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    Genesis G70 is Korea's 3-Series Challenger

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      Another entrant in the compact luxury sedan fight


    Genesis' first all-new vehicle has arrived. Today at Genesis’ design center in Namyang, Korea, the G70 sedan was introduced. This model has a tough task ahead of it as the model will enter one of the highly competitive market segments, the compact luxury sedan. On paper, the G70 has a recipe that looks unbeatable.

    There is a fair amount of the New York Concept in the G70's design, which is a good thing. The front is reminiscent of the G80 and G90, but there is a little bit of aggression in the bumper and hood. The side profile is very similar to the current BMW 3-Series, right down to the fender vents. Around back is where we run into some trouble. We like the short rear deck, but someone pointed out that the G70's rear looks almost the same as the recently departed Chrysler 200 - an image we cannot get out of heads.

    Inside, Genesis went with a minimalist approach with little brightwork and no wood trim - similar to what you see in the Jaguar XE. Quilted leather upholstery is available. An eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard, and 15-speaker Lexicon surround-sound system is optional.

    The G70 will offer three engines at launch,

    • 2.0L Turbo-Four: 254 Horsepower, 256 Pound-Feet of Torque
    • 2.2L Turbodiesel-Four: 201 Horsepower, 324 Pound-Feet of Torque (Europe Only)
    • 3.3L Turbo V6: 365 Horsepower, 376 Pound-Feet of Torque

    An eight-speed automatic will be standard on all engines, while a manual transmission with limited-slip differential will be on the options list. There will be the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

    We'll learn more details about the G70 for North America early next year, possibly including price.

    Source: Genesis
    Press Release is on Page 2


    GENESIS G70 RESETS EXPECTATIONS OF CUSTOMER-FOCUSED PERFORMANCE AND LUXURY

    September 14, 2017 – A new era dawned today as Genesis officially presented the highly anticipated G70 luxury performance sedan at the Hyundai·Genesis Design Center in Namyang. 

    Dr. Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Division, key Genesis brand officials, and approximately 300 international automotive journalists participated in the activities. The G70 goes on sale in Korea on September 20th, with timing for its rollout in other markets to be announced soon.

     “The Genesis G70 is the latest demonstration of our dedication to delivering innovative, customer-oriented vehicles,” said Vice Chairman Yang. “We will continue to focus our R&D efforts on the development and expansion of the Genesis brand. It is a great point of pride to have Genesis showcase what a true luxury brand of Korean origin can present to our discerning customers.”

    The Genesis G70 is an athletic sedan characterized by its graceful and dynamic exterior styling; elegant and intuitively designed interior; choice of three different powertrains. Customers will be able to select between a turbocharged 3.3-liter gasoline V6, a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline I4, and a 2.2-liter I4 diesel models.

    The G70 also incorporates numerous advanced driver assist systems such as Highway Driving Assist (HDA), best-in-class safety with nine standard airbags and active hood function, and a high level of connectivity with server-based voice recognition technology, using Kakao Corp’s artificial intelligence platform.

    Hot stamping methods and extended use of structural adhesives have been employed to enhance torsional rigidity and improve overall body stiffness.

    “G70 Seoul 2017”

    To commemorate this important moment, 15,000 people will celebrate the official unveiling of the G70 at “G70·Seoul 2017,” a global launch festival held on September 15th in Seoul’s Olympic Park.

    “The launch of the Genesis G70 is an important milestone for our brand,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, Head of Genesis Division. “We deliberately chose Seoul, as this is our place of origin. This is where we are coming together with our customers and friends in the music industry to celebrate as a people’s festival.”

    “G70 Seoul 2017” is a brand celebration of Genesis and the new G70, featuring global music superstars Gwen Stefani, Andra Day and CL. While attendance is capped at 15,000, more than 80,000 people expressed interest in being part of the festivities.

    Completing the Genesis sedan lineup

    The G70 completes the Genesis brand’s sedan lineup, along with the G90 flagship and mid-luxury G80. The arrival of G70 further strengthens the Genesis brand’s presence in the global luxury market.

    In November 2015, Genesis launched and set out to compete with the world’s top luxury automakers as a Korean brand. To differentiate itself in the luxury segment, Genesis strives to make a positive impact in the lifestyles of its discerning customers through a progressive and innovative approach to performance and design excellence.

    Genesis launched the flagship G90 sedan in December 2015, followed by the G80 sedan in July 2016 in Korea. Since the brand’s inception, Genesis has sold more than 150,000 units, with strong performances in both Korea and the U.S.

