Sep
09

Hyundai hires actor Paul Rudd as pitchman [w/video]

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Hyundai Co-Pilot ad with the voice of Paul Rudd

The Dude abides, but his deep voice is going to be coming from your TV a little less. After seven years of his earthiness, laid back actor Jeff Bridges is no longer the voice of Hyundai in the brand’s advertising. He has been replaced by comedian Paul Rudd who is already narrating the new commercial for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.

“We were looking for a voice that could be recognizable and relatable to a new generation of car buyers,” said Steve Shannon, vice president of Marketing, Hyundai Motor America, in the company’s announcement of the deal. “Rudd can be serious, humorous, informative and entertaining all at the same time.”

According to Hyundai spokesperson Derek Joyce speaking to Autoblog, the deal with Rudd goes for the next three years. “He’s our tier one voice, and that’s going to affect tone” in the company’s ads,” Joyce said. The first spot with Rudd is titled Co-Pilot, and it stars a backseat driver losing out to the Sonata’s navigation system and safety features at every turn. Rudd isn’t physically in the commercial but does the ending voiceover. The company wouldn’t say when the next ad with the new pitchman might debut.

Hyundai joins Lincoln with its hire of Matthew McConaughey as another brand making a big shift in advertising in hopes of appealing to a new group of buyers. Scroll down to watch the commercial and read the company’s full announcement.

Continue reading Hyundai hires actor Paul Rudd as pitchman [w/video]

Hyundai hires actor Paul Rudd as pitchman [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sep
05

Hyundai swims against the current with new i20 Coupe

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Hyundai i20 Coupe teaser

Coupefying hatchbacks is all the rage in the European market these days. Its what Opel and Vauxhall did with the latest Astra, and what Renault did with the M

Aug
21

What you missed on 8.20.14

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Daily U-Turn

2015 Chevy Corvette Stingray automaticWe test the Chevy Corvette’s new automatic

We tend to prefer our cars with honest-to-goodness manual transmissions. You know, the ones that require a third pedal down by the gas and brake pedals. A clutch, ya know? Turns out most Americans disagree with us, even the ones who are buying Corvettes. We know, shocking. Still, after sampling the latest eight-speed automatic from General Motors in the Corvette Stingray, we’re happy to report that those who don’t want to shift gears are in better shape than ever before.

Dodge Viper SRT engine emblemWill the Viper get a supercharged V10 engine?

Know what’s interesting about the Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcat models? Besides the fact that they have 707 horsepower, that is? It’s that the duo are considerably more powerful than the Viper, that snake-skinned halo car sitting atop the Chrysler portfolio as its top performance machine. But how can it be the top performer with an engine putting out less ponies? Good question. Perhaps a supercharger is the answer.

Hyundai hybrid Prius-fighter spy shotHyundai spotted testing a Prius-fighting hybrid

There can be no doubt of Toyota’s hybrid supremacy. When it comes to eke the greatest fuel efficiency out of a gasoline engine/electric motor combo, the boffins at Toyota do it better than any other, with the Prius sitting atop the sales heap standing as proof. But what’s this? Is Hyundai testing a standalone hybrid machine to put some pressure on Toyota’s hybrid dominance?

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What you missed on 8.20.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Aug
18

Hyundai mulling new Lexus-fighting upscale crossover

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2007 Hyundai Veracruz

The idea of Hyundai marketing a luxury automobile might have seemed ridiculous a decade ago, but that was before the Genesis sedan, Genesis coupe and Equus came along. Now that buyers seem more accustomed to the notion of an upscale Hyundai, the Korean automaker is said to be considering launching a luxury crossover to take on the likes of the Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX.

The report comes from our compatriots at Edmunds, who spoke to Dave Zuchowski, head of Hyundai’s North American unit, who said that the project is not yet part of the company’s plan, but that “it is something under consideration.”

