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]


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]

Hyundai cleans up in IIHS 2018 safety ratings

Hyundai, its partner Kia and its Genesis division are the big winners in the latest vehicle safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, accounting for six of the 15 models that earned the Top Safety Pick+ awards for 2018. Subaruwas right behind with four, Mercedes-Benz had two, and Toyota, BMW and Ford each had one.

Another 47 vehicles earned the Top Safety Pick designation, where Toyota had 10 vehicle models, with Hyundai recognized for nine models. All but one of the seven vehicles in Subaru’s lineup, the BRZ, qualified for one of the awards.

IIHS strengthened the criteria for the Top Safety Pick+ award for 2018 to require headlights to earn a “good” rating — an “acceptable” rating was previously enough to notch the “plus” award — and good or acceptable passenger-side protection in the small overlap front crash, which replicates a crash involving just the front corner of a vehicle. It also required vehicles to have acceptable or good headlights for the first time to earn a Top Safety Pick award. Most of winners for both awards qualified on the basis of optional upgrades.

IIHS in October began evaluating the passenger side of vehicles in its small overlap front crash test after it said it became clear that automakers were neglecting that side of the vehicle as they focused on improving driver-side protections. IIHS first began conducting driver-side small overlap crashes in 2012. It began measuring both how well low and high beams illuminated the road and the amount of glare they produce for oncoming vehicles as part of its ratings in 2016.

The Top Safety Pick+ winners are listed below. The list doesn’t include any minivans, pickups or minicars, which don’t appear on either list of awardees.


2018 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid costs $26,000, goes 29 miles on electricity


The Hyundai Ioniq hybrid and Ioniq Electric were two of the more pleasant surprises of 2017. Besides their lofty fuel economy and useful electric range, respectively, they boasted reasonable pricing, a useful interior and shockingly buttoned down handling. They could almost be deemed fun to drive.

Yet, there was a missing member of the family for 2017. While we always knew a plug-in hybrid would be added — it was with its siblings when the Ioniq was introduced at the 2016 New York Auto Show, and we drove a prototype earlier this year — it wouldn’t be until year 2 when the production car would show its face. And although that face is shared with the Ioniq Hybrid rather than the Electric, the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid obviously has its own set of facts and figures that have now been revealed.

Chief among them is a 29-mile all-electric driving range, which, when depleted, effectively turns the Ioniq Plug-in into a regular hybrid capable of 52 mpg combined. It has a 119 MPGe estimate, for whatever that’s worth. To put all those numbers into perspective, there’s the Toyota Prius Prime (25 miles, 54 mpg combined, 133 MPGe), the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid (48 miles, 42 mpg combined, 110 MPGe), Chevrolet Volt (53 miles, 42 mpg combined, 106 MPGe), and the Ioniq’s mechanical sibling, the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid (26 miles, 46 mpg combined, 105 MPGe).

Pricing for the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid starts at $25,835, including destination. The Limited trim level starts at $29,185. By comparison, the regular Ioniq Hybrid starts at $22,200 for its Blue trim and goes up to $27,550 for the Limited trim. However, keep in mind that the Plug-in Hybrid is subject to a $4,500 federal tax rebate plus whatever your particular state doles out. As such, the Plug-in Hybrid is effectively cheaper.

That’s also the case with the Toyota Prius Prime relative to the regular Prius. However, the Prime starts at just north of $27,995 (including destination). A regular Prius’ base price is also only about $1,500 lower than the Ioniq Hybrid. In other words, the Plug-in Hybrid seems like a screaming bargain … and if its siblings are any indication, it’ll be a pretty appealing car, too.

Other updates for the 2018 Ioniq lineup include paddle shifters added to the Hybrid (yay?), lane keeping assist added when lane departure warning is specified, and the availability of red paint for the Hybrid. The Ioniq Electric’s trim structure has also been simplified to base and Limited, matching the Plug-in.

[Source: Autoblog]


Hyundai and Kia will offer AI assistants in 2019 cars


Hyundai and Kia both have reputations as early adopters of in-car tech, and that’s truer than ever now that voice assistants are becoming a practical reality on the road. The Korean automakers have revealed that they plan to include AI assistants in their new cars starting from 2019, with every vehicle being “connected” by 2025. As Hyundai explained, they’ve been working with SoundHound to create an Intelligent Personal Agent (based on Houndify) that both makes proactive suggestions (such as reminding you of a meeting) and offers remote control of both your car and your home.