    Genesis has also received many accolades, most recently, ranking highest among premium automakers in the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), topping all 13 brands in the premium segment.

    The G70 marks the completion of Genesis sedan line-up and the brand will now start strengthening its lineup with SUVs and alternative powertrains. Genesis plans to roll out new products to expand its presence and coverage across the global market and six models are expected in its product portfolio by 2021.

    An Exterior with Genesis’ Unique Design Identity

    The all-new G70 showcases the future direction of the Genesis brand’s design identity.

    Athletic elegance is represented in the exterior styling, as the car captures both beauty and tension, like an athlete poised to perform.

    Luc Donckerwolke, Head of Genesis Design, said, “At Genesis, we shape fascination and desire with the passion, dedication and talent from our designers. We modulated all parameters from the Genesis DNA to tailor a sports sedan. This challenge required the highest skills and know-how. The G70 is designed to captivate all senses with its sensuous and tensioned muscular volumes.”

    The long hood and short front overhang, elegant roofline and assertive multi-spoke alloy wheels combine to form a sleek, dynamic profile, subtly highlighted by dark chrome aero trim.

    The hockey stick daylight opening and parabolic sidelines further express the unique design signatures of Genesis, displaying fast and dramatic energy with voluptuous forms and smooth surfaces.

    From the front and side, the G70’s prominent crest-type grille, character lines extending from the hood emblem, and pronounced air intakes communicate the muscular performance that the car is capable of.

    Two distinctive linear LED DRLs on each side of the large crest grille foreshadow the future Genesis signature quad lamps.

    In the rear, the LED rear combination lamps continue the quad lamp theme, while the raised trunk lid and compact bumper designs give the G70 a poised character. The rear lamps, evolved from the G80, have been stretched to the end of the rear to convey a wide and dynamic stance.

    A Sophisticated, Driver-Focused Interior

    G70’s interior is configured to prioritize an excellent user experience, with superb fit and finish throughout. The interior packaging reflects the thoughtfulness that drives the Genesis brand, with a priority on simplicity and an emphasis on genuine functionality instead of gimmickry.

    A horizontal layout brings a sense of stability and the driver-focused packaging provides a comfortable driving environment, with intuitively laid out switchgear and a comfortable, assertive sport steering wheel.

    Genesis designers employed premium materials throughout, including aluminum door handles, quilted leather door panels, metal speaker grills and high-quality soft touch surfaces. Nappa leather seats further add to the dynamic yet elegant interior.

    The G70 offers a wide range of unique and sophisticated color options that properly reflect global trends to meet client demand.

    Ten exterior colors are available: Platinum Silver, Carbon Metal, Marble White, Titanium Black, Racing Gray, Graceful Gray, Lapis Blue, Royal Blue, Blazing Red and Umber Brown.

    A new paint-finishing method separates small, evenly distributed aluminum particles and high luminosity colors, maximizing the brilliance of the exterior colors.

    The passenger cabin is available in five different colors: Obsidian Black, Sandstorm Gray, Velvet Burgundy, Tobacco Brown and Vanilla Beige. Two additional interior colors, which are Sports Gray and Sports Red will be dedicated to the G70 Sport and the high-end trim level for the 2.0T.

    Driving Character -- Agile Yet Safe, Dynamic Yet Quiet

    The G70 offers three powertrains – a 3.3-liter V6 gasoline turbo, 2.0-liter I4 gasoline turbo and a 2.2-liter I4 diesel. The 3.3-liter V6 turbo is the backbone of the enthusiast-focused “G70 Sport.”

    The G70 Sport is equipped with the Lambda II 3.3-liter V6 turbo GDI engine, with 370 PS and maximum torque of 52.0kgf·m.

    G70 Sport is a dynamic and powerful performer with 0 to 100 kph (62.5 mph) acceleration in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 270 kph (167/168 mph). Variable-ratio steering and electronically controlled suspension are standard to provide agile steering response and an optimal ride-and-handling experience.

    The G70 2.0 turbo gasoline model is equipped with the Theta-II 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine, with 252 PS and maximum torque of 36.0kgf·m. (Sports package: 255 PS)

    The G70 2.2 diesel model is equipped with the R 2.2 VGT engine with 202 PS horsepower and maximum torque of 45.0kgf·m.