The last time Hyundai entered that territory was with the Veracruz (pictured above), a model that was sometimes compared to but ultimately failed to compete with the Lexus RX when it was sold between 2006 and 2011. The Veracruz was effectively replaced by the seven-passenger Santa Fe with which it shared its underpinnings. This new project being considered would similarly be based on the latest Santa Fe, and the challenge Hyundai is facing once again would be to position it as a sufficiently upscale product to warrant a premium sticker price.

As Zuchowski pointed out, the RX shares much with the Toyota Highlander, but Lexus has no trouble charging a premium for the RX – indeed, it’s its most popular model – since they don’t sit beside each other in the same dealerships. Since Hyundai has chosen against spinning off a separate luxury brand, it would have to create enough distance between the two to justify the luxury model’s existence and asking price. To get there, it may have to at least spin off a more upscale sub-brand and showroom space to include the Genesis, Equus and new Veracruz – whatever name it ultimately carries.

Hyundai mulling new Lexus-fighting upscale crossover originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Aug
16

What you missed on 8.15.14

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Daily U-Turn

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sells for record $38M

A few decades ago you could buy a crappy NBA franchise for $40 million; these days that princely sum will only net you one Ferrari. Provided the Ferrari in question is just exactly the right model, that is. 250 GTO models from the 1962 vintage have been trading hands for silly money for quite some time, though no public sale has rung up for this much ever before. The Pebble Beach festivities are only now kicking off in Northern California, but this sale should give one hell of a start to the auction season.

Hyundai talks performance at Rally Finland

Traveling with Hyundai to check out the always-exciting Neste Oil Rally Finland, we came back with quite a few stories to tell. Keeping abreast of point totals is easy, but forecasting the near future for the WRC grid is both trickier, and more interesting. While we were at it, Hyundai just happened to drop a few tidbits about the future for its upcoming N performance brand, as well. Read it all, here.

The next Corvette ZR1 will be mid-engined

We know, we know. You first heard the legend of the upcoming mid-engined Chevy Corvette when you were just a babe at your grand pappy’s knee. A few promising concept cars and decades worth of rumors have routinely been proved wrong for stories of this ilk, and yet, our friends at Motor Trend really do think that the engine of the next ZR1 might find itself behind the cockpit, when all is said and done. The truth is out there…

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What you missed on 8.15.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Aug 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Aug
16

Hyundai dealerships getting global makeover

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Hyundai Global Dealership Space identity

In the near future, almost no matter where you’re at in the world – whether in Mexico or France – you may not be able to tell an immediate difference between Hyundai dealers. The Korean brand plans to remove some of the diversity from its showrooms in favor of a unified design everywhere outside of the US by about 2020.

The plan is called the Global Dealership Space Identity, and the end result features a modern, open showroom with floor-to-ceiling glass to look in and a bronze-colored roof section (pictured above). The goal of the unified design “is to strengthen our Modern Premium brand consistency across all dealerships, proving premium emotional experiences related to our brand and increase interaction with customers,” said Hyundai spokesperson Sookjin Hwang to Autoblog via email.

The ball is already rolling on the plan with the cues being implemented at new dealers in Mexico and about 42 other showrooms worldwide. In the future even Canada may use it, according to Automotive News. “Hyundai Motor plans to fully implement the new identity worldwide within five years (2014~2018). The exact timing for each country will be different.”

The one place that GDSI won’t be blanketing every showroom anytime soon will be the US. According to Automotive News, Hyundai only instituted its blue and silver color scheme for dealerships here about four years ago. Forcing another change would likely result in a revolt complete with torches and pitchforks. Although, the company may open a few new stores with the GDSI look in the US just as a pilot program.

Hyundai dealerships getting global makeover originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 16 Aug 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Aug
15

Hyundai Motorsport tests its performance at the WRC Rally Finland

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A Hyundai i20 WRC driven by Thierry Neuville jumps in Rally Finland.

