With a current product lineup on the upswing, a look into Hyundai's future product lineup shows a transition from base hits to possible grand slams. Here's a look at what we know so far about the Korean automaker's plans.
Accent - We've seen previews of the Verna, the sedan that will eventually serve as the Accent's replacement in the U.S., around 2013. Its design will shed the current's model's frumpy appearance and be replaced by a sleek body reminiscent of the 2011 Sonata. U.S.-bound models will likely be powered by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, producing just over 100 horsepower.
Azera - With a new front-wheel-drive Azera due in 2012, Hyundai will seek to further differentiate it from the rear-drive Genesis. Engine choices are rumored to be six-cylinder powerplants, but no figures have been released yet.
Elantra - We believe the new Elantra may have appeared right under our noses, and the finished product is looking to be no less than impressive. The Elantra is expected to launch in several variants, including a sedan, five-door, and wagon; following a recent trend, the wagon will likely not be offered in the States. It will feature a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, but horsepower figures have not been finalized.
Equus - The Equus will displace the Genesis as Hyundai's top luxury sedan when it debuts this fall. Initially, Hyundai will offer the Genesis' 4.6-liter, 385-horsepower V-8 as the sole powertrain, but will replace it with a brand-new, 5.0-liter V-8 that produces 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, in early 2011. The Equus will represent the pinnacle of Hyundai's luxury experience, as we've described before.
Genesis - The Genesis that impressed us over a yearlong stay will receive the same engine swap as the Equus. A V-6 model will continue to be offered.
Sonata - Redesigned for 2011, the Sonata will receive two new powertrain options in the short term: a turbocharged variant and a hybrid. The turbo model will sport an impressive four-cylinder engine, producing 274 horsepower through a six-speed automatic, while delivering competitive fuel economy figures. The hybrid is expected to hit a target of at least 40 highway mpg, and will be the first to offer a battery pack composed of lithium polymer batteries.
Santa Fe - Remember the Nuvis concept sport-ute shown at the 2009 New York International Auto Show? Look between the lines, and you're likely sneaking a peek at the replacement for the aging Santa Fe SUV. A production model will be toned down from the gullwing doors of the concept, and will be both longer and wider than the current Santa Fe, better positioning it within the lineup with respect to the Veracruz.
To allow for increased production of the hot-selling Sonata, manufacture of the Santa Fe will shift from Hyundai's plant in Montgomery, Ala., to West Point, Ga.
Tucson - The well-received SUV was introduced last year, and shares its mechanical underpinnings with the recently launched Kia Sportage.
Veracruz - A revamped Veracruz, based on the same platform as the Kia Sorento, could arrive as early as June 2012. No specifics yet on powertrain or styling.
Veloster - Contrary to popular belief, the highly anticipated Veloster will not debut as the means to Hyundai's 50-mpg end at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. It will, however, feature a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, rumored to produce 140 horsepower, and feature a third, side-access door.
Pickup - A Hyundai pickup truck? Why not? With no discrete plans for production, Hyundai now has several platforms from which to derive a unibody pickup, and such a project might be in the cards. Don't expect one on the road until 2016, at the earliest.
Entourage - The world bade farewell to Hyundai's only attempt at a minivan for the U.S. (the brand sells other mini- and microvans across the globe) in 2009. No replacement is scheduled.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)