2019 Hyundai Santa Fe unveiled


Hyundai has unveiled its next-generation, 2019 Santa Fe. First, to clarify, the Santa Fe nameplate will take the place of the current five-passenger Santa Fe Sport. This new generation features a new design, new technology, and a new diesel engine option.

The Hyundai Santa Fe has a new look that comes off less crossover and more SUV than before. It looks wider, more muscular and bigger than the vehicle it replaces, with Hyundai’s large cascading grille and available 19-inch wheels. Inside, it has a horizontal layout to provide a sense of width. Large window openings provide improved visibility, despite the rising beltline. It features a new instrument panel with a three-dimensional look, and the infotainment screen has been repositioned to reduce glare. A new head-up display will also be available.

The 2019 Santa Fe will offer a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine good for 185 horsepower, or a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder offering 232 hp. A 2.2-liter diesel engine will be available providing about 200 hp and 320 pound-feet of torque. The diesel model will be the only one to offer optional third-row seating. Each will be connected to a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

For comfort’s sake, Hyundai has revised the suspension, particularly in the rear, to provide a smoother ride. Hyundai also offers an optional load-leveling suspension to maintain a consistent ride height, even when loaded with cargo or towing. Its all-wheel-drive system provides capability in crummy weather, and features different modes to distribute torque for improved performance.

To improve safety and convenience, Hyundai includes a number of driver assistance aids in the new Santa Fe. This includes lane-keep assist, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control and an around-view monitor. Additionally, it offers a Rear Seat Occupant Alert using an ultrasonic sensor to detect motion of kids or pets in the back. It also offers Safe Exit Assist, which prevents you from opening the door when a motorcycle, bicycle or other vehicle approaches from behind.

We’ll have more on the next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe soon, once we get a turn behind the wheel.

[Source: Autoblog]


Ford names Lincoln chief as North American president following Nair’s departure

Ford announced yesterday that its North American president Raj Nair would no longer be working for the company due to “inappropriate behavior.” As a result, the company needed fill that gaping vacancy. The new North American president and Ford Group vice president will be Kumar Galhotra, and his term in the new role will start on March 1.

Galhotra will remain the group vice president and chief marketing officer for Lincoln through March, meaning he’s the head of the luxury brand. He’s had this position since 2014. Before that, he was vice president of engineering for all of Ford. With Galhotra’s promotion, a number of internal promotions follow. Joy Falotico, current chairman, CEO and group vice president of Ford’s credit division will fill Galhotra’s position, and Dave McClelland, vice president of marketing for Ford Asia Pacific, will fill her role.

Other shuffling at Ford includes Stewart Rawley’s promotion to vice president for Ford North America and chief operating officer. He is the current vice president for strategy at Ford. Ford China’s chairman and CEO John Lawler will take Rawley’s old role, and Cathy O’Callaghan will take over Lawler’s job at Ford China, but not until June 1. O’Callaghan is currently vice president, corporate controller and chief financial officer for global markets at Ford.

[Source: Autoblog]

Augmented reality interface is brought to your helmet

An augmented reality interface is brought to your helmet with the Livemap helmet. It puts GPS, speed and other parameters in front of your face. It also has a built-in camera as well as voice and audio. Watch the video here.

Transcript: Livemap puts GPS, speed and other parameters In front of your face. Receiving route information while allowing drivers to be fully focused on the road. Livemap automatically adapts to the environment, even in poor visibility conditions. The Livemap helmet has a built-in camera to capture data. In-helmet audio allows the driver to listen to music and talk on the phone. Voice control is also in the helmet, which allows you to be notified about your route and speed. Livemap pre-orders are $1,500 with a retail price of $2,000. Learn more at livemap.Info

[Source: Autoblog]

‘Trouble-free day! No joke’: Honda-powered Toro Rosso F1 car debuts

toro+rosso.jpegHonda’s Formula One partnership with the Toro Rosso team got off to a positive start on Wednesday with a seemingly smooth track debut of their new car on a limited mileage filming day in Italy.

“Trouble-free day!! No joke,” commented French driver Pierre Gasly on Twitter.

New Zealander Brendon Hartley, who was at the wheel of the TR13 car at the wet Misano circuit, reported on Instagram that “the new girl ran super smooth.”

Honda is starting over with the Red Bull-owned team this season after three seasons of failure with former champions McLaren left the Japanese engine manufacturer’s reputation in tatters.

A behind-the-scenes documentary, “Grand Prix Driver,” released on Amazon recently shone a spotlight on the tension between McLaren and Honda that eventually led to the relationship tearing apart.

It also revealed how the troubles had started before the launch of the car and were fully exposed once testing in Barcelona started when the car broke down repeatedly due to engine failures.

McLaren, who finished ninth out of the 10 teams last season, is now using Renault engines and hoping to be far more competitive.

