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Detroit Auto Show: Hyundai Graduates The Genesis Into The Second Generation: Comments


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When Hyundai introduced the Genesis sedan back in 2009, many were skeptical that the automaker could sell a luxury car in the U.S. Well Hyundai has been able to prove them wrong as the Genesis was improved and sales climbed upward. As a reward, Hyundai has decided to continue on with the Genesis and introduced the next-generation at the Detroit Auto Show today.

The 2015 Genesis heralds a new design language that Hyundai calls Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. This begins up front with a flatter end and a large hexagonal grille. The side profile features a number of character creases, a coupe-like sloping rear windshield, and sharp looking alloy wheels. In the cabin, the Genesis is very similar to the Equus with the dashboard layout. Other details to take note are ihgher grade seat upholstery, new panoramic sunroof, the second-generation of Hyundai's BlueLink infotainment system, and a quieter cabin.

Under the hood are two different engines; a 3.8L V6 with 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque, and a 5.0L V8 with 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet. Both engines are slightly down on power, but Hyundai explains the reason for the power reduction is to improve useable power. Both engines will come with an eight-speed automatic.

Available on the V6 is Hyundai's new all-wheel-drive system called HTRAC. HTRAC uses an electronic torque split system to divide power between the front and rear wheels variably. There are three different settings to choose from. Normal keeps the split even between the front and rear wheels. Sport sends more power to the rear wheels. Eco improves fuel economy.

The V8 will come with continuous damping control suspension system.

Other changes for the Genesis include automatic braking system whcih will be able to fully stop the car between 5 and 50 mph, C02 sensor in the cabin that monitors oxygen levels to help drivers stay alert, and new heads-up display.

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis arrives this spring.

Source: Hyundai

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Press Release is on Page 2


ALL-NEW 2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS DEBUTS AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW WITH FLUIDIC SCULPTURE 2.0 DESIGN AND HTRAC® AWD CAPABILITY

  • New, Ultra-rigid Rear-drive Platform Adds More Precise Vehicle Dynamics, Superior Passenger Safety and Multi-mode AWD Availability
  • Automatic Emergency Braking, Head’s-up Display, Blind-Spot Detection, Cabin CO2 Sensor and Lane-Keep Assist Added to Suite of Active Safety Features
  • Second-generation Blue Link® Telematics and Infotainment Suite to Debut

DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2014 – Today Hyundai introduced its all-new 2015 Genesis at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, marking the highly-anticipated launch of its second-generation premium sedan. The groundbreaking original Genesis model won the prestigious North American Car of the Year accolade at its introduction in 2009.

The 2015 Genesis represents a bold step forward for Hyundai, continuing to build upon its successful strategy of marketing its premium models under the Hyundai brand umbrella, rather than a costly separate luxury brand sales channel. The new Genesis is incredibly well-equipped in every configuration, offering even more content than the first-generation Genesis. This additional content includes a generous suite of standard safety and convenience features, unsurpassed in its class. For the first time in a Hyundai sedan, a sophisticated AWD system will be offered, known as HTRAC®, significantly broadening Genesis appeal in Snowbelt regions throughout the U.S. The new Genesis will be built at Hyundai’s Ulsan, Korea plant, with U.S. sales beginning in the spring.

“Hyundai is proud to bring our next-generation Genesis sedan to eager U.S. consumers in just a few short months,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Market expectations for the new Genesis are understandably high, and we’re confident the Genesis’ combination of superb dynamics, bold design, class-leading safety and driver-focused technologies will exceed those expectations by a large margin.”

FLUIDIC SCULPTURE 2.0

Since its 2009 debut on the Sonata sedan, Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy has been continually enhanced and refined, progressively influencing every model in the Hyundai line-up. The all-new Genesis will be the first Hyundai to embody Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, the second-generation of this convention-shattering design theme.

Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 encapsulates a trio of main design elements: fluid aesthetics, the modern Hyundai look, and a premium ambience. Fluidic forms are still present but with a more refined and precise presentation. This latest design philosophy is adaptable to a wider range of vehicle types and sizes, from CUVs to premium-luxury flagships. The all-new Sonata sedan, to debut later this year, will also clearly manifest the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design philosophy.

EXTERIOR DESIGN

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis expresses a truly modern design through distinctive exterior styling with a sleek, upscale appearance. Evoking a premium feel, the design cues display a new Hyundai family aesthetic: simple and harmonious design with refined fluidic elements. The design features the modern Hyundai look, with a striking hexagonal front grille as a key geometric element, a dynamic crease accent running along the flanks of the car, and a dynamic rear design. Design surfaces convey a kinetic elegance, relying more on voluminous body sections than surface details to create dramatic forms. Proportions demonstrate a long dash-to-axle length, longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs than its predecessor. These proportions clearly convey the performance rear-drive configuration beneath the sheetmetal.

The single-frame 3D-hexagonal grille ensures the front end of the all-new Genesis is not only striking, depicted in semi-gloss chrome, but also encompasses available HID headlamps, LED indicators and fog lamps. In profile, the Genesis daylight opening is more expressive, with fluid lines and blended surfaces, a sleek C-pillar helping to emphasize the sporty styling. The rear of the all-new Genesis benefits from a sculptural aesthetic with jeweled, full-LED taillamps.

INTERIOR DESIGN

The cabin layout of all-new Genesis has been designed to benefit all occupants with a spacious, comfortable ambience. The simplification of the switchgear and instrument panel ensures an intuitive layout and open feel. This user-centric design has sought to connect the various interior parts effectively, particularly the center stack with the console, upper-instrument panel and B-pillar with the headliner. Genesis displays ultra-precise fit and finish, with ergonomic seat design and a generous, natural feel. Particular design attention has been paid to the storage of practical items such as mobile electronics of all shapes and sizes, along with the flexibility of the cup holders.

Total interior volume is an impressive 123.0 cubic feet, an advantage over key competitors. As part of this spacious interior design, the Genesis provides best-in-class front headroom and rear shoulder room.

Hyundai interior design principles – safety, intuitiveness and simplicity – guided the Genesis design team in redesigning all primary controls to deliver maximum ease of use. The steering wheel design and grip has been improved and onboard switchgear was redesigned; a number of switches previously found on the center console of the original Genesis were relocated and reshaped on the Genesis. Further ergonomic improvements to ensure ease of reach and control have been meticulously evaluated and executed using a specially-designed laboratory tool created to measure occupant operational force for ergonomics.

A new design pattern has been introduced to decrease relative interior reflections and brighten dashboard surfaces, while high-grade materials such as genuine aluminum and matte-finish wood are available. Cohesion between the center fascia and audio controls has been ensured through a streamlined design, making the two separate sections appear as one. To ensure a luxurious feel, Genesis was intensely scrutinized for its use of materials, with extensive analysis of the relationship of different materials, their texture and color coordination.

Driver and passenger posture are optimized using enhanced seat pad density, improved seat support technologies, such as adjustable driver’s seat power bolsters and seat cushion extension. Genesis seats offer 12-way power front seats, including 4-way power lumbar, heated front seats with available ventilation, as well as available heated rear seats. Seat materials and stitching quality have been enhanced with the introduction of double, rather than single stitching. The redesigned driver’s seat incorporates new functionality, with an available new air-pressure pump and controller valve, providing seatback bolster adjustment through individual air-cells located in the seat. With a total operating time under 8-seconds, the Genesis benefits from both a faster activation process and greater range of adjustment than many competitive rivals.

New interior-focused features for Genesis include available manual rear side sunshades for enhanced occupant comfort. Genesis passengers are also sure to appreciate the enhanced perspective of their surroundings via the new available panoramic sunroof.

