Things are looking good for Hyundai. Not only has the brand been named the most fuel efficient automaker in the country, but they are releasing lots of new-and-improved metal. In a market where product is king, that's a good thing. First we saw the 2010 Tuscon and the just about-to-be-released 2011 Sonata. This morning, despite no official Hyundai press conference here at the Chicago Auto Show, we get a freshened 2011 Azera.
The big news are its two engines. The mid-cycle Azera will still use either a 3.3-liter or 3.8-liter V6, just like the outgoing car. However, both Lambda engines now use DCVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing) instead of CVVT. Translation: instead of only the intake valves getting varied, the exhaust valves' timing can be manipulated, too. In English that means more power and better mileage.
The 3.3-liter V6 makes 260 horsepower and 233 pound-feet of torque while the big 3.8-liter V6 cranks out 283 ponies and 263 units of torque. Much more impressive than that are their mileage numbers. An Azera equipped with the 3.3-liter mill gets 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, increases of 11 and 8 percent, respectively. The 3.8-liter motor allows the Azera to achieve 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, increases of 12 and 4 percent.
Part of this frugality is no doubt assisted by Hyundai's all-new, built-in-house six-speed automatic transmission that we got to experience in the Tucson. On the outside, the Azera gets new headlights, taillights, a new grille, new fog lights, bumpers and wheels. Oh, and for those of you that doubted the accuracy our Kia Optima spy shots, the joke is on you. Full press release after the jump.
Live photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
The 2011 Hyundai Azera adds power and efficiency to a model known for its luxurious appointments. The updated large sedan now includes an advanced six-speed automatic transmission and other powertrain refinements raising the bar on fuel economy in its class, while still gaining horsepower. The 2011 Azera will be available at Hyundai dealerships in spring 2010.
New for 2011:
- Choice of 3.3-liter or 3.8-liter DOHC Lambda V6 engine with improved power and fuel economy
- Estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway with 3.3-liter engine
- Estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg city / 27 mpg highway with 3.8-liter engine
- All-new, in-house six-speed automatic transmission
- Headlights, tail lights and fog lights
- Bumper fascias, side mirrors and window trim
- Trunk lid and grille
- Alloy wheels
- Interior refinements
- Center console aluminum graining
- "Eco Indicator"
- "EZ Lane Change Assist" - one touch triple turn signal
CHOICE OF TWO MORE POWERFUL AND FUEL-EFFICIENT POWERTRAINS
The Azera GLS is equipped with an enhanced 3.3-liter, DOHC V6 engine that now produces an estimated 260 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 233 lbs.-ft. at 4,500 rpm of torque. The performance gains were achieved by incorporating Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT) that improves engine breathing on the intake and exhaust camshafts for better fuel economy and lower emissions. Depending on engine load and speed, DCVVT can extend or shorten the duration of the valve opening and closing for more power. Previously, the 2010 Azera only had CVVT on the intake camshaft. Now, the Azera GLS features a specially tuned intake manifold surge tank to take advantage of the new DCVVT configuration. A member of Hyundai's "Lambda" engine family, this new engine also has all-aluminum construction and four valves per cylinder. It also features a Variable Intake System (VIS) that further broadens its power curve to improve the vehicle's off-the-line acceleration and passing performance. Fuel economy estimates for the Azera GLS are 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway.
The Azera Limited delivers powerful performance due to its revised clean and efficient all-aluminum 3.8-liter, DOHC V6 engine, which delivers an estimated 283 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 263 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm. To maximize the power spread, this engine also uses DCVVT and a Variable Intake System (VIS) to help cylinders breathe efficiently at both low and high rpms. Estimated mileage figures for the Azera Limited are 19 mpg city / 27 mpg highway.
To help Azera drivers get the most out of their vehicles, Hyundai has added a fuel economy indicator in the 2011 model. The "Eco Indicator" displays a green light to indicate when driving habits are contributing to good fuel economy.
SIX-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Hyundai's commitment to making the Azera extremely fuel efficient continues with a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual control. This transmission offers smooth shifts and a wide ratio spread that ideally suits both engines' characteristics.
Hyundai's all-new six-speed automatic transaxle helps the company meet its goals of improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. Shifts are silky-smooth with an option of manual control through the SHIFTRONIC feature.
