Report: Hyundai to Introduce Elantra Coupe, Redesigned Azera by 2012

Hyundai’s record-breaking 2010 can be attributed in part to a host of new and improved models introduced over the past few years. That product onslaught appears to be continuing into 2011. Not only is the company rolling out the new Veloster coupe, but it appears the company is also moving a redesigned Azera and a new Elantra Coupe by the end of the year.

News of the new models apparently leaked out of the company’s annual dealer meeting, held in conjunction with the North American Dealership Association conference in San Francisco. According to Automotive News, dealers were informed of the Elantra Coupe for the very first time during the assembly.

“[Hyundai] showed dealers a photo of it, and it’s gorgeous,” Doug Fox, owner of a Hyundai franchise in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told AN. “We weren’t expecting that.”

Although the model may come as a surprise, there is room for Hyundai to launch yet another coupe model -- not only would this give buyers a larger, more traditional alternative to the funky three-door Veloster, but it would also allow Hyundai to face off against other compact coupes, including the Honda Civic Coupe. Hyundai spokesman Dan Bedore wouldn’t comment on the model, but did note it won’t launch this spring, as was originally reported by AN.

News of a renewed Azera, however, is less surprising -- largely because the model has already been unwrapped in the Korean market. Representing a step between the Sonata and Genesis models, the front-wheel-drive Azera allows the automaker to field a direct competitor to vehicles like the Lexus ES and Buick LaCrosse. Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai’s vice president of U.S. sales, apparently noted the sedan should arrive in dealerships by next January. Automotive News suggests the model will receive a direct-injection 3.3-liter V-6, which will be more fuel-efficient than the current 3.3-liter six-cylinder.

But wait: there’s more. Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik also used the NADA conference to tease the company’s forthcoming Chicago auto show debuts. One highlight: a new Genesis R-Spec sedan, which will apparently use a 429-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8, along with Hyundai’s new eight-speed automatic transmission.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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