NEW ULTRA-RIGID PLATFORM WITH AVAILABLE AWD

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis receives a redesigned platform to accommodate its new available HTRAC® AWD system, using no shared components with its previous generation. The platform employs even more advanced high-strength steel, now over 50 percent of total platform composition. The benefits of strategic use of high-strength steel are immediately evident in 16 percent stiffer torsional rigidity and 40 percent stiffer bending rigidity compared with the highly-acclaimed first-generation architecture. As a result, the new Genesis is stiffer in both torsional and bending rigidity than the BMW 5-series.

Body and mounting point stiffness are also improved on the Genesis. Ensuring a smooth ride over rough roads was a top development focus, achieved by a more robust connecting structure, extensive laser welding, reinforced body and chassis mounting points, new hot stamping and dipping techniques for the B-pillar and roof sides, and an increased amount of high-strength steel in the chassis. Front shock towers are made of aluminum, and a diamond-shaped strut bar maximizes front structure rigidity for precise steering response. Front seat frames were also strengthened for greater rigidity.

PERFORMANCE CHASSIS

Fully leveraging this new, stiffer chassis is an all-new rear multi-link suspension, with newly optimized 5-link geometry and increased suspension travel for a broader envelope of both dynamic performance and ride comfort. Lateral suspension stiffness and overall ride comfort refinement were top priorities in its dynamic development. The fully-independent, 5-link front and rear suspension designs have increased stiffness compared with the original Genesis, with increased front and rear suspension travel, for greater wheel articulation and bump absorption over a variety of road surfaces. The reduction in camber angles when turning at speed results in improved steering feel, 23 percent less tire tilt, and increased lateral grip. New 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels are stronger and resist deflection forces for more precise suspension response to changing road surfaces.

A Continuous Damping Control (CDC) suspension, available on the Genesis 5.0, helps increase control of body motions and body roll, allowing sportier roadholding to be complemented with a more comfortable ride character. Independent roll control characteristics are achieved using separate tuning controls: Normal mode helps provide superior ride comfort, while Sport mode helps increase damping forces for enhanced dynamic precision and control. Handling and roadholding also benefit from a well-balanced 52/48 ratio of front-to-rear weight distribution.

In addition, special focus was given to the development of Rack-mounted Motor Driven Electric Power Steering (R-MDPS), with a Variable Gear Ratio (VGR), helping to provide high-speed stability and more direct feel at low and medium speeds. These driving qualities are attained while retaining the incremental fuel economy benefits of an electric system over the higher parasitic losses of hydraulic systems.

NEW HTRAC® AWD AVAILABILITY

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is offered with a choice of rear-wheel-drive or new HTRAC® All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) configurations. The new HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The system is very lightweight at 165 lbs.

The driver-selectable HTRAC Normal and Eco modes help provide confident control in all-weather conditions. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more available torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty rear-drive dynamic feel when desired. Further, to maximize efficiency, the system can direct more available torque to the rear wheels during steady-state highway cruising for reduced drivetrain frictional losses and noise. This system has a wider range of torque distribution variability than many competitive systems and has been tuned to variable conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill-starts. All modes are programmed in concert with Genesis’ Intelligent Drive Mode select.

DYNAMIC CHASSIS DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING

In addition to extensive on-the-road and laboratory testing, circuit-based testing of the Genesis took place in Germany, Korea and Hyundai’s California Proving Ground in the U.S. High g-force assessment of the new HTRAC AWD system was completed at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam, the venue for one round of the Formula One World Championship. Durability and high-performance handling driving tests took place on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany to precisely calibrate Genesis ride, braking and handling characteristics. Furthermore, Hyundai engineers collaborated with top dynamics experts such as Lotus Engineering to further validate the performance capability of the Genesis.

MOST POWERFUL HYUNDAI V8 ENGINE

The heart of the Genesis 5.0 is the award-winning 5.0-liter Tau V8 engine producing 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 383 lb. ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm. The Tau V8 engine family has been named to Ward’s prestigious Ten Best Engines list three times. With high-pressure direct injection for impressive power, low emissions and superb efficiency, this latest version of the Tau V8 benefits from an optimized intake runner length, enhanced timing chain for reduced friction and NVH, low-torque exhaust manifold, increased compression ratio and upgraded multiple-injection mapping. These enhancements combine to produce a flatter torque curve at lower rpm for even better driveability.

The Tau’s high 11.8:1 compression ratio increases thermal efficiency and output. The Tau also has a rigid bed plate for improved block rigidity and lower NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness), as well as camshaft carriers and a roller timing chain to improve valvetrain stability.

Even more, this V8 offers Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), a tuned variable induction system, and low-friction coatings on piston skirts. This Tau engine will also run on regular fuel with only a small reduction in peak power, and no negative driving effects, whenever desired.

The Tau 5.0-liter V8 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This Hyundai-developed transmission offers enhanced shift logic and speed, better acceleration, sport-mode mapping, shifting smoothness, and transmission efficiency. All eight-speed transmissions include SHIFTRONIC® manual shift capability with conveniently-located steering wheel paddle shifters to enhance shifting ease during spirited driving.

DIRECT-INJECTED LAMBDA 3.8-LITER ENGINE

The Genesis 3.8-liter direct-injected Lambda engine has also been further optimized to deliver a flatter overall torque curve at low rpm for enhanced driveability. Thoroughly improved for the new Genesis, this engine includes a three-stage variable intake system, triangular-pattern fuel injector for improved combustion, an air-gap exhaust manifold for better NVH, and an upgraded cylinder block with a variable-vane 2-stage oil pump for reduced parasitic losses. In keeping with its 5.0-liter V8 sibling, the Genesis 3.8-liter Lambda engine utilizes direct-injection and produces 311 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 293 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm. It also has a high compression ratio of 11.5:1 for greater thermal efficiency. The Lambda engine will run on regular fuel with only a small reduction in peak power, and no negative driving effects, whenever desired by the owner.

The 3.8-liter engine also has Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), variable induction, an all-aluminum block and heads, steel timing chain and iridium-tipped spark plugs. Besides horsepower and torque gains, direct-injection technology produces a significant reduction in emissions.

All 3.8-liter engines are coupled to the same eight-speed automatic transmission design as the Genesis 5.0. This Hyundai-developed transmission offers enhanced shift logic and speed, better acceleration, sport-mode mapping, shifting smoothness, and transmission efficiency. All eight-speed transmissions include SHIFTRONIC® manual shift capability with ergonomically-placed paddle shifters for spirited driving with manual shifting.

SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES

Genesis offers abundant standard safety features, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), nine airbags, and anti-whiplash front head restraints. Genesis' nine airbags include advanced dual front airbags, driver’s knee airbag, front and outboard rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants.

Although government crash testing for the new Genesis is not yet complete, the entire structure was engineered to meet the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick + standard.

Daytime running lights come standard on Genesis. Further, Genesis offers a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). Whenever the system is activated, the haptic steering wheel will provide a vibration warning and dial-integrated warning light to alert drivers of their lane departure, allowing them to reposition the car smoothly into the correct position.

Even Genesis’ tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) has been enhanced with individual tire pressure readouts available to the driver.

Genesis is brought to a halt by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Genesis 3.8 models have large 13.6-inch front rotors, while the 5.0 has even larger 14.2-inch front rotors. Both braking systems use four-piston fixed monobloc calipers for precise braking responsiveness.

SENSORY SURROUND SAFETYTM TECHNOLOGIES

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis employs a suite of active driver safety technologies dubbed Sensory Surround SafetyTM. These features cover the full spectrum of safety, from driver alertness and focus to total occupant safety, and even the safety of other drivers around you.

Genesis offers a Hyundai first, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), utilizing sensor fusion technology to help avoid a potential collision or reduce its impact. With this system, Genesis will employ automatic braking whenever it detects another vehicle at an unsafe closing rate of speed. This system uses the Smart Cruise Control system and the forward camera from the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) to provide this extra margin of safety.