    Dynamic performance features include:

    1. Launch Control - Maximizes power control in acceleration mode
    2. Rack-mounted, motor-driven power steering (R-MDPS) and multi-link rear suspension - Provides precise handling and comfortable ride
    3. Dynamic torque vectoring system - Improves vehicle cornering control
    4. Mechanical limited slip differential (M-LSD) - Allows safe driving capabilities in low friction road conditions such as rain, snow and ice 

    The seat positions have been adjusted to lower the center of gravity of the car to maximize performance. To augment the driving experience, the Active Sound Design (ASD) system creates an aural character that reflects the engine load and driving mode settings.

    Noise, vibration and harshness have been minimized in the G70 through enhancements in multiple areas including vehicle body structure; exhaust system; sound absorption and isolation; suspension and body frame connection; and the design of the side mirrors and door sealing systems.

    The performance-focused sedan has been tested under the most challenging environments and surfaces in the world, including Death Valley (U.S.), northern Sweden, the Nürburgring (Germany) and the Alps (Austria) for driving stability, handling, durability and power delivery.

    Best-in-Class Safety

    Following the trend of the G90 and G80, the G70 offers the most comprehensive levels of safety in its class. Overall body stiffness and rigidity have been dramatically strengthened.

    The G70 has also been designed to help protect pedestrians – when imminent impact with a pedestrian is detected, its active hood function operates by lifting the hood to absorb shock and minimize the risk of injury.

    An unparalleled suite of advanced driver assist systems such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Blind spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Driver Awareness Warning (DAW) have been added as part of the ‘Genesis Active Safety Control’ to offer the highest level of safety and convenience in its class.

    The FCA system provides added safety with newly developed technology designed not only to protect vehicles and pedestrians, but also cyclists on the road. It automatically activates emergency braking through integrated radar-camera sensors when detecting bicycles.

    ‘Genesis Active Safety Control’ is the brand’s newly labeled advanced driver assist system package previously known as ‘Genesis Smart Sense.’

    Genesis aims to receive the highest ratings from both international and domestic organizations including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Korea New Car Assessment Program (KNCAP).

    Exceptional Comfort and Convenience

    The G70 incorporates a diverse range of advanced technologies that deliver ultimate convenience and connectivity.

    An example includes the smart posture control system, initially introduced in the G90. When the driver’s body information is input, the system automatically adjusts the seat, steering wheel, outside mirror and heads-up display to the optimal position, ensuring minimal stress even on long journeys.

    The G70 provides a diverse range of advanced convenience and connectivity, including an 8-inch touch screen display supporting MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

    The G70 will also be the first vehicle in Korea to feature server-based voice recognition technology, using Kakao’s artificial intelligence platform ‘Kakao I.’

    For the best audio performance, a 15-speaker Lexicon surround-sound system is available to provide an audiophile-level acoustic experience.

    Overseas product specifications in markets including North America, Russia and the Middle East are planned to be announced in early 2018.

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    Over all like the looks of the Car, I see the connection to BMW but also in the headlights the connection to Mercedes. 

    Hate the dash and that stand up nav screen. Honestly they failed on bringing out a decent modern luxury dash to go with those seats.

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    I like it, exterior and interior look good.

    So is it Kia Stinger Hyundai twin?  It seems to have same engines if I am not mistaken

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    48 minutes ago, ykX said:

    I like it, exterior and interior look good.

    So is it Kia Stinger Hyundai twin?  It seems to have same engines if I am not mistaken

    Yes, shares the same platform and engines. I know one is longer, but cannot which.

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    The compact 'premium' luxury market is getting quite crowded...

    Alfa Romeo Giiulia

    Cadillac ATS

    Infiniti Q50

    Lexus IS

    Audi A3 and A4

    BMW 3 series

    Mercedes C-class

    Jaguar XE

    Genesis G70

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    33 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    The compact RWD luxury market is getting quite crowded...

    Alfa Romeo Giiulia

    Cadillac ATS

    Infiniti Q50

    Lexus IS

    Audi A3 and A4

    BMW 3 series

    Mercedes C-class

    Jaguar XE

    Genesis G70

    A3/4/5 are not RWD, but otherwise, yes.  The Stinger may also be included although it is not a true compact it is smallish inside and bases at $33k

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    Yeah, brain fart on the Audis...AWD, not RWD.   The CLA is also in there, but FWD/AWD..not sure if I'd include the Stinger, since Kia is more a mainline brand than a 'premium' one.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    13 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Yeah, brain fart on the Audis...AWD, not RWD.   The CLA is also in there, but FWD/AWD..not sure if I'd include the Stinger, since Kia is more a mainline brand than a 'premium' one.

