• Apr 15, 2010
Typically when we show you spy shots, you're seeing photographs taken by people not directly employed by Autoblog. Today, however, is different. Yours Truly and Drew Phillips were driving back from San Diego after the Aptera state-of-the-state address. We were getting off the phone with Senior Editor Damon Lavrinc when I said, "And Drew's going to pull out his camera and look to his right." Thar she blows, a fully dressed up prototype, about to exit the freeway in heavy, mid-day Irvine traffic.
We pull up next to the car at the bottom of the off ramp. "Don't look at them!" Drew advised, wanting to wait until we had at least one clear shot until we alerted them of our true nature. Still, we were scrambling to figure out what was idling next to us. At first glance, I thought the compact, obvious B-segment car might be a Ford Fiesta sedan. But every Fiesta we've ever seen sports rear drums, not big discs like this camo'd car. Also, the side mirrors looked different. However, we could see the top of the center stack and it featured lots of sharp looking chrome bits, quite like the diminutive Ford. "It's definitely a Fiesta" I said confidently to Drew. "Look at the interior."

"Isn't that a Hyundai "H" on the steering wheel?" Drew pointed out. And so it was. Then the light turned green. We got in their rear three-quarter blind spot, and Drew's Nikon suddenly exploded in a volley of "Click-Click-Click-Click." We tailed them until the next light and then Drew leaned across me and let 'er rip. At this point, the Accent's passenger (we had already determined that this must be the new Accent) had made us. Drew jumped in the back seat and slid his lens out the window and began firing. The jig was up – but the game was on. Click through to the jump to read the rest of what happened.



Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

Green means go and the little Hyundai took off like a shot, trying to lose us. We gave chase and were assisted by the fact that Irvine features a stoplight every half mile. The Hyundai pilot's plan was to brake late and at the last possible, second dart into the left turn lane, hoping to trip us up. As we hope the pictures show, that simply didn't happen. Though in fairness to Hyundai's test driver, Drew did get a bit banged around when I suddenly had to made a sharp, vicious left. Amusingly enough, Drew had just mentioned wanting to try his hand at spy shooting.

As far as the prototype goes, we're largely positive this is the same sort of Hyundai we saw performing winter testing back in February. It actually looks a lot like some of the Elantra test vehicles that have been spotted recently, what with it sharing Hyundai's very particular type of hood camouflage. However, all of the prototypes we've seen of that car feature five-bolt wheels, where our quarry clearly only had four-bolters. We actually know very little about this next-gen Accent, other than the fact that it might have a 1.6-liter four-banger good for 140 horsepower.

After chasing this particular car around Orange County for fifteen minutes, we'd say at least 140 ponies.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      *crosses fingers for attractive exterior and clean minimalist interior even though I know in a world where built-in sat nav is trying to become standard and Autoblog readers are like sheep without a shepherd, the dream is highly unlikely because people, especially on this site, love economy cars that don't base at 10K and like doing everything else in the car except enjoy the drive...however, fingers still crossed*
        • 4 Years Ago
        SimpleCar

        The reason there aren't so many cheap new cars is because there are so many cheap nearly new cars. There's a lot of competition at the bottom of the market. You can buy a $8k car with no nav and a 6/60 warranty; its called a 2008 Hyundai.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Simple what kind of car to you currently drive and what new cars appeal to your simple taste? I'm just curious...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Willie

        I drive a 1998 Mitsu Mirage, because like i said on a previous post, its been paid off for about 8 years. Saving money. I would love the new Shelby GT500 and the price is justifiable. I pretty much like all the cars most people like on the is site.

        Car Favs:
        Supercars: Pagani Zonda F, McLaren F1, Aerial Atom, 60's Mustangs
        "Luxury" Cars: Not really into them. With the exception of the new S60(which the exterior I like), I like Volvo's interior design language. Not an Audi fanboy.

        There are others, I don't feel like listing right now.

        I also believe economy cars should be priced as such. When has 15-20K plus become the new economy car price? I mean come on. I don't see what the point of built-in navs are when they're are way cheaper options that you can take from car to car. I don't like that fact that all the manufactures are starting to make it the centerpiece of the dash. I think its out of pure laziness to make a beautiful interior, which by the way, is where we are spending most of our time with the car, anyway. I also don't like hybrids. Way overpriced. Again, laziness on the engineering side to create a more fuel efficient engine. If car manufacturers would stop pack crap in the vehicle, we could get lighter weight. Whatever happen to just enjoying the drive?
        • 4 Years Ago
        A lot of that "crap" you see getting packed into cars is Federally Mandated Crap. Don't like how heavy cars are? Tell Uncle Sam. They want it all though. Safety equipment through the roof PLUS low weight, low cost, and fuel economy. It isn't easy. Sure they can pack all the safety features in, create a marvelous high tech engine, and make it all out of carbon fiber and aluminum, but then you've got a $200,000 car that no one will buy.

