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Hyundai and Kia innovations: The Koreans' model offensive

Christian Schulte
Hyundai and Kia innovations
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In the approximately 40 years that H yundai and Kia are active as automakers, both have neither achieved any glorious success in motorsport nor produced any milestones in automotive history. Nevertheless, with around five million cars sold in 2009, the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group now ranks fourth among the world's largest automobile manufacturers. And the signs continue to point to growth.

Hyundai and Kia are aiming more strongly at the European market

In Germany Hyundai since 1991, Kia present since 1993. With its commitment as the main sponsor of international soccer tournaments (since 1999) and thus also at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the group is working successfully on its level of awareness and image. The brands are also catching up with their products, with the demands of European customers increasingly being taken into account. Models like the Kia Venga and the brand new Hyundai ix20 were designed in the development and design center in Rüsselsheim and roll off the production line in the Czech Republic. //topgear-autoguide.com/marken-modelle/kia/venga/'>Kia and Hyundai when it comes to quality - with the longest warranty periods of any manufacturer. In 2007, at the age of seven, Kia pushed forward on the drive train of the Cee'd. Since January 2010 there has been a seven-year full guarantee for all models. Hyundai counters with five years for the new models introduced from this year, but even assumes the maintenance costs for the same period.

Hyundai i40 - extremely elegant station wagon

And that's not all , because in future drivers should be won over with more than just a good price-performance ratio. Emotional design typical of the brand, a high-quality ambience and modern technology are all the rage in the future. Hyundai prove the new mid-range model i40. It celebrates its premiere at the Geneva Motor Show 2011 - initially as an extremely elegant station wagon. The Hyundai i40 cw will be available from dealers from mid-2011, the sedan will follow onEnd of year. Hyundai is reacting to the balance of power in this segment, which is clearly dominated by station wagons.

In order to arouse the interest of fleet customers, he gets new diesel engines that can also be combined with a six-speed automatic. Two power levels with 115 and 136 hp are planned for the 1.7 liter common rail diesel, a double-charged variant with at least 160 hp is in development. Start-stop systems are at Hyundai already state of the art, so that standard consumption levels of five liters /100 km are within reach. Two four-cylinder petrol engines - a 1.6 GDI direct injection engine with 140 hp and a 170 hp two-liter engine with variable valve lift - complete the range.

Hyundai Genesis takes on the role of flagship

In terms of dimensions, the Hyundai i40 cw is based on the market leader VW Passat Variant. Around 4.80 meters long, the should be a full value combination despite the dynamically shaped rear end.
But the role of the flagship is not yet occupied. From mid-2011 this will be taken over by the nearly five-meter-long Hyundai Genesis with six and eight-cylinder engines. The Hyundai Equus may even appear in the Mercedes S-Class format in the German model range. Large numbers are not expected from them - but they should indicate the potential of the brand. Ultimately, Hyundai not only wants to target Ford, Opel and Skoda, but also VW in the long term.

Hyundai model range is to grow to 16 series

In the largest model offensive in the history of Hyundai - by 2015 the range is to grow to 16 series - sporty, emotional models also play a role. The Hyundai Genesis Coupé is currently in the starting blocks. Rear-wheel drive and powerful engines (214-hp four-cylinder and 303-hp V6) promise a lot of dynamism. The second, more compact athlete, which will celebrate its world premiere in Detroit at the beginning of January, is unusually innovative.

The 2 + 2-seater is based on the Hyundai Veloster coupé study shown in 2007, is slightly shorter than a VW Scirocco and, like the Mini Clubman, only has a second, narrow door in the rear on the passenger side, the however swings forward. German buyers have to wait until April for the 140 hp front-wheel drive car. Two technology highlights will follow in the course of the year: dual clutch transmission and a turbo version of the 1.6-liter direct injection engine with around 200 hp - the Golf GTI sends its regards.

Kia is renewing its Cee'd family

In the Rüsselsheim development center, turbo DI petrol engines with a displacement of just 1.2 liters are already being tested. They are an important building block for future CO2 requirements. Among other things, the four-cylinder drive the successor to the Hyundai i30 and the new compact van Hyundai ix30 based on it, which it callsThere will be five- and seven-seater as well as two sliding doors in the rear. Both may celebrate their premiere in 2011 - sales will begin in 2012.

At this point, Kia is renewing its Cee‘d family including Carens, which will both share the architecture with the Hyundai i30 series in the future. In 2011, Kia will mainly focus on its small models. The start is made in May with the new Kia Picanto, again with four doors, but clearly more upbeat. Its new, 69 hp one-liter three-cylinder has the potential for CO2 emissions below 100 g /km.

Kia Optima comes in August 2011

With the larger Kia Rio, significant reductions in fuel consumption can also be expected - not least thanks to optional start-stop technology. Even the optically restrained four-meter small car clearly bears the signature of the German head of design Peter Schreyer. In August, the Magentis successor Kia Optima appears in stores. Like the technically related Hyundai counterpart i40, it has increased its elegance, material quality and ambience. A station wagon remains denied to the Kia top model.

And what about the model policy features? A Kia Cee‘d convertible like the study shown in 2007 would suit the brand's youthful aspirations. As for an open Hyundai i30, the expected numbers are still too low. Still.


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