still around in the next few years).

     

    I have no idea. Personally, I can't wait for all the videos where everyone pronounces it differently.

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    I'm mixed on it.. I think the interior looks amazing(as it should being a Bentley) but the outside just looks.. kind of bland. The front 3/4 looks about right, nothing special, but nothing offensive either(that's how Bentley does it) but the rear 1/4 looks terrible to me. It looks kind of MKT-like(which I find attrocious),Toyota Venza, or more likely Q7. I say the first two because it looks like there is an unproportionate amount of rear overhang. The tail lights look as out of place as anything on any car, ever.

     

    I'm actually not sure how I feel about Bentley's new "LED ring" next to the actual head light. They seem to look out of place w/o an actual light within it.

     

    But, in the end, I think the interior looks gorgeous and in a vehicle like this that matters..a lot. Oh, that and 600hp/644q.

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    Guest Anonnymous

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    Where's the rear passenger room? Seems tighter than I expected it would. I guess the type that would buy one would probably sit behind the steering wheel?

     

     

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    360-degree camera, self-park, HUD: all done already. "Technology" that recognizes street signs (doesn't the windshield do that?) and only an 8" screen? Is this the 'Bentley of SUVs' or not??

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    :drool:  

     

     

    Im sorry...I was thinking about what I had for supper again...

     

    rib-eye-steak-lobster-tail-12791079.jpg

     

    because after seeing this ugly POS...this is what happened to that tasty steak I had...

    :puke:

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    It's a necessary evil in today's marketplace. But I really doubt it'll ever do any real off-roading, which leaves speed and handling as its calling cards. This, in turn, puts it against the Cayenne Turbo and (perhaps) the Escalade V. It'll sell, but it is a bit silly.

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    When us the Escalde V happening? There is a rolls Royce SUV in the works and a BMW X7. The Rolls will have a V12 as all Rolls do, there was rumor the BMW would have an optional V12. That is the Bentley's competition. Mercedes has a V12 G-wagon but it is too trucky to be even remotely sporty. Maybe if they put the V12 in the GL and gave it the Maybach treatment they could compete with Bentley.

    Edited by smk4565

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    The Tesla Model X is a competitor too.  That is the SUV 0-60 champion and horsepower champion with 762.  The Tesla tops out at 155 mph though, I imagine the V12 Rolls will be able to go past that (if they want, Rolls probably will limit to 155 mph).

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    It's gonna be a hit, but I don't really like it at all. I'd would get the Audi Q7 and pocket the rest to buy a sports sedan or coupe like a CTS-V or Jaguar F-Type.

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    Yes, but the people that buy Bentleys can afford whatever.   It is likely that the Bentayga driver's other vehicle is a private jet.   They could get a Bentley SUV maybe as the winter car to pair with their Mulsanne every day driver and Ferrari 599 track car.   I would guess most Rolls and Bentley buyers are not financing the car either, and just pay for it outright.

    Edited by smk4565

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    It's gonna be a hit, but I don't really like it at all. I'd would get the Audi Q7 and pocket the rest to buy a sports sedan or coupe like a CTS-V or Jaguar F-Type.

    For those of us that like to Keep our money here in the USA and support jobs so our neighbors have one also and yet we do not fit into a coupe or sedan, this is perfect.

     

    Escalade ESV-V Baby! :metal: Made for everyone North of 6' 2" tall. :P or in my case 6'6" :D