Genesis’ Smart Cruise Control (SCC) incorporates stop-start functionality that functions seamlessly with the standard electronic stability control system. The new system for Genesis allows full function down to zero mph to operate seamlessly in stop-and-go traffic conditions, using the front-grille-mounted radar sensor. SCC enables the Genesis to help maintain safer, consistent spacing with the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions. The system can also help deploy an available Automatic Emergency Braking system should a stationary vehicle be detected ahead.

Genesis is generously equipped with new, advanced technologies, many of them Hyundai firsts. A new driver-selectable Intelligent Drive Mode allows drivers to select from four drive modes depending on conditions and driving preferences. Each drive mode alters transmission mapping, throttle responsiveness, stability control, and suspension damping settings, with specific modes adapted to function seamlessly with HTRAC AWD for those Genesis so equipped.

In addition to the above modes, Genesis features an Emergency Steering Support Mode which automatically changes the setting of suspension and electronic stability control (ESC) in the direction suitable for emergency steering, to help avoid frontal crash situations.

Genesis also debuts a new Blind-Spot Detection system (BSD), which helps monitor traffic around the car. The system uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to help warn the driver of an approaching vehicle in his or her blind spot via an indicator on the side mirrors. If the driver activates the lane change indicator and attempts to change the lane, ignoring warning indicators, BSD additionally issues an audible warning and haptic steering wheel vibrations. In addition, for Genesis’ equipped with the Head’s-Up Display, the BSD system indicators also project onto the windshield, nearer the driver’s view of the road, a segment first.

Lane Change Assist (LCA) performs a similar function to help detect vehicles approaching towards its rear side at high speeds, especially during higher-speed driving, while Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) scans areas to each side of the car when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. No other sedan in Genesis’ class offers the combination of Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA), and Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) active safety systems.

From the front, the available Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) captures images of lanes and recognizes the lane marker. If LDWS detects lane departure, a warning signal is activated on the instrument panel while issuing a haptic steering wheel vibration warning. Working in concert with LDWS, Genesis’ Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) performs a similar function of LDWS, but LKAS additionally provides a driver-adjustable level of steering assist to help prevent inadvertent lane departure when a vehicle approaches the edge of a lane and also provides steering wheel haptic vibration feedback.

For convenience and safety, a High-beam Assist (HBA) function is also available. When switched to automatic mode, it detects both oncoming vehicles and vehicles in the same lane ahead at night and changes to low-beam as appropriate, reducing blinding effects on other drivers. Whenever there are no vehicles detected, the system automatically re-activates the high beams, maximizing the driver’s range of vision. To maximize driving visibility, Genesis offers HID headlamps with dynamic auto-leveling that compensates for varying vehicle loads.

To help ensure maximum driver alertness, Genesis also benefits from a world-first technology in its CO2sensor control system, located under the glove box. Hyundai engineers discovered that occupants start to get drowsy when CO2 levels reached more than 2,000 parts per million, so the new ventilation system helps ensure the cabin maintains a CO2 concentration well below that level at all times using freshly-ventilated ambient air. The system monitors the vehicle’s intake of fresh or re-circulated air using a dedicated CO2 sensor.

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis also offers a parking assistance system with eight ultrasonic sensors located on the front and rear bumpers. The sensors, along with the rear backup camera, help detect how close objects are when parking. Distance is indicated on the in-dash screen and accompanied by an audible warning tone.

NVH REDUCTION

In pursuit of refined quietness within the Genesis cabin, Hyundai engineers analyzed idle noise and vibration, acceleration, road and wind noise, and audible booming throughout the bodyshell. Sound-absorbing materials and a low-noise fuel pump have been fitted, cowl bulkhead insulation and sealing improved, and vibrations minimized through an improvement in overall bodyshell rigidity. Additional insulation of the rear differential helps reduce booming and vibration, resulting in lower audible noise inside the Genesis passenger cabin.

Under acceleration, better sound quality has been achieved through mid-to high-frequency noise reduction, and dynamic engine sound improvements were achieved through intake and exhaust system tuning. Engine support brackets have been moved further apart for greater stiffness, while transmission and sub-frame mounts have been stiffened by up to 100 percent.

To improve NVH performance at cruising speeds (35-75 mph), Hyundai engineers increased the stiffness of parts associated with the sub-frames and suspension, lowering levels of cavity and rumble noise. To ensure Genesis recorded lower interior noise in crosswind conditions, doors were thickened, sunroof articulation reshaped, and changes were made to the sealing process for increased durability and performance. In addition, cowl bulkhead insulation and sealing has been improved, with the total weight of the sound insulation package used on the Genesis at only 84 lbs., yielding a remarkable NVH reduction-to-weight ratio.

DRIVER CONVENIENCE TECHNOLOGIES

Most Genesis competitors with hands-free trunk-opening technology use a leg-kick sensor under the rear bumper to enable the driver to open the trunk. Hyundai ergonomics engineers found this method to be difficult when an individual is carrying cumbersome packages, such as from shopping. So the Genesis Smart Trunk system was designed to open the trunk automatically if the smart key is detected in a pocket or purse within a few feet of the rear bumper for longer than three seconds, for maximum hands-free ease of opening when desired. This system allows the driver to keep both feet comfortably on the ground, simply waiting by the trunk a few seconds for it to open automatically. The Smart Trunk system also provides an audible warning and flashing light prior to opening.

Taking inspiration from aircraft technology, an available new Head’s-Up Display (HUD) projects a virtual image onto the windshield, enabling the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road using a system of mirrors combined with a TFT LCD display. The system utilizes a wide screen with adjustable brightness to ensure both excellent daytime and nighttime visibility. Driving information such as speed, Smart Cruise Control status, navigation, Blind Spot Detection, Forward Collision Warning, speed limit, Lane Departure Warning System and audio system data is projected at a perceived virtual distance approximately six feet ahead of the driver for maximum legibility while driving.

Genesis also offers an electronic parking brake with Automatic Vehicle Hold for convenience when driving in traffic. Automatic Vehicle Hold automatically holds the Genesis at a stop until the accelerator pedal is depressed, such as at a traffic signal or in stopped traffic. The vehicle hold re-engages whenever the vehicle is brought to a complete stop. Genesis also includes proximity-key entry convenience with push-button start as standard equipment.

MEDIA AND NAVIGATION SYSTEMS

Genesis offers an ultra-premium, Lexicon® Discrete Logic 7 Surround audio system with 17 speakers, Logic 7 Surround Sound processing and 12-channel digital amplifier with 900-watts of equivalent output, sure to satisfy the most demanding audiophile. The system also includes SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio, and iPod/USB auxiliary media input jacks. The standard Lexicon system offers 14 speakers, with Discrete Logic 7 Surround processing and a 12-channel DSP amplifier with 900-watts of equivalent output.

An optional premium DIS navigation system for Genesis offers a 9.2-inch High Definition display, with 720p high definition (a segment first), a 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD) for multimedia, and premium Lexicon audio system. This premium system also includes Gracenote® album art, junction view with lane guidance, advanced voice recognition, and music/image/video storage via USB download (approximately 30GB of usable storage).

The new standard audio-navigation system, displayed by an 8.0-inch touchscreen, is packed with integrated technology, from Bluetooth to navigation, satellite and HD radio, hands-free and app-supporting software.

Genesis cluster displays utilize high-resolution, electroluminescent TFT LCD technology, with a standard 4.3-inch TFT LCD cluster display, and an available 7.0-inch TFT LCD cluster display.

A simple pop-up message appears to help pair a phone and the voice recognition software understands street addresses and cities all in one sentence. The route screen displays speed limits, details the next three maneuvers, shows real highway signage and has junction views with lane guidance. Lane guidance outlines the lane or lanes the driver needs to stay in when a highway splits. Junction view uses street and actual road sign images to match what the driver will see when arriving at the next maneuver.

