Hyundai Motors continues to advance its place in the U.S. market, rolling out new models and products at a dizzying pace. For 2011, the Sonata and Elantra are all new and the ultra-luxury Equus is now the flagship of the Hyundai’s American fleet.
Don’t expect Hyundai to let up on the new produce Ex8 accelerator at any time soon, as what the automaker has planned for 2012 will top 2011’s robust offerings. We’ve scoured Hyundai product planning data and have uncovered several “for certain” offerings scheduled for release by 2012:
Hyundai Elantra Coupe – Hyundai’s compact sedan has been a hit, so much so that the automaker is considering importing additional capacity to supplement what it currently builds in Alabama. Competitively priced and equipped, the Elantra offers segment leading fuel economy, delivering an EPA estimated 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway regardless of transmission choice. Sales of the Elantra now only trail the highly popular Sonata and will be boosted further when a coupe arrives in 2011. Look for the Elantra to continue to siphon sales from today’s segment leaders identified as the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze and the Ford Focus.
Hyundai Veloster – Not since the Tiburon has Hyundai offered an entry level sport coupe. The Genesis coupe targets the Nissan 370Z buyer, but no model currently serves to attract buyers who may want an alternative to the Mitsubishi Lancer or even a low budget Ford Mustang. The Hyundai Veloster is designed to change all that, a three-door coupe like no other, with two doors on the passenger side and one door on the driver’s side. Powered by a thrifty, but potent 1.6-liter four cylinder engine paired with a dual-clutch transmission, the first time Hyundai has developed such a shifter. Importantly, this 2+2 coupe is expected to get 40 mpg, keeping in line with the automaker’s quest to offer more 40 mpg vehicles than any other manufacturer.
Hyundai Blue Link – One area where Hyundai has trailed the competition is in cabin technology, specifically hands-free smartphone access. GM Onstar, Toyota Entune and Ford SYNC are among the most popular hands-free offerings of our day, allowing customers to obtain directions, call ahead for reservations, request songs and accomplish other important tasks with their hands always on the wheel. Blue Link will include accident notification; stolen vehicle recovery; emergency assistance; remote vehicle lock, unlock and start; and other services. Three package plans will be made available when Blue Link debuts with the Hyundai Veloster and is quickly rolled out to other Hyundai models.
Hyundai Azera – Introduced in 2006, the Azera competes against the Toyota Avalon and Buick LaCrosse for customers desiring a larger five passenger premium sedan. Sales of the Azera have never been much to speak of, but for 2012 the Azera will be equipped with a more potent 3.3-liter V-6 engine, designed to increase horsepower and fuel efficiency. Details are sketchy, but this Azera will likely be based on the Hyundai Grandeur, already on sale in Korea. That model is paired with a manual shift automatic, providing customers with more engaged driving when desired.