Autoblog joined Hyundai to check out the Neste Oil Rally Finland, where thousands of kilometers of lightly traveled, rolling gravel roads have turned out decades of astonishing racing and cold-blooded drivers. Even though the World Rally Championship is well tamed from its feral Group B days, Rally Finland is still the drivers’ favorite, with the fastest speeds and the biggest jumps.

It’s the rookie year for the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team, run by Hyundai Motorsport out of Alzenau, Germany. The squad entered the season aiming for podiums in the second half and looking to get its three cars to the finish at every race for maximum development data. It’s already outdone itself, Thierry Neuville scoring third places in Mexico – where he used a bottle of Corona to fill his radiator – and Poland.

Denis Giraudet told us that the rally’s sternest challenge is not one of heart, though. Giraudet isn’t part of Hyundai Motorsport, he was our guide and he’s been in the sport as a co-driver for more than 30 years; he won Rally Finland with Juha Kankunnen in 1993 in a Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD. Giraudet said the race tests that particular confidence that comes from about 18 inches below the heart: “Here, you have to go all out. If there’s a problem, it’s usually between the steering wheel and the seat.”

Continue reading Hyundai Motorsport tests its performance at the WRC Rally Finland

Hyundai Motorsport tests its performance at the WRC Rally Finland originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Aug 2014 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Aug
14

Hyundai discontinuing Elantra Coupe in US for 2015

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Hyundai Elantra Coupe

Hyundai’s entry level two-door, the Elantra Coupe, is getting the axe for model year 2015. That leaves the Kia Forte Koup, Honda Civic and Scion tC to hold up the receding entry-level two-door segment.

The Coupe only arrived at US dealerships in 2012, initially as a 2013 model, and it was recently updated at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, with Hyundai adding a more powerful 2.0-liter engine as standard (it was optional in other Elantra models). Considering its short run, though, we’re guessing that even a quick update couldn’t cure the slow sales that are likely at the root of the two-door’s discontinuation. The Elantra Coupe should remain on sale in the Canadian market, according to Driving.ca.

We’ve reached out to Hyundai for official confirmation and a cause of death for the Coupe. When we hear back, we’ll be sure to update you.

Hyundai discontinuing Elantra Coupe in US for 2015 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Aug
12

Hyundai reveals new i20 hatchback ahead of Paris debut

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2015 Hyundai i20

If you had ever traveled overseas and rented a Hyundai Getz, you’ll likely have gotten why it was the butt of jokes: it Getz you from A to B, but not much more. But like the company that makes it, the Korean supermini is all grown up now, long since eschewing the punchline nameplate for the i20 moniker. And here is its latest successor.

Set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show this fall, the new i20 is Hyundai’s rival to the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Yaris and such. Designed in Europe for the European market, the new i20 stretches its wheelbase nearly two inches longer than its predecessor (and four and a half inches longer than the knees-in-your-chest Getz) to offer best-in-class legroom and cargo capacity.

Hyundai also says the new i20 is the first in its segment to offer an opening panoramic sunroof. While we wouldn’t exactly call the styling “exciting” (especially in that shade of brown), penned at the company’s European design center in R

Aug
09

Hyundai fined $17.35 million for late Genesis recall

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Hyundai Genesis Sedan

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has slapped Hyundai with a $17.35 million fine for delaying a recall on the 2009 to 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan back in 2013. The recall grew from the original figure of 27,500 units to 43,500 sedans in November of last year, and focused on brake fluid that wouldn’t prevent corrosion of the hydraulic control unit.

“Hyundai remains committed to making safety our top priority, and is dedicated to ensuring immediate action in response to potential safety concerns including the prompt reporting of safety defects,” David Zuchowski, Hyundai’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Hyundai originally issued a technical service bulletin warning dealers to replace brake fluid. This was expanded to a full recall following NHTSA’s involvement.

Scroll down for the official press release from Hyundai.

Continue reading Hyundai fined $17.35 million for late Genesis recall

Hyundai fined $17.35 million for late Genesis recall originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 16:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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