SECOND-GENERATION BLUE LINK® ENHANCEMENTS

2015 Genesis will be the first Hyundai to offer its second-generation Blue Link and infotainment features. The scope of these new features is broad and has something special to offer every driver, including:

  • Destination Search powered by Google – users will be able to take advantage of Google’s powerful destination search via the Blue Link button (voice recognition) and navigation display, or through myhyundai.com and the Blue Link mobile app sending a destination to their car
  • Remote Start– now includes an engine timer (from 1 to 10 min.), remote stop, remote climate control and remote defroster
  • Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and SOS Emergency Assistance –includes user-selected emergency contacts notification via SMS and e-mail

GENESIS INTELLIGENT ASSISTANT® APP

The Genesis Intelligent Assistant® is a proactive app for automobiles intended to save the driver time and provide an even higher level of convenience. The app combines Blue Link features, data from the vehicle, the owner’s smartphone, and the internet with multiple layers of intelligence. This allows the Genesis Intelligent Assistant app to send proactive notifications and recommendations to the Genesis owner in preparation for their drive.

Genesis owners will no longer need to remember to remote start their car on a hot or cold day. The Genesis Intelligent Assistant app will remind them via their smartphone.

Genesis Intelligent Assistant Functionality:

  • By providing the app their commuting details and access to their smartphone’s calendar, owners can have the app automatically estimate appropriate departure times and send reminders for any upcoming appointments that require a drive
  • Departure reminder messages are determined by up-to-the-minute commute times from the user’s current location to the destination, accounting for traffic
  • Temperature outside the vehicle is determined via zip code prior to the estimated departure time. If the temperature is above or below the default level, the user will receive a notification, asking if they would like to remote start their vehicle for heating or cooling.
  • Recommendations for gas stations are provided, allowing the user to select a station and send the location to the vehicle’s navigation system.
  • Vehicle health status will also be communicated through the user’s smartphone when an action is required. These notifications allow the customer to schedule service for their Genesis directly from the app.
  • Many additional Blue Link features are included within the app, making it a single, integrated solution for all of the driver’s vehicle needs
  • The Genesis Intelligent Assistant app is a framework for the future with additional proactive functionality progressively available to provide the customer with the ultimate luxuries of time and convenience

HYUNDAI BLUE LINK GOOGLE GLASS® APP

Genesis demonstrates the Google Glass app as part of how wearable technology and Blue Link fit into a customer’s lifestyle. The app currently contains the core Blue Link functions as building blocks for future activities. Partnering with Station Digital Media and Covisint, Hyundai plans to expand the app features, building on the concept of “Time as the Ultimate Luxury” and leveraging the proactive functionality of the Genesis Intelligent Assistant app.

Released in limited numbers to early customers known as “Explorers,” Google Glass is a computerized, lightweight headset that can project text and images for the wearer to see on a special optical display. Google Glass Explorers can perform functions through voice commands, swipes or taps on a thin touchpad along the side of the frame.

Through the new app, Hyundai owners will be able to use Google Glass to access Blue Link’s vehicle safety, service and infotainment features. The Google Glass Blue Link app includes a host of popular functions at launch, including:

  • Remote vehicle start
  • Remote door lock/unlock
  • Remote Find My Car (search for your vehicle location to receive directions to it)
  • Point-of-Interest search sent to the Hyundai navigation system
  • Search for a gas station to send to your car
  • Call roadside assistance
  • Talk to a Blue Link agent
  • Locate nearby dealers

NEXT-GENERATION INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM

The Genesis next-generation infotainment system features:

  • Integration with Apple’s Siri-powered “Eyes Free” mode
  • Functionality allows owners of compatible vehicles to perform a variety of in-car tasks without taking their eyes off the road.
  • SD Navigation
  • Pandora® integration with smartphone
  • SoundHound® integration with internal modem
  • SiriusXM® Audio – 6 presets (record, play, pause, back)
  • SiriusXM®Travel Link and Traffic
  • Sports scores and schedules
  • Stock ticker
  • Movie times
  • Fuel prices
  • Weather/alerts
  • Advanced voice recognition
  • Screen-swipe technology
  • Music, video, image storage

HYUNDAI ASSURANCE CONNECTED CARE POWERED BY BLUE LINK®

Hyundai’s telematics services program, Assurance Connected Care, is standard for three years on all 2015 Genesis sedans equipped with Blue Link. This innovative ownership program provides Hyundai owners with proactive safety and car care services via the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle Car Care maintenance scheduling.

Hyundai also recently introduced an all-new mobile application for the Blue Link telematics platform. This mobile app allows subscribers to remotely access various optional Blue Link features and services through compatible mobile devices. Completely redesigned, the app has been significantly enhanced from the previous version and boasts a new user experience, faster navigation and innovative new features. Google Android and Apple iOS users can download the app from Google Play or Apple iTunes, respectively. A BlackBerry version is also available.

Blue Link is an innovative telematics solution that brings seamless connectivity for safety, service and infotainment capabilities and is offered in three packages: Assurance, Essentials and Guidance. More details regarding Hyundai Blue Link are available at www.HyundaiBlueLink.com.


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The mechanicals are good, I drove a couple first generation Genesis, and they are a nice driving car, quiet and smooth. If you want a roomy, smooth riding big car with classic rear drive feel they are a good choice. I imagine this new car will ride well and be nice to drive, but I don't like the looks at all.

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    • By William Maley
      Walking around the Venue, you become surprised at how small this crossover is. It comes in at 13 feet long and just under 6 feet wide, making it slightly smaller than the Accent sedan. The design is very chunky and boxy, which helps with maximizing interior space. The front has some interesting design traits such as a similar grille seen on larger Hyundai crossovers and a split headlight arrangement. With a large glass area and tall roof, the Venue feels very open and spacious. Finding a comfortable position upfront is no problem and the seats provide a good balance of comfort and support. The rear legroom is a bit tight for any over six-feet. Cargo space is on the small end with 18.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 31.9 with them folded. The Nissan Kicks as a comparison offers 25.3 and 53.1 cubic feet of space respectively. The interior design is quite pleasant with contrasting plastics used on the dash and door panels. I also like how all models get an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Power for the Venue is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 121 horsepower and 113 pounds-feet of torque. The base SE has a six-speed manual as standard*, while a CVT is optional. My SEL tester only comes with the CVT. Power goes to the front wheels only. If most of your driving takes place in an urban area, then the Venue is a perfect partner. It responds quickly off the line and can keep with the flow of traffic. The small size and quick steering make it a breeze to nip around and fit into tight parking spots. The highway is a different story as it takes the engine a bit of time to get up to speed. I should note that isn’t exclusive to the Venue as all cars on the subcompact class experience this issue. Fuel economy is rated at 30 City/34 Highway/32 Combined. My average landed around 30.2 mpg in a 60/40 mix of rural and city driving. Having a short wheelbase usually means a pretty choppy ride. But the Venue’s suspension does a surprising job of minimizing the impacts. For the money, the Venue is surprisingly well equipped. All models come with automatic headlights, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and an eight-inch touchscreen. The SEL is the sweet spot adding 15-inch alloys, automatic climate control, and a six-speaker audio system. It also allows you to order the Convenience package that adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a sunroof. The Venue is perfect for someone who is looking for a new car and lives in an urban environment. The small size, nimble nature, and list of equipment make it a strong contender in the growing subcompact crossover class. But if you need more cargo space or planning on driving on the highway more than the city, save up a little bit more money and move up to a Kona. (*Author’s Note: Hyundai dropped the six-speed manual for the 2021 model year.)