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      The midsize market is a conservative one, few models are ever called sexy. Hyundai has gone out of their way to give the Sonata a sexy look without looking odd (Accord) or overwrought (Camry). Up front, there is a huge.. HUGE...grille opening. It has the somewhat traditional six-sided shape but is pinched in a little at the bottom.  Above that are the lighting accents that most everyone will mention when talking about this car.  Along the hood, they are chrome strips that light up when the car is on.  Once this thing hits the streets it will be a very distinctive visual feature that will separate this car from the Accords and Camrys.  The character line flows from the headlights along the body in a very slight S-curve.  Multiple creases on the door panels help keep the car from looking slab-sided. The wheels are an attractive two-tone 10-spoke design.  Around back is a full-width U-shape taillamp setup that looks like the Honda Civic setup, but upside down. It integrates into a rather tall (for a family sedan) spoiler on the rear trunk like. The tops of the taillights have small fins that ostensibly direct airflow the way Hyundai intends.  The overall exterior is handsome and sensuous and does a good job of distinguishing itself from others in the class. 
       Inside is a mixed bag. The overall look is handsome and restrained, but areas of cost-cutting were visible. There is cheaper plastic on the door panels, lower dash, and parts of the center console.  Still, it is hard to argue with a full TFT screen for the gauge cluster and a large, wide infotainment system in the center.  The infotainment system sits high on the dash and looks like a tablet popping up from below. Controls are simple and easy to reach, and Hyundai has joined the ranks of the new decade by removing the shifter and replacing it with push-button controls. I like Hyundai's setup better than Honda's which I have to think about to use. The seats are a bit flat, but there is plenty of head and leg room. I do like Hyundai's use of two-tone interior, but that won't be on all cars. 
      At release, the Hyundai Sonata will come with two engines, a 2.5 direct injected 4-cylinder with 191 horsepower at 6,100 RPM and 181 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. An optional 1.6T will have 180 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,5000 - 4,500 rpm.  The 2.5 will get 33mpg combined and the 1.6T will get 31mpg combined.   Some have balked at the idea that the buy-up engine has less horsepower than the base engine, but in this case, it is the flat torque curve that will really make the 1.6T feel faster.  For those who are wanting more power, Hyundai is reportedly working on an N-Line version that will have over 275 horsepower.  For the greenies, a hybrid is coming soon as well, with a possibly plug-in version in the works. Driving impressions will have to wait until this fall.
      Overall, Hyundai has a very strong contender for the shrinking mid-size market. Not all of the Ford Fusion owners will go to crossovers, so Hyundai looks ready to scoop them up.
       


      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      The Hyundai Sonata broke cover a couple of weeks before the New York Auto Show, but I finally got to see it on Thursday.  While there are frequent reports that the midsize sedan segment is dying, it still is able to move about 153,000 units just in the month of March.  Hyundai sees an opportunity here as some of its competition, namely the Ford Fusion, will be going to the great used-car lot in the sky in the near future.  Still, the Sonata has only sold around 21,000 units year to date while Nissan can move that many Altimas in a month and Accord and Camry do even better.  So what is Hyundai going for here by introducing a new Sonata?  They're going for sexy.
      The midsize market is a conservative one, few models are ever called sexy. Hyundai has gone out of their way to give the Sonata a sexy look without looking odd (Accord) or overwrought (Camry). Up front, there is a huge.. HUGE...grille opening. It has the somewhat traditional six-sided shape but is pinched in a little at the bottom.  Above that are the lighting accents that most everyone will mention when talking about this car.  Along the hood, they are chrome strips that light up when the car is on.  Once this thing hits the streets it will be a very distinctive visual feature that will separate this car from the Accords and Camrys.  The character line flows from the headlights along the body in a very slight S-curve.  Multiple creases on the door panels help keep the car from looking slab-sided. The wheels are an attractive two-tone 10-spoke design.  Around back is a full-width U-shape taillamp setup that looks like the Honda Civic setup, but upside down. It integrates into a rather tall (for a family sedan) spoiler on the rear trunk like. The tops of the taillights have small fins that ostensibly direct airflow the way Hyundai intends.  The overall exterior is handsome and sensuous and does a good job of distinguishing itself from others in the class. 
       Inside is a mixed bag. The overall look is handsome and restrained, but areas of cost-cutting were visible. There is cheaper plastic on the door panels, lower dash, and parts of the center console.  Still, it is hard to argue with a full TFT screen for the gauge cluster and a large, wide infotainment system in the center.  The infotainment system sits high on the dash and looks like a tablet popping up from below. Controls are simple and easy to reach, and Hyundai has joined the ranks of the new decade by removing the shifter and replacing it with push-button controls. I like Hyundai's setup better than Honda's which I have to think about to use. The seats are a bit flat, but there is plenty of head and leg room. I do like Hyundai's use of two-tone interior, but that won't be on all cars. 
      At release, the Hyundai Sonata will come with two engines, a 2.5 direct injected 4-cylinder with 191 horsepower at 6,100 RPM and 181 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. An optional 1.6T will have 180 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,5000 - 4,500 rpm.  The 2.5 will get 33mpg combined and the 1.6T will get 31mpg combined.   Some have balked at the idea that the buy-up engine has less horsepower than the base engine, but in this case, it is the flat torque curve that will really make the 1.6T feel faster.  For those who are wanting more power, Hyundai is reportedly working on an N-Line version that will have over 275 horsepower.  For the greenies, a hybrid is coming soon as well, with a possibly plug-in version in the works. Driving impressions will have to wait until this fall.
      Overall, Hyundai has a very strong contender for the shrinking mid-size market. Not all of the Ford Fusion owners will go to crossovers, so Hyundai looks ready to scoop them up.
       