How Toro Rosso, and McLaren, fare this season will be among the intriguing sub-plots to the 21-race season that starts in Australia on March 25, with Mercedes and Ferrari again expected to be the frontrunners.

Italy-based Toro Rosso, one of the smaller outfits on the starting grid, has taken the cynicism and gloom-mongering about its prospects in good heart.

It put out a tongue-in-cheek Q&A at the time of the first engine fire-up that included the questions: “Did it take like six attempts to fire up?”, “Did the engine blow up?” and “Did your factory catch fire after the engine started?”

The respective answers were “Nope, the engine fired up on the first attempt,” “Quite the opposite, it started just as planned” and “Our factory is perfectly fine, thanks for the concern.”

The final ‘question’ was simply, “Good luck, you’ll need it.”

Ford will sell 1,000 people the chance to have completely custom Mustang badges


In addition to the many ways a real Ford Mustang can be modified, Ford is now giving fans the opportunity to customize the car’s badge. It has launched a Facebook app called “Personalize Your Pony” and can be visited at this link. It allows you to select from some preset patterns inspired by Shelby, Bullitt, Roush and RTR Vehicles, and then shift and manipulate them within a Mustang logo with a very simple tool. One of the other color settings that lets you play with different pairings of Mustang colors to create a custom design.

Now, the tool is more interesting than a brief five-minute time waster. Whatever design you end up liking the best, you can submit with your name and city. Afterward, you can buy shirts, mugs, phone cases and stickers with the logo. But the coolest product is the actual Mustang badges that feature your design that you can buy for your 2015 and later pony car. But you’ll need to act quickly, because Ford will only make 1,000 of them.

There’s one other nifty aspect to this program. When you submit your design with your name an city, you’re also entered to have that design featured on a billboard. Exactly where wasn’t given except to say that the locations are “major cities across the U.S.”

Diesel 2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak caught testing in Michigan


When the 2019 Ford Ranger’s U.S.-spec model was finally revealed, only one engine was announced to go with it, a gasoline turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder derived from the same engine in the Mustang EcoBoost and Focus RS. We certainly have can’t complain about the engine, especially having not experienced it in the new truck yet, but Ranger fans might’ve been surprised to see that no diesel engines were announced. Imagine our interest, then, when we saw these spy photos of a diesel-powered Ranger testing in Michigan.

The Ranger seen above is surely a diesel. In an obvious sign, the fuel filler flap has a piece of tape stuck to it with the word “diesel” written on it. The spy photographer also reports seeing a bit of black smoke coming out on a stone-cold startup in our chilly Michigan winter. With that established, there are a couple of clues making us wonder if this diesel Ranger is for us, the first of course being that it’s testing here in America. But the second is that this Ranger bears styling cues closer to the new Stateside version than the overseas variant. The grille has the split center bar like that of other American Rangers, along with small square LED foglights.

Now as for what diesel engine it could be, w’re thinking about the 3.2-liter inline-5. In its foreign-market form, the oil burner makes 185 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, which puts it right inline with the Chevy Colorado’s diesel engine output. But potentially more importantly, the engine is already available in the U.S. in the Ford Transit, meaning that much of the work to make it legal here is already done.

On the subject of styling, it also appears that this truck is equipped like an overseas Ranger Wildtrak, which is pictured above. It has the sport fairing over the bed and roof rails on the cab that come on that trim. It also seems to have a bit more ground clearance than a standard Ranger. Considering that this truck appears to have been tweaked to fit the American lineup, we have to wonder whether the Wildtrak trim may also be available soon, as sort of a competitor to the Colorado Z71 and Tacoma TRD Off-Road models, but leaving plenty of room for the upcoming Ranger Raptor.

Of course, Ford could just be testing Ranger models and powertrains here in the United States that will never be sold here. In any case, check out the images above and let us know what you think.

Hyundai developed an airbag for panoramic sunroofs


We’ve reached a point where you can be in a car crash from just about any angle, and find yourself with a face full of airbag. But there’s yet one more airbag frontier that Hyundai and its parts supplier company Hyundai Mobis are pioneering: the sunroof airbag. More specifically, the companies have developed an airbag to protect occupants in cars equipped with panoramic sunroofs.

Hyundai explains in a press release that there was concern passengers’ heads and limbs could end up going through the big glass opening in a rollover, leading to serious injury. The resulting airbag design aims to prevent that by deploying when a rollover is detected to contain occupants’ bodies. It inflates from the back of the sunroof toward the front in 0.08 seconds and will go off regardless of whether the sunroof is open or closed.

Hyundai, which together with Kia and Genesis had six of the 15 recent IIHS Top Safety Pick+ vehicles, claims the airbag reduced life-threatening injuries to minor ones during testing. It also noted that the company has 11 patents on the technology. No mention of when these airbags would appear in production vehicles was made. We would imagine that whenever Hyundai starts offering the feature, it will show up first on high-end vehicles such as Genesis luxury cars.

[Source: Autoblog]