    Yeah, Kia is becoming a weird part mainline / part premium brand with the Stinger, Cadenza, and K900.

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    I like it, but as already mentioned it is now a crowded segment, and probably not one with a lot of growth in it any time soon given the preference for CUVs.... I'm sure Genesis would much rather be unveiling their X3/Q5 etc competitor.  I also expect the Tesla Model 3 to impact this segment.

     

    Edited by frogger
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    Not too bad. Styling is slightly derivative, mostly from the side and front view. Power specs seem solid. How it translates to real-world driving is what will matter. 

    Nobody is really doing anything wowing in this segment right now, so it certainly has the potential to be competitive. 

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    • Upvote 1

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    I like the styling, Genesis is developing a decent design language for itself. It highlights the RWD proportions well.

    I knew this was loosely related to the Stinger, but when I looked at the interiors back to back, you can actually see that it shares all the hard points, ventilation, stereo speakers, infotainment screen, and appears to have some possible carryover switchgear.

    They generally did a good job differentiating the interior design to hide this fact, but it's underwhelming to see direct sharing between a Kia and the first ground-up Genesis model.

    With all that said, I look forward to seeing this car in action.

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    I agree with those who say it has derivative styling, the headlights look like they came off a 3-series, there is a lot of Mazda vibe with this car, and that is the problem with the Genesis brand overall, they don't really have a unique design language.  It just looks like a mishmash of other brands.

    The interior looks like it came from a Mazda 6, which is nice for a family sedan, not so good if competing with Mercedes and Audi and BMW.  I think that interior will let them down unless they are priced way less than the Germans.  Or at CLA/A3 money, not A4/C-class money.

    The powertrain options look solid, the ATS really needs a turbo V6, that 3.6 liter is down 100 lb-ft of torque to the G70.  If Hyundai wants to make a splash they would put the 5.0 V8 in this car with twin turbos, or do some sort of hybrid off the 3.3 V6 that adds like a 150 hp electric motor.

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    The ATS wont live that long. The CTS/ATS replacement will likely be a 2019 model year, and it's almost guaranteed to be a 2.0T/3.0T powertrain, with a new hi-po V8 topping the range.

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    The ATS replacement.

    I still think JDN is being cagey with words when he says that the number of sedans will be reduced. Yes, the XTS obviously will go, but I think the "sedans" part should be examined. The ATS and CTS aren't going to be combined into a single car, there will be vehicles in both slots... they just might not be sedans. Think new Regal Sportback, Kia Stinger, Tesla Model S as examples.

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    ATS/CTS replacements' engine line-up is a no-brainer.. 2.0T, 3.0TT, 4.0L(?)T or whatever V8 is in the Camaro. That being said... CT3 and CT5 should directly be cousins to whatever the higher volume Camaro and Impala (yup.. I'm on that again). Personally I'm with Drew on this.. I think that JDN is being coy.. and we will see direct replacements to each car except the XTS, and there is a strong possibility that the we will be seeing the CT8 as well. Considering his philosophy at Audi brought us an A3(yes this was brought forth on his watch, before he left for Infiniti) A4, A5, A6, A7, and A8 even in today's UV climate I doubt we won't still have at least 4 cars at Cadillac.

    Quote

    To add to its expansion, de Nysschen said the CT6 will eventually get a “very sophisticated and modern internal combustion engine” that Cadillac plans to introduce. De Nysschen also said as the current sedan models like the ATS and CTS sedans reach the end of their time, there won’t be “natural successors” for the cars. Instead, he said, Cadillac wants to “re-balance [its] sedan portfolio.”

    “The vehicles that are under development as you and I speak will have the net result that Cadillac ultimately will have three sedan entries, of which CT6 will be the most senior,” de Nysschen said.http://jalopnik.com/cadillac-president-on-cancellation-rumors-there-is-abs-1797141183

     

    As to the Kia.. what's so surprising. All they do is mishmash other company's designs together.. call it theirs and put a decent sized engine in it that never gets the fuel economy they promise.. never really performs as well as the big boys.. and cheapen the price to get the wow factor from sheep who are looking to be led. And if U don't believe me.. take a stock V6 Impala.. challenge someone in  Genesis or Equus V8.. and be prepared to be surprised that some how your  305HP V6 beat a 400+HP V8. Either Chevy is lying to us about the 3.6L being only 305HP or Hyundai is lying.. which happens all too often

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    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The ATS replacement.