    • By Drew Dowdell
      The Cadillac ATS and CTS didn't sell well.  They had great handling and a large selection of engines, but they were hampered by interiors that were cramped for the class and infotainment systems that could confound people.  Sedans are dying, Cadillac gets that too. That's why they are consolidating the ATS and CTS onto a single car called the CT5, released last week at the New York International Auto Show. Rumors have it that the CT5 will start in the mid-30s and Cadillac is insisting that, despite its size, the CT5 is aligned against the 3-series and C-Class. But in doing so, where does that leave the car? Could Cadillac be realigning their cars so they become the largest cars in a particular price class?  It would be a very traditionally Cadillac thing to do. There was a time when Cadillac would brag about having the longest production cars in its class. Even the original CTS was sized like a 5-series but priced like a 3-series.  More on that later. 
      I'm a lifelong fan of Cadillac.  I want to be excited about the CT5. While I do think the car looks handsome, it doesn't excite me like the CT6 does.  There is no one thing I can put my finger on, not even the black plastic triangle playing the part of a third window.  The car just doesn't command a presence as the CT6 does. And though the overall look of the front is handsome, I get flashbacks of Impala from certain angles. It does look far better in person than Cadillac's or my own photography show.
      Inside, Cadillac has upped their game on the quality of the materials, but they phoned the styling in. As some readers have pointed out, it even appears as if some trim pieces have been repurposed from the CTS. There is a large tablet stuck to the dash for the infotainment system, which is thankfully no longer the old CUE system. It looks to be similar in function and layout to those found in GMC's trucks. I have found that system to work well, so I don't see any problem there. A large dial in the center console can control the unit as well, useful if you're wearing gloves.  Capacitive touch buttons have been replaced by real physical buttons. They are well weighted and feel substantial, indeed even Mercedes-like for the HVAC controls.    Cadillac took to heart all of the criticism over their gauges in the previous cars and produced a good looking set of round dials for tach and speedometer with a driver information screen between.  The seats are firm and supportive, getting into position is quick and easy, but they don't match the 24+ way seats that Lincoln is offering these days.  Rear seat room has improved dramatically over the ATS, though feels about the same as a CTS.  Cadillac's Precision Control Shift is there.  I've found it annoying to use, but it has a similar operation to the BMW gear control that many people like, so maybe it is just me.  I think Cadillac (and everyone else) should chuck the shifter knob on their cars and go to something more digital.  One piece of technology in the CT5 that I really love is Cadillac's SuperCruise.  I've used SuperCruise to drive from Pittsburgh to New York, roughly 350 miles, and I was only actively piloting the car for about 10% of the time. 
      Engines in the CT5 seem to be introductory offers, but there is also room to grow. The base engine is a 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbo producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That's a bit light for the class.  The optional engine is a 3.0 liter twin-turbo making 335 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.  Both engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic with all-wheel drive optional. Both engines also have displacement on demand and can shut down cylinders to conserve fuel in light-load situations.  Cadillac has plenty of room to maneuver here with engines though. For future versions like V-Sport and V-Series, they have the 400hp version of the 3.0TT, or the 420hp 3.6TT, or the new 4.2 liter Blackwing when more performance is called for.  
      Overall, this could be a very compelling car starting at $34,995 and being as long as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That's where the size issue comes in. Cadillac would have a hard time moving this CT5 if they price it alongside the same size German models. If this is going to be Cadillac's strategy, offer the biggest car for the price, then they need to drum that mindset into the heads of consumers. That takes advertising dollars.  Otherwise, they are just going to be repeatedly compared to vehicles outside of their price class and lose in every comparison test.  The CT6 being priced just $1,000 more than an E-Class leads me to believe this is what they are intending to do.   
      Read other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below:
      First Impressions: 2020 Hyundai Venue
      First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair
      First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape

       
       

      View full article
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