      Palisade Limited
      The Palisade is certainly a looker. Take the front end. There is a unique grille shape with a massive chrome surround, flanked by a split headlight arrangement. The Limited adds more a bit more chrome along with the windows and a set of 20-inch multi-spoke wheels. I think the abundance of chrome is a bit much. The interior could make some people at sister brand Genesis a bit envious. My Limited tester featured a suede headliner with openings for the dual glass roof panels; quilted door panels, and aluminum trim used throughout. Technology is another strong point to the Palisade. Similar to the Hyundai Sonata I drove earlier, the Palisade Limited comes with a reconfigurable 12.3-inch gauge display and a 10.2-inch infotainment system. Both are vibrant and easy to read even in direct sunlight. Hyundai's infotainment system still leads the way in being easy to use. Space is plentiful for front and second-row passengers. Third-row passengers get short-changed on legroom and seat padding. Limited and SEL come with seating for seven, while the base SE seats up to eight. Cargo space is in the mid-pack with 18 cubic feet with all seats up, 45.8 with the third-row folded, and 84 with all seats folded. The Palisade comes with a 3.8L V6 producing 291 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed is teamed with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. My tester had the latter. I never felt that I was looking for more power from the V6. Whether I leaving from a stop or needing to make a pass, the V6 and eight-speed automatic delivered a smooth and steady stream of power. Fuel economy is average for three-row crossovers. EPA says the Palisade AWD will return 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw 22 in my week-long test. Ride quality could rival some luxury sedans as various road imperfections seem to be ironed out. Road and wind noise is almost non-existent. To be clear, the Palisade isn't trying to be any sort of sporty crossover. But I was surprised at how well it minimizes body roll when on a winding road. Considering Hyundai's past attempts at a large three-row crossover, the Palisade is a clear winner. The interior is class-leading, it offers a pleasant ride, performance is smooth, and the trademark value proposition is here. The Limited seen here comes in at just under $48,000 with destination. What may set some away is the Palisade's styling, which I'll admit I did like for the most part. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Venue and Palisade; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Venue
      Trim: SEL
      Engine: 1.6L DPI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 121 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM:  113 @ 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 30/34/32
      Curb Weight: 2,732 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $19,250
      As Tested Price: $23,405 (Includes $1,120.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Package - $1,750.00
      Convenience Package - $1,150.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Palisade
      Trim: Limited AWD
      Engine: 3.8L GDI D-CVVT 24-Valve V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 291 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 5,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,387 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $46,625
      As Tested Price: $47,905 (Includes $1,120.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $160.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Walking around the Venue, you become surprised at how small this crossover is. It comes in at 13 feet long and just under 6 feet wide, making it slightly smaller than the Accent sedan. The design is very chunky and boxy, which helps with maximizing interior space. The front has some interesting design traits such as a similar grille seen on larger Hyundai crossovers and a split headlight arrangement. With a large glass area and tall roof, the Venue feels very open and spacious. Finding a comfortable position upfront is no problem and the seats provide a good balance of comfort and support. The rear legroom is a bit tight for any over six-feet. Cargo space is on the small end with 18.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 31.9 with them folded. The Nissan Kicks as a comparison offers 25.3 and 53.1 cubic feet of space respectively. The interior design is quite pleasant with contrasting plastics used on the dash and door panels. I also like how all models get an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Power for the Venue is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 121 horsepower and 113 pounds-feet of torque. The base SE has a six-speed manual as standard*, while a CVT is optional. My SEL tester only comes with the CVT. Power goes to the front wheels only. If most of your driving takes place in an urban area, then the Venue is a perfect partner. It responds quickly off the line and can keep with the flow of traffic. The small size and quick steering make it a breeze to nip around and fit into tight parking spots. The highway is a different story as it takes the engine a bit of time to get up to speed. I should note that isn’t exclusive to the Venue as all cars on the subcompact class experience this issue. Fuel economy is rated at 30 City/34 Highway/32 Combined. My average landed around 30.2 mpg in a 60/40 mix of rural and city driving. Having a short wheelbase usually means a pretty choppy ride. But the Venue’s suspension does a surprising job of minimizing the impacts. For the money, the Venue is surprisingly well equipped. All models come with automatic headlights, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and an eight-inch touchscreen. The SEL is the sweet spot adding 15-inch alloys, automatic climate control, and a six-speaker audio system. It also allows you to order the Convenience package that adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a sunroof. The Venue is perfect for someone who is looking for a new car and lives in an urban environment. The small size, nimble nature, and list of equipment make it a strong contender in the growing subcompact crossover class. But if you need more cargo space or planning on driving on the highway more than the city, save up a little bit more money and move up to a Kona. (*Author’s Note: Hyundai dropped the six-speed manual for the 2021 model year.)