Drivers can access the SHIFTRONIC feature by moving the gear selector into a separate gate. Pushing the selector forward or pulling it rearward will shift the transmission up or down sequentially, adding to driver control. A clear LCD readout on the instrument panel shows the gear being used.
Designed for transverse engine applications in passenger cars and CUVs, the new compact transmission puts Hyundai into an elite class of only three auto manufacturers who have designed their own proprietary six-speed automatic transmissions. The strength of the design is its unique layout which makes it smaller, more compact and lighter than any other six-speed transmission on the market today.
The gearbox has no dipstick because it is filled with automatic transmission fluid designed to last for the life of the vehicle under normal usage conditions, thereby reducing maintenance costs.
Developed over a four-year period, this new six-speed automatic is 26.4 pounds lighter than the five-speed it replaces. It also is 1.6 inches shorter and considerably simpler, having 62 fewer parts, which is a key to increased durability, lighter weight and lower cost.
When it comes to transmissions, more gears are definitely better. The addition of a sixth gear enables closer spacing between gear ratios providing a better balance of performance and fuel economy while the wide overall gear ratio helps deliver strong, smooth acceleration.
The gearbox has three planetary gearsets and a unique flat torque converter that shortens the unit's overall length by 0.47 inches. Four pinion differentials improve durability and further minimize size.
Another example of engineering ingenuity is found in the design of the hydraulic pressure control unit. Slight manufacturing deviations from one solenoid valve to the next often cause fluctuation in the hydraulic pressure and affect shift precision and quality. The transmission featured in the Azera cleverly integrates adjustment screws in the valves that enable each of the eight valves to be calibrated at the factory. This feature ensures stable hydraulic pressure at any shift point which facilitates a high degree of precision and control needed to deliver fast, smooth and precise shifts throughout the rpm range.
STRIKING FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Azera is reborn with a more handsome exterior design. The most noticeable exterior upgrade is a new sleeker front bumper fascia, with a number of subtle design tweaks. Design updates up-front also include redesigned headlamps, new chrome grille and round fog lights. A high-gloss window trim treatment enhances Azera's profile. The rear of the 2011 Azera features new LED tail lights, a redesigned bumper with integrated chrome tailpipes and a matching decklid. Modernized 17-inch alloy wheels and revised side repeater mirrors with all-new bright puddle lamps light the way to Hyundai's refined premium large car with near-luxury attributes. Overall, Azera's proportions remain elegant, purposeful and aerodynamically efficient, reducing wind noise while adding maximum stability on the highway.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Inside, Azera's spacious cabin provides not only roomy comfort, but a luxurious look with a new attention to detail that makes both driver and passengers feel like they are riding in a luxury sedan. These details include a new brushed metalgrain finish applied to the gear shift indicator area, cup holder cover, ashtray cover and center console cover. For convenience, "EZ Lane Change Assist" (one-touch triple turn signal stalks) has been added as to long list of standard equipment. Slight movement of this new turn signal stalk will cause the turn signals to blink three times and then automatically go off – an ideal feature for highway passing.
The 2011 Azera offers luxurious appointments and spaciousness that rivals the finest premium competitor brands. It offers a roomy cabin with nearly 44 inches of legroom up front and more than 38 inches of legroom for rear-seat passengers. Hyundai engineers have created efficient packaging to maximize interior volume with the 2011 Azera offering more interior volume (123.5 cu.-ft.) than the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima.
Special attention has also been paid to other interior details, such as the electroluminescent cluster display and steering wheel audio control functions. The blue backlighting for interior gauges, switches and buttons along with ion-plated accents highlight the vehicle's modern appearance. Other unexpected luxury appointments include a power rear sunshade, integrated memory system and power-folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators and puddle lamps on the Limited version. Azera Limited also has a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, electrochromic auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink®, premium door sill scuff plates and woodgrain steering wheel and door pulls to its long list of standard equipment.
The Azera comes standard with dual front automatic climate controls, solar control glass, power seats for driver and front passenger, as well as woodgrain and metalgrain interior accents.
An AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system that includes a four-channel, 172-watt internal amplifier and six speakers comes standard in the Azera GLS. Audiophiles with even more demanding tastes will be impressed by the available Infinity audio system that includes a seven-channel, 315-watt amplifier with an in-dash six-disc CD changer and 10 speakers, standard in Limited trim levels.