    I still think JDN is being cagey with words when he says that the number of sedans will be reduced. Yes, the XTS obviously will go, but I think the "sedans" part should be examined. The ATS and CTS aren't going to be combined into a single car, there will be vehicles in both slots... they just might not be sedans. Think new Regal Sportback, Kia Stinger, Tesla Model S as examples.

    They might replace ATS and CTS with a sedan based on the Malibu platform for all we know.  Never underestimate GM's ability to cost cut and cut corners.  I figure as long as the Camaro is around, they'll make a 4 door sedan on the same platform, that is Cadillac's mid-size sedan.  CT6 for large sedan, the rest of the line up will be crossovers.  Look how crowded the sedan segment is, and a lot of these entry lux sedans are selling 1,000 units a month, hard way to make a profit.

    2, 3, 4 liter engines is a no brainier since China has displacement taxes at those numbers.    I wonder if JDN is getting paid by Infiniti to run Cadillac into the ground.  I don't think he is being coy, I think he is clueless how to beat the Germans, and he trails all 3 Japanese luxury brands now too.

    Edited by smk4565

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    7 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    They might replace ATS and CTS with a sedan based on the Malibu platform for all we know.  

    Alpha platform is going into its second generation.... so no. 

    • Upvote 3

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    13 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    They might replace ATS and CTS with a sedan based on the Malibu platform for all we know.  Never underestimate GM's ability to cost cut and cut corners.  I figure as long as the Camaro is around, they'll make a 4 door sedan on the same platform, that is Cadillac's mid-size sedan.  CT6 for large sedan, the rest of the line up will be crossovers.  Look how crowded the sedan segment is, and a lot of these entry lux sedans are selling 1,000 units a month, hard way to make a profit.

    2, 3, 4 liter engines is a no brainier since China has displacement taxes at those numbers.    I wonder if JDN is getting paid by Infiniti to run Cadillac into the ground.  I don't think he is being coy, I think he is clueless how to beat the Germans, and he trails all 3 Japanese luxury brands now too.

    Sorry. Cadillac doesn't load their luxury stable with FWD sedans. :D

    • Haha 2

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    13 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Alpha platform is going into its second generation.... so no. 

    Yes. Already in development Internal Codenames:

    A2SL = (Alpha) (2nd Gen) (SWB)( Cadillac)=CT3

    A2LL = (Alpha) (2nd Gen) (LWB)( Cadillac)= CT5

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    5 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

    Sorry. Cadillac doesn't load their luxury stable with FWD sedans. :D

    Cadillac's number 1 seller is front drive and the XTS is front drive, XT4 is front drive.  That is a lot of front wheel drive.  And the bean counters read those sales charts and see front drive selling and CTS and ATS not.

    5 hours ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

    Yes. Already in development Internal Codenames:

    A2SL = (Alpha) (2nd Gen) (SWB)( Cadillac)=CT3

    A2LL = (Alpha) (2nd Gen) (LWB)( Cadillac)= CT5

    Will they be wider and have more interior space?

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    ATS already has more interior space than the identically-sized CLA.

    I believe most of the XTS and XT5 vehicles are sold as AWD. That's not how people buy cars anyway (drive wheels)- most have no idea which end drives.
    Will MB change their CUVs to FWD because the RX sells way more?

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    2 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    1) Cadillac's number 1 seller is front drive and the XTS is front drive, XT4 is front drive.  That is a lot of front wheel drive.  And the bean counters read those sales charts and see front drive selling and CTS and ATS not.

    2) Will they be wider and have more interior space?

    1) Cadillac's number one seller is selling not because its FWD, but because its their only CUV in a market that wants CUVs. Bet good money that if the XT5 was actually based on the CTS RWD/AWD it would sell in the exact same numbers, maybe more as it would then be able to also be an enthusiast's vehicle with the right optional driveline

    2)If they weren't.. what would even be the point of re-engineering the platform? Despite its age it is still a fantastic handler, and one of the lightest in class... plus.. considering the bitching and complaining.. and it being the one real thing that most reviewers zeroed in on thru out its life.. I'd say most likely so. Also.. look what they did with the Malibu after similar issues with space in the 2013-15 models. That car has so much space in the rear now I could have a menage a trois back there and never get a charlie horse

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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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