      Palisade Limited
      The Palisade is certainly a looker. Take the front end. There is a unique grille shape with a massive chrome surround, flanked by a split headlight arrangement. The Limited adds more a bit more chrome along with the windows and a set of 20-inch multi-spoke wheels. I think the abundance of chrome is a bit much. The interior could make some people at sister brand Genesis a bit envious. My Limited tester featured a suede headliner with openings for the dual glass roof panels; quilted door panels, and aluminum trim used throughout. Technology is another strong point to the Palisade. Similar to the Hyundai Sonata I drove earlier, the Palisade Limited comes with a reconfigurable 12.3-inch gauge display and a 10.2-inch infotainment system. Both are vibrant and easy to read even in direct sunlight. Hyundai's infotainment system still leads the way in being easy to use. Space is plentiful for front and second-row passengers. Third-row passengers get short-changed on legroom and seat padding. Limited and SEL come with seating for seven, while the base SE seats up to eight. Cargo space is in the mid-pack with 18 cubic feet with all seats up, 45.8 with the third-row folded, and 84 with all seats folded. The Palisade comes with a 3.8L V6 producing 291 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed is teamed with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. My tester had the latter. I never felt that I was looking for more power from the V6. Whether I leaving from a stop or needing to make a pass, the V6 and eight-speed automatic delivered a smooth and steady stream of power. Fuel economy is average for three-row crossovers. EPA says the Palisade AWD will return 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw 22 in my week-long test. Ride quality could rival some luxury sedans as various road imperfections seem to be ironed out. Road and wind noise is almost non-existent. To be clear, the Palisade isn't trying to be any sort of sporty crossover. But I was surprised at how well it minimizes body roll when on a winding road. Considering Hyundai's past attempts at a large three-row crossover, the Palisade is a clear winner. The interior is class-leading, it offers a pleasant ride, performance is smooth, and the trademark value proposition is here. The Limited seen here comes in at just under $48,000 with destination. What may set some away is the Palisade's styling, which I'll admit I did like for the most part. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Venue and Palisade; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Venue
      Trim: SEL
      Engine: 1.6L DPI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 121 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM:  113 @ 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 30/34/32
      Curb Weight: 2,732 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $19,250
      As Tested Price: $23,405 (Includes $1,120.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Package - $1,750.00
      Convenience Package - $1,150.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Palisade
      Trim: Limited AWD
      Engine: 3.8L GDI D-CVVT 24-Valve V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 291 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 5,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4,387 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $46,625
      As Tested Price: $47,905 (Includes $1,120.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $160.00
    • By William Maley
      It is surprising to think it has been over six years since Hyundai first showed the Santa Cruz pickup concept at the Detroit Auto Show. But today, Hyundai has unveiled the production version. The automaker isn't calling this a truck, instead using the term "Sport Adventure Vehicle". To us, it's a truck.
      We need to start with a bit of a reality check. The Santa Cruz is not a direct competitor to the likes of Chevrolet Colorado, Honda Ridgeline, or Toyota Tacoma in terms of measurements. Compared to those models, the Santa Cruz is around 10 to 17 inches shorter in length. Overall height is around 3 to 4 inches shorter. The bed measures 4.3 feet, which is about foot shorter than the Ranger. There is also an in-bed trunk like the Ridgeline.
      The model is based on the recently redesigned Tucson crossover, which explains why it shares the front end styling - complete with headlights in the massive grille. That also means it shares the same engines as the Tucson. Here's the lineup,
      2.5L four-cylinder:  estimated 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb.-ft. of torque Turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder: estimated 275+ horsepower and 310+ lb.-ft. of torque The N/A 2.5 comes with an eight-speed automatic, while the turbo makes do with an eight-speed dual-clutch. Front-wheel drive is standard, while HTRAC all-wheel drive is optional.
      The interior looks very modern and comes with an eight-inch touchscreen in the center stack. Optional features include a 10-inch touchscreen and TFT instrument display. 
      Hyundai is keeping mum on pricing until the Santa Cruz launches sometime this summer.
      BTW: If you're wondering why the Santa Cruz took so long to reach production, I recommend this piece from Autoblog which delves into this.
      Source: Hyundai
      Hyundai Unveils Segment-Shattering Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle
      Highly-anticipated Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle Shatters Both SUV and Truck Segments, Creating an Entirely New Vehicle Category Multi-utility, Secure Open Bed Provides Diverse Gear-Carrying Flexibility Powerful and Efficient 2.5L Turbo Powertrain with HTRAC® AWD Capability Available Cutting-edge Connectivity, Convenience and Active Safety Features Compact Footprint Provides Superior Maneuverability in an Open-bed Configuration Proudly Built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) in Montgomery FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Apr. 15, 2021 – Hyundai today unveiled its highly anticipated Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. The 2022 Santa Cruz breaks new ground within the SUV, Truck and Crossover segments by offering a true Sport Adventure Vehicle unlike anything else in the U.S. market. Santa Cruz boasts bold yet sophisticated design, powerful and efficient powertrain options, a flexible open bed for gear, cutting-edge connectivity and a highly maneuverable all-wheel drive platform that is equally at home in urban and adventure-focused environments. The Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle begins production in Montgomery, Alabama in June and will be available for sale in summer. The addition of Santa Cruz to HMMA production will add an estimated 1,200 jobs to the U.S. economy. Hyundai is also creating an early reservation system for the U.S.-market Santa Cruz in late April at https://www.hyundaiusa.com/.
      “Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America.
      Why Santa Cruz?
      Santa Cruz was developed to be the ultimate Sport Adventure Vehicle, a moniker confirmed in Hyundai’s early consumer research. The research found consumers, often living in urban environments, whose lifestyles include the need to escape to weekend adventures of all kinds. Many of these customers carry various gear and equipment that is better suited to an open bed rather than a typical SUV bodystyle. These buyers want versatile transportation that is equally flexible for urban, adventure, occupational or even home improvement gear. Santa Cruz features a secure, open bed area which includes a lockable tonneau cover, hidden bed storage and versatile bed extension accessories. At the same time, these customers still value the secure utility of a compact SUV, with its comfort, passenger space, fuel efficiency and parking ease. Santa Cruz, with its unique, bold design, created an entirely new segment that meets these specific buyer needs like no vehicle before it.
      Everything about Santa Cruz reflects a duality of purpose in its design execution. This all-new category-bending vehicle holds a variety of imagery in balanced juxtaposition:
      Urban life connectivity with escape to outdoor adventure Work and play flexibility Tough yet alluring demeanor Roominess with maneuverability Open cargo area and secured, lockable storage Towing capability and fuel efficiency The forward view of Santa Cruz deploys a hidden lighting signature that becomes visible within the grille only when illuminated. The daytime running lamps (DRLs) present a parametric jewel design with high-tech precision detailing. A bold, cascading grille anchors the front view, supported by a skid plate element in the lower front fascia. Voluminous hood and fenders further communicate an imposing first impression.
      In profile, Santa Cruz signals a sporty yet capable spirit. The A- and C-pillars present faster forward and rearward rakes than typical open-bed utility vehicles. Large 20-inch alloy wheels with a multi-faceted, triangular design are surrounded by armor-like wheel arches, conveying both wheel-articulation potential and off-road capability. Powerful body side volumes contrast with precise triangular sheer-edged surfaces and tight radius character lines.
      From the rear, a horizontal “T” lighting signature adds visual width and distinguishes Santa Cruz from anything on the road. The functional rear open bed area features secure, lockable in-bed storage, integrated corner bumper steps and a lockable tonneau cover, seamlessly integrated with the overall design. The rear tail lamps are embossed with: “Designed in California” as a testament to the passion of Hyundai’s California-based design team. Small, discrete design details such as this can be found throughout the exterior and interior.
      Interior Design
      The interior of the Santa Cruz expresses a sophisticated and refined appearance. The contrasting rugged yet refined motif matches the boldness of the exterior, boasting a technical ambience that appeals to those who appreciate cutting-edge technologies in their daily lives. It features an enveloping dual-cockpit design that encapsulates each passenger. Design teams focused on ease of ingress and egress and ergonomic comfort on long drives. The premium center stack display features an edgeless infotainment screen appearance, with an impressive 10 inches of visibility. The optional center digital cluster display also measures 10 inches. Under the rear seats is convenient, in-cabin storage. Completing the premium ambience is an available Bose® audio system.
      Powerful and Efficient Powertrains
      Santa Cruz offers two powerful, flexible and efficient powertrains. The standard powertrain is a 2.5L direct-injected in-line four-cylinder engine with an estimated 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb.-ft. of torque. This engine couples to an eight-speed hydraulic automatic transmission for quick acceleration and superb efficiency. Santa Cruz also offers a 2.5L direct-injected turbocharged engine with an estimated 275+ horsepower and 310+ lb.-ft. of torque linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). This DCT includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting control by the driver.
      Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
      The eight-speed transmission for the standard 2.5-liter engine provides quick and crisp shifts for an engaging and efficient driving experience. This automatic transmission adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds allowing for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient trip on the interstate. A multi-disc and individually controlled hydraulic channel torque converter improves responsiveness by expanding the direct connection band, while a downsized oil pump and double ball bearings minimize frictional losses.
      Advanced HTRAC® AWD and Towing Capability
      Both 2.5L four-cylinder and 2.5L four-cylinder turbo models offer HTRAC® all-wheel drive capability for complete confidence when pursuing adventures of all kinds or for that extra peace of mind when driving in an unexpected snowfall. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty, dynamic experience. This system has a wide range of torque distribution variability, tuned for conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill starts. For those customers who like to tow their weekend gear with them, the 2.5L 4-cylinder is rated at 3,500 lbs. for towing and the 2.5L Turbo AWD model boasts a generous 5,000 lbs. of towing capability.
      Compact Dimensions Yield Superb Maneuverability
      Santa Cruz makes efficient use of its compact dimensions by offering high utility with excellent maneuverability. Its shorter wheelbase and smaller overall footprint make it a joy to maneuver and park in challenging urban parking, with an exceptional curb-to-curb turning radius of only 20.0 feet.
      Specification (in.)
      Santa Cruz
      Tacoma
      Ridgeline
      Frontier
      Length
      195.7
      212.2
      210.0
      205.5
      Width
      75.0
      75.2
      78.5
      72.8
      Height
      66.7
      70.7
      70.3
      70.1
      Wheelbase
      118.3
      127.4
      125.2
      126.0
      Bed Length
      Upper 48.4
      Lower 52.1
      60.4
      63.6
      59.4
      Footprint Area
      (sq. ft.)
      101.9
      109.7
      114.6
      103.9
                         