This sounds a whole lot like what other voice assistants do, but the car brands are counting on support for “multiple-command recognition” as the ace up their sleeve. If you tell your car to check the weather and turn on the lights at the same time, it’ll do both instead of scratching its head like so many other AI helpers.

You won’t have to wait until 2019 to see the technology in action. Hyundai will unveil Intelligent Personal Agent at CES 2018, and it’ll test a “simplified” take on the Agent in hydrogen fuel cell cars slated to drive on South Korean roads throughout the year. It’s hard to say if IPA will have an advantage over companies borrowing “off-the-shelf” AI like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, but it’s more the ubiquity that will be important — you won’t have to buy a premium-priced model to treat your car like a smart home hub.

[Source: Autoblog]


Hyundai Veloster video lets us hear what’s coming

A couple of weeks ago we rather enjoyed seeing the redesigned Hyundai Veloster in some jaunty camo, a look we’d actually enjoy having as an option to buy. And just yesterday we saw it nekkid in spy shots taken of a video shoot. Now Hyundai has released a video teaser to the new car, and what’s interesting is not what we see — the car in the video is back in the multicolored camo again — but rather what we hear.

Expect the Veloster Turbo to share the 201-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four and transmissions from the Elantra GT Sport. And we expect, or at least hope, that the hopped-up Veloster N will get the 271-horsepower turbocharged inline-four from the i30 N, a car we won’t get in the States.

So what are we hearing here? Hard to know. It’s more likely Hollywood (or rather Seoul) special effects than the sound of the 1.6 turbo. And spy shots of the Veloster N have shown it wearing a wing, which doesn’t seem to be the case with the teased car. Maybe the wing’s an option or won’t be offered in production. But the grille shape of the video car also does not seem to conform to what we’ve seen on the Nürburgring. And the Veloster N isn’t expected to be offered right off the bat, anyway.

Whatever it is, it sounds pretty good. It’d be nice to think this is how the car will be.

[Source: Autoblog]


Insight? Civic? Accord? We need some Clarity: Honda’s hybrid hierarchy


Today, Honda previewed the revival of the Insight hybrid, seen above, ahead of its official debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. This comes just shortly after the launch of the Clarity trio — a battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and fuel cell electric (FCEV) — which doesn’t have a standard, non-plug-in hybrid model. What gives? If you’re a little confused, you’re not alone, but we think we can help you make sense of Honda’s hybrid hierarchy, and how they correspond to other advanced- and traditional-powertrain vehicles in its lineup.

Let’s start with the Insight. We honestly didn’t know that Honda would be recycling that nameplate until this morning. We didknow that Honda would reveal a “compact dedicated hybrid” at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. We don’t know what platform will underpin the new Insight — and “dedicated” could just refer to the nameplate, not the platform. So perhaps it’s on its own platform, or it shares with another compact Honda: the Civic.

Then why not call it the Civic Hybrid?

Our guess is that Honda wants to separate the sporty from the “upscale,” the latter being a used to describe the Insight in its press release this morning.

But Clarity is also being called “upscale,” yet there’s no traditional hybrid under that nameplate. What’s that about?

That’s a separation of segment, and possibly also powertrain technology. Insight is compact, Clarity is mid-size. The Clarity nameplate might also be reserved for cars with plugs or fuel cells, which the Insight doesn’t have. The fact that Honda chose to make its midsize PHEV a Clarity rather than stick with the Accord nameplate could be evidence of that.

Oh yeah, the Accord. What’s up with that?

There is a new Accord Hybrid on the way. It’ll be roomier than the Insight. There won’t be an Accord Plug-In Hybrid, because Clarity has that covered. Clear enough?

One more time?

Honda compact ICE: Civic
Honda compact hybrid: Insight
Honda compact EVs: None, right now. (But you can get the sub-compact Fit EV in certain places.)

Honda mid-size ICE: Accord
Honda mid-size hybrid: Accord Hybrid
Honda mid-size EVs: Clarity Electric, Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

So what would Honda call a compact plug-in or fuel cell vehicle?

Who knows? But probably not Civic. We’d guess they’d either start growing the Insight family or give it its own nameplate.


You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

[Source: Autoblog]