Music lovers will also welcome the 2011 Azera's inclusion of standard iPod®/USB and auxiliary input jacks to accommodate and charge audio devices such as iPods.
For drivers looking for the ultimate luxury options, Azera offers the Limited Trim with Navigation Package which receives a powerful Infinity 605-watt Logic 7® surround sound audio system as standard equipment in addition to its LG DVD navigation system.
Maintaining Hyundai's emphasis on class-leading safety technology, the 2011 Azera boasts impressive active and passive safety features to protect its occupants in the event of a collision. The Azera continues to set standards by making key life-saving active safety technology standard, such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with a Traction Control System (TCS).
Also standard are independent double-wishbone front- and multi-link rear suspension, large four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that includes Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), which automatically adjusts the amount of force applied to each of a vehicle's brakes for optimal performance under varying load conditions.
Additionally, Azera offers impressive passive safety features including eight standard airbags, active front head restraints to help prevent whiplash, a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system for children's seats and three-point seatbelts for all positions while shingle-style rear-seat head restraints provide drivers with improved visibility. Security is further advanced with an anti-theft engine immobilizer and remote keyless entry with alarm.
LG DVD NAVIGATION
LG, the South Korean-based international manufacturer of consumer electronics has developed an exclusive navigation system for the Hyundai Azera, Elantra and Veracruz models. Using touch-screen functions, the DVD navigation system comes equipped with a premium 605-watt Infinity Logic 7 surround sound system with 12 speakers, 11-channel digital amplifier and AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 reception capability which replaces the six-disc CD changer and iPod/USB and auxiliary input jacks. It also includes mapping software for the continental United States and has available POIs (Points of Interest) for entertainment, shopping and dining. Route guidance is provided by audio and visual prompts.
COMFORTABLE AND CONTROLLED SUSPENSION
Hyundai engineers benchmarked the best cars in the category before designing the Azera's double-wishbone front and multi-link rear four-wheel independent suspension system. By using high-tensile steel in critical unibody areas, the Azera features increased stiffness and rigidity, which ensures formidable resistance to flexing and enhanced ride and handling, while lowering interior noise levels. Attached to the Azera's rigid structure is improved suspension and steering hardware to keep the vehicle even flatter through turns and more compliant over bumps. The suspension features four twin-tube, gas-charged dampers, softer bushings and a quick steering rack. The Azera also has front and rear stabilizer bars and rides on new 17-inch wheels and 235/55VR17 tires.
TWO WELL-EQUIPPED MODELS
From the well-equipped GLS, to the downright luxurious Limited, the 2011 Azera lineup addresses the needs and desires of premium sedan customers with a highly competitive mix of features and benefits. Each model delivers a level of standard equipment that is a cut above competing models.
Key standard equipment:
- 3.3L MPI-DOHC V6 with 260HP (estimated), variable intake system
- Six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
- Traction Control System (TCS)
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Active front head restraints
- Advanced front airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags and side-curtain airbags
- Power driver seat with power lumbar support
- Bodycolor heated dual power mirrors
- Automatic headlights
- Front fog lights
- Dual exhaust
- Remote keyless entry system with alarm
- Engine immobilizer
- Power windows, locks, heated mirrors
- Tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel
- Steering wheel audio controls
- AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio with iPod®/USB auxiliary input jacks
- Solar control glass
- Cruise control
- EZ lane change assist
- Eco Indicator
AZERA GLS with PREMIUM PACKAGE
- Leather seating surfaces
- Heated front seats
- Power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel & shift knob
GLS equipment plus:
- 3.8L MPI-DOHC V6 with 283HP (estimated), variable intake system
- 17-inch hyper silver alloy wheels
- Power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof
- Power folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators
- Bumper, bodyside and door handles with chrome inserts
- Leather seating surfaces
- Heated front seats
- Dual automatic temperature control
- In-dash 6-disc CD Changer with 10 Infinity® speakers, iPod®/USB auxiliary input jacks, subwoofer and amplifier
- Integrated Memory System (IMS)
- Power rear sunshade
- Woodgrain-trimmed leather steering wheel and door pulls.
- Power adjustable tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel
- Brushed stainless steel door scuff plates
- EC auto-dimming mirror with compass and Homelink®
AZERA LIMTED with ULTIMATE NAVIGATION PACKAGE