      Responsive and Refined Chassis Tuning
      Santa Cruz was developed with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsive performance for a wide variety of urban and off-road, multi-surface driving conditions. The shorter wheelbase, short overhangs and wide track create a planted stance that results in exceptional agility in urban environments. These specifications also provide confident agility when traversing off-road terrain. Available 20-inch alloy wheels with wide, all-season, all-terrain tires give surefooted, agile handling character on a variety of road surfaces. Available 18-inch wheels with more voluminous tire sidewalls for off-road adventures are also available.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It is surprising to think it has been over six years since Hyundai first showed the Santa Cruz pickup concept at the Detroit Auto Show. But today, Hyundai has unveiled the production version. The automaker isn't calling this a truck, instead using the term "Sport Adventure Vehicle". To us, it's a truck.
      We need to start with a bit of a reality check. The Santa Cruz is not a direct competitor to the likes of Chevrolet Colorado, Honda Ridgeline, or Toyota Tacoma in terms of measurements. Compared to those models, the Santa Cruz is around 10 to 17 inches shorter in length. Overall height is around 3 to 4 inches shorter. The bed measures 4.3 feet, which is about foot shorter than the Ranger. There is also an in-bed trunk like the Ridgeline.
      The model is based on the recently redesigned Tucson crossover, which explains why it shares the front end styling - complete with headlights in the massive grille. That also means it shares the same engines as the Tucson. Here's the lineup,
      2.5L four-cylinder:  estimated 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb.-ft. of torque Turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder: estimated 275+ horsepower and 310+ lb.-ft. of torque The N/A 2.5 comes with an eight-speed automatic, while the turbo makes do with an eight-speed dual-clutch. Front-wheel drive is standard, while HTRAC all-wheel drive is optional.
      The interior looks very modern and comes with an eight-inch touchscreen in the center stack. Optional features include a 10-inch touchscreen and TFT instrument display. 
      Hyundai is keeping mum on pricing until the Santa Cruz launches sometime this summer.
      BTW: If you're wondering why the Santa Cruz took so long to reach production, I recommend this piece from Autoblog which delves into this.
      Source: Hyundai
      Hyundai Unveils Segment-Shattering Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle
      Highly-anticipated Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle Shatters Both SUV and Truck Segments, Creating an Entirely New Vehicle Category Multi-utility, Secure Open Bed Provides Diverse Gear-Carrying Flexibility Powerful and Efficient 2.5L Turbo Powertrain with HTRAC® AWD Capability Available Cutting-edge Connectivity, Convenience and Active Safety Features Compact Footprint Provides Superior Maneuverability in an Open-bed Configuration Proudly Built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) in Montgomery FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Apr. 15, 2021 – Hyundai today unveiled its highly anticipated Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. The 2022 Santa Cruz breaks new ground within the SUV, Truck and Crossover segments by offering a true Sport Adventure Vehicle unlike anything else in the U.S. market. Santa Cruz boasts bold yet sophisticated design, powerful and efficient powertrain options, a flexible open bed for gear, cutting-edge connectivity and a highly maneuverable all-wheel drive platform that is equally at home in urban and adventure-focused environments. The Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle begins production in Montgomery, Alabama in June and will be available for sale in summer. The addition of Santa Cruz to HMMA production will add an estimated 1,200 jobs to the U.S. economy. Hyundai is also creating an early reservation system for the U.S.-market Santa Cruz in late April at https://www.hyundaiusa.com/.
      “Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America.
      Why Santa Cruz?
      Santa Cruz was developed to be the ultimate Sport Adventure Vehicle, a moniker confirmed in Hyundai’s early consumer research. The research found consumers, often living in urban environments, whose lifestyles include the need to escape to weekend adventures of all kinds. Many of these customers carry various gear and equipment that is better suited to an open bed rather than a typical SUV bodystyle. These buyers want versatile transportation that is equally flexible for urban, adventure, occupational or even home improvement gear. Santa Cruz features a secure, open bed area which includes a lockable tonneau cover, hidden bed storage and versatile bed extension accessories. At the same time, these customers still value the secure utility of a compact SUV, with its comfort, passenger space, fuel efficiency and parking ease. Santa Cruz, with its unique, bold design, created an entirely new segment that meets these specific buyer needs like no vehicle before it.
      Everything about Santa Cruz reflects a duality of purpose in its design execution. This all-new category-bending vehicle holds a variety of imagery in balanced juxtaposition:
      Urban life connectivity with escape to outdoor adventure Work and play flexibility Tough yet alluring demeanor Roominess with maneuverability Open cargo area and secured, lockable storage Towing capability and fuel efficiency The forward view of Santa Cruz deploys a hidden lighting signature that becomes visible within the grille only when illuminated. The daytime running lamps (DRLs) present a parametric jewel design with high-tech precision detailing. A bold, cascading grille anchors the front view, supported by a skid plate element in the lower front fascia. Voluminous hood and fenders further communicate an imposing first impression.
      In profile, Santa Cruz signals a sporty yet capable spirit. The A- and C-pillars present faster forward and rearward rakes than typical open-bed utility vehicles. Large 20-inch alloy wheels with a multi-faceted, triangular design are surrounded by armor-like wheel arches, conveying both wheel-articulation potential and off-road capability. Powerful body side volumes contrast with precise triangular sheer-edged surfaces and tight radius character lines.
      From the rear, a horizontal “T” lighting signature adds visual width and distinguishes Santa Cruz from anything on the road. The functional rear open bed area features secure, lockable in-bed storage, integrated corner bumper steps and a lockable tonneau cover, seamlessly integrated with the overall design. The rear tail lamps are embossed with: “Designed in California” as a testament to the passion of Hyundai’s California-based design team. Small, discrete design details such as this can be found throughout the exterior and interior.
      Interior Design
      The interior of the Santa Cruz expresses a sophisticated and refined appearance. The contrasting rugged yet refined motif matches the boldness of the exterior, boasting a technical ambience that appeals to those who appreciate cutting-edge technologies in their daily lives. It features an enveloping dual-cockpit design that encapsulates each passenger. Design teams focused on ease of ingress and egress and ergonomic comfort on long drives. The premium center stack display features an edgeless infotainment screen appearance, with an impressive 10 inches of visibility. The optional center digital cluster display also measures 10 inches. Under the rear seats is convenient, in-cabin storage. Completing the premium ambience is an available Bose® audio system.
      Powerful and Efficient Powertrains
      Santa Cruz offers two powerful, flexible and efficient powertrains. The standard powertrain is a 2.5L direct-injected in-line four-cylinder engine with an estimated 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb.-ft. of torque. This engine couples to an eight-speed hydraulic automatic transmission for quick acceleration and superb efficiency. Santa Cruz also offers a 2.5L direct-injected turbocharged engine with an estimated 275+ horsepower and 310+ lb.-ft. of torque linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). This DCT includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting control by the driver.
      Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
      The eight-speed transmission for the standard 2.5-liter engine provides quick and crisp shifts for an engaging and efficient driving experience. This automatic transmission adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds allowing for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient trip on the interstate. A multi-disc and individually controlled hydraulic channel torque converter improves responsiveness by expanding the direct connection band, while a downsized oil pump and double ball bearings minimize frictional losses.
      Advanced HTRAC® AWD and Towing Capability
      Both 2.5L four-cylinder and 2.5L four-cylinder turbo models offer HTRAC® all-wheel drive capability for complete confidence when pursuing adventures of all kinds or for that extra peace of mind when driving in an unexpected snowfall. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty, dynamic experience. This system has a wide range of torque distribution variability, tuned for conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill starts. For those customers who like to tow their weekend gear with them, the 2.5L 4-cylinder is rated at 3,500 lbs. for towing and the 2.5L Turbo AWD model boasts a generous 5,000 lbs. of towing capability.
      Compact Dimensions Yield Superb Maneuverability
      Santa Cruz makes efficient use of its compact dimensions by offering high utility with excellent maneuverability. Its shorter wheelbase and smaller overall footprint make it a joy to maneuver and park in challenging urban parking, with an exceptional curb-to-curb turning radius of only 20.0 feet.
      Specification (in.)
      Santa Cruz
      Tacoma
      Ridgeline
      Frontier
      Length
      195.7
      212.2
      210.0
      205.5
      Width
      75.0
      75.2
      78.5
      72.8
      Height
      66.7
      70.7
      70.3
      70.1
      Wheelbase
      118.3
      127.4
      125.2
      126.0
      Bed Length
      Upper 48.4
      Lower 52.1
      60.4
      63.6
      59.4
      Footprint Area
      (sq. ft.)
      101.9
      109.7
      114.6
      103.9
                         