        It's also a features war. Americans are consumers and if the car they are shopping has fewer features but lower weight than another car, guess which one they will buy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @willie

        No problem, man. You can't listen to the crowd. Some things i say because people expect it just for a laugh. But most of the time I'm just stating my honest opinion. Most of the haters don't have real opinions of their own.

        I, in no way, hate technology. I love minimalist design. I'm starting to learn that people on this site don't really care to hear other peoples honest opinion, yet they want to participate in a comment section. On Autoblog, if your not with the crowd, you get low ratings. And as i found out earlier, if you agree with someone with high rating, they rate you low anyway. Glad to see you are the exception to the rule. They are just weird.
        • 4 Years Ago
        We get it! We get it! We get it! You don't like nav screens. Please add something more intelligent the conversation. Also, could you please explain the following line "Autoblog readers are like sheep without a shepherd"? Furthermore, your arguments are invalid... since when did having a sat nav in my dash reduce my ability to "enjoy the drive"?

        I can ignore your comments on sports cars and luxury vehicles but when you mention it on a post about an econo-box where 99.99% of the buyers wouldn't even consider a sat nav it just further proves that you are just here to make stupid comments and assumptions about others that are simply not true.
        • 4 Years Ago
        SimpleCar, I think you're missing something important here. Laziness has little to do with anything that you mention. This is all a direct result of keeping costs down while (hopefully) trying to bolster profits as much as possible.

        In case you've been living under a rock the past few years, the world is in a serious recession. The people shopping for new "entry level" cars today are not the same people who bought 10k accents ten years ago. Many people buying 20K+ Civics would have maybe stepped up to an Accord if the economy wasn't where it is now.

        I understand where you're coming from, and I probably even largely agree with your small car ethos. But enough people with a lot of education, research, experience, etc. have clearly deemed the market to be elsewhere than where you think it should be. Tough luck for you and most others who want a cheap, reliable, small NEW car. Incessant whining will do little to change this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks for replying. Because some of your posts make me think you hate any car with technology lol ;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      the story is more fun to read than the car itself.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The negative comments about Hyundai are so 90's...you should get out of your house more often and take in a car show or two.

      Is this a Hyundai pictured here? Hint...the guy in the passenger seat is likely not German......
        • 4 Years Ago
        @AngeloD:

        The Accent gets 5-stars in NHTSA frontal test; 4-stars in side for the front. 3-stars in side for rear. Not great, but not a poor like you claim. Certainly not a death trap. Are you talking IIHS? Even there, where it does get a poor in the side test, the concern is cracked ribs and organ injury, but nowhere do I see death. Yes, the Accent needs and will get upgrades, but please keep to the facts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @AngeloD
        Hyundai Accent is pretty safe vehice in its class.
        http://www.carsdirect.com/2009/hyundai/accent/safety
        Driver 5/5 Front Seat 4/5
        Passenger 5/5 Rear Seat 3/5

        The front safety result is better than BMW 5 series
        http://www.carsdirect.com/2009/bmw/528/safety
        • 4 Years Ago
        Quote: ""The negative comments about Hyundai are so 90's...you should get out of your house more often and take in a car show or two""



        No, the 2010 Hyundai Accent is a death-trap that gets poor NHTSA crash ratings and has had its braking systems "de-contented" by Hyundai.

        I guess profits are more important to Hyundai than safety.

        The only way these comments can be considered as "1990's" is by virtue of the fact that Hyundai is still building substandard cars just as they did in the 1990's.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Jonny, what car were you (and Drew) in?
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Caught" is not exactly the word I would use.

      "Tripped-Over" would be more appropriate.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hyundai has offices in Fountain Valley right off the 405. Pre-production models roll out of there all the time. I can't believe photogs haven't staked it out yet. A car prep company around the corner from them always has pre-production Hyundais too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I live in the area and see camo'd Toyotas and Hyundais all the time. I just never take pictures because I assume that with a freeway full of people someone already has, but since I saw this one a month ago maybe I should carry a camera...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Seriously who would want to take a picture of a camo'd Toyota lol? I would rather go to Sears and take a picture of the washing machines...at least they have more speed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow... Secret agent man...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it's pretty cool that AB was hot on the scene of a tester car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm disappointed it wasn't more hatchback-ish. Based on Hyundai's latest antics they are capable of building an accent that may compete with other wagons. Ford Focus?..VW Golf??....MazdaSpeed3???
      • 4 Years Ago
      looks like the turn signals on back r 2 different colors? I see orange on driver side & red on pass. side!?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wonder if they're planning all-red for either the US or Korea. Don't think that's legal most places. And with NHTSA planning on outlawing for the US, I'm surprised they'd consider it for the US; then again it's a cheap mid-cycle styling change.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's not "near Disneyland". It's Sand Canyon road in Irvine. Okay maybe 20 miles "near"...
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's not a US-spec car. Look at the taillights.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Look at them again: the right one is different from the left.
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