      Responsive and Refined Chassis Tuning
      Santa Cruz was developed with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsive performance for a wide variety of urban and off-road, multi-surface driving conditions. The shorter wheelbase, short overhangs and wide track create a planted stance that results in exceptional agility in urban environments. These specifications also provide confident agility when traversing off-road terrain. Available 20-inch alloy wheels with wide, all-season, all-terrain tires give surefooted, agile handling character on a variety of road surfaces. Available 18-inch wheels with more voluminous tire sidewalls for off-road adventures are also available.
    • By William Maley
      I rarely get the opportunity to drive two different flavors of the same vehicle within a short timeframe. But that's what happened in the fall when I had the chance to drive the new Hyundai Sonata in its standard and hybrid forms. The Sonata has always been a favorite of mine as it offered a lot for a midsize sedan, with a surprising price tag. It has also come very close to being at the top of the class, but falling somewhat short due to one thing or another. This new version has the chance of changing that.
      Very Polarizing Design

      The consensus from several readers on Cheers & Gears and various social media sites on the Sonata's design was of dislike. Many found the design to be a bit much and overdone. I found myself in the minority as I was impressed by the lengths Hyundai went. The flowing lines and raked roofline reminded me of the 2012 Sonata which gave notice to other automakers to step up their game. Little details such as the bars the run along the outer edge of the hood to the headlights to a distinct rear-end treatment make the Sonata stand out.
      If there is an issue I have with the Sonata's design, it is the grille. I find it to be slightly cartoonish due to the large size and shape.
      Simple, Yet Elegant Interior
      If you're worried that the polarizing ideas from the exterior make their way inside, don't. The interior is surprisingly sedate with clean lines and a simple design. Hyundai should be commended for using a lot of soft-touch plastics and leather on various surfaces. It makes the Sonata look and feel more premium than its price tag may suggest.

      Despite the coupe-inspired roofline, the Sonata's interior space is quite spacious. Most no one will have any complaints sitting in the back as there is ample head and legroom. Taller passengers should be aware that the optional panoramic sunroof for the Sonata will take away some headroom. The Sonata Hybrid doesn't worry about that as it doesn't offer the sunroof.
      Tech Galore!
      Both of the Sonatas on test came in the Limited trim which means a bountiful selection of technology. It begins with a 10.2-inch TFT display for the instrument cluster which provides all of the key information needed at a glance. A clever trick is when you engage the turn signal, the respective 'dial' brings up a camera mounted underneath the side view mirrors to provide a blind-spot view. I found this system to be helpful as it gave me an extra set of eyes whenever I needed to change lanes.

      Next up is another 10.25-inch screen housing Hyundai's latest infotainment system. I like the three-window layout on the home screen that you can customize to your needs. Navigating around the system is a breeze with a response touchscreen and capacitive touch buttons sitting on either side. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
      The next two tech features are exclusive to the standard Sonata. First is what Hyundai calls a digital key. Using the BlueLink application on a compatible smartphone, you can use this instead of the key to start the car and drive away. At the time of this writing, this is only available on Android phones. Hyundai did provide a loner Samsung Note smartphone for the week to try this out. I did not have the best experience with this feature at first because I found you need to be pretty close to the vehicle to make a connection. Trying to connect from my room upstairs, just above where the vehicle was parked, the application would throw up a connection error. I found that if I moved to the living room or just outside the front door, the phone was able to make the connection. This sours some of the appeal of this feature. 
      At least using the phone as the vehicle's key does work a bit better. It only takes a few seconds for the phone to make the connection to the vehicle and you can start it up. Although, I found myself wondering wouldn't it be easier and faster to have the key. The only feature that makes any sense to me is the ability to share the key with other people, but lock down certain aspects.
      Second is Smart Park (or smart parkh as made famous by the Super Bowl commercial from last year). Using the key, you can have the Sonata move forward or back out of the parking spot to allow for easier access to get into the vehicle. It's simple to operate, just hold down one of two buttons for a few seconds; the Sonata starts up and goes into the correct gear to move in the desired direction. I can see the appeal in urban areas where space is limited. But in the current pandemic times all of us find ourselves in, this seems to be more of a gimmick.
      Power Selection
      Hyundai offers two engines for the regular Sonata; a naturally aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder or a turbocharged 1.6L four. A more potent turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder is available on the upcoming Sonata N Line. My tester featured the turbo 1.6 which produces 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. That puts it in line with some of the base engines found in the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
      I wouldn't call this engine quick, but it handles most driving situations with aplomb. This comes down to most of the torque being situated at the lower end of the rpm band. The only area where you might be wishing for more power is merging onto a freeway or keeping up traffic. The eight-speed automatic does an excellent job of maximizing the engine's output.
      Under the Sonata Hybrid's hood is a system comprised of a 2.0L four-cylinder and electric motor to provide a total output of 192 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The Sonata Hybrid feels just as fast as the standard Sonata around town and on country roads. It does struggle slightly on the highway due to the smaller torque figure. The six-speed automatic doesn't stumble when the change over from electric-only to hybrid mode like I have experienced on other Hyundai/Kia hybrid models.

      Opting for Limited on the Sonata Hybrid brings a solar panel for the roof which acts as a trickle charger for both the 12-volt car battery and 1.6-kWh lithium-ion pack for the hybrid system. Hyundai says that the panel can add an extra two miles of range with adequate sunlight. I can't attest to this claim, but will say the solar panel did add an extra bit of charge to the battery, even on an overcast day.
      Fuel economy for both models are as followed,
      Sonata 1.6T: 27 City/36 Highway/31 Combined Sonata Hybrid: 45 City/51 Highway/47 Combined My week saw an average of 29 mpg in the Sonata and 39 mpg for the Sonata Hybrid.
      Calm and Collected
      Hyundai has done some work on the Sonata's chassis and suspension to make it more rewarding to drive. It shows on a winding road as both versions show little body roll and feel more agile than the outgoing model. Steering feels direct and has a decent amount of weight. I will say the Mazda6 is still the one to beat if driving pleasure is your key goal.
      But the Sonata has an ace up its sleeve. It is also one of the most comfortable cars in the class. Driving over some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Sonata's suspension soaks up most bumps and imperfections to provide a serene ride. The minimal amount of road and wind noise that comes inside also helps.
      Rising To The Top

      The previous generations of the Sonata were always so close to being at the top of the class. But there always something that held it back whether it was the design, handling, or powertrains. But this new model shows how much Hyundai has put in. There is a nice balance between ride and handling; powertrains are very competent, and the interior is best in the class. Plus, the Sonata still retains Hyundai's trademark of offering a lot for not much money.
      Where most people will stumble on the Sonata is the exterior. It is very much a love or hate it affair. Plus, some of the tech features feel more like a party trick to show to friends than something you'll use. 
      Nevertheless, I think Sonata moves up to the top of the midsize sedan pecking order. 
      But there is one more question to answer. Between the regular and hybrid versions, which one I would drive away with. The answer which surprised me is the hybrid. I found it to be a little bit more well-rounded and deliver some excellent fuel economy figures during my time.
      Alternative:
      Kia K5: Like the idea of the Hyundai Sonata, but not to sure on the design? Then the Kia K5 may be the answer. Based on the same bones as the Sonata, the K5 takes a more evolutionary approach to the design. The basic shape may remind you of the previous-generation Optima, but its the little details such as a new grille and revised rear deck lid that help it stand out. From reviews, the K5 proves to be a bit sportier. We hope to get our hands on this challenger in the near future. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonatas, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata
      Trim: Limited 1.6T
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/36/31
      Curb Weight: 3,336 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
      Base Price: $33,300
      As Tested Price: $34,365 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.0L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four, Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 6,000 (gas); 51 @ 1,800 - 2,300 (electric motor); 192 (total output)
      Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 5,000 (gas); 151 @ 0 - 1,800 (electric motor)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 45/51/47
      Curb Weight: 3,530 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Asan, South Korea
      Base Price: $35,300
      As Tested Price: $36,430 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: 
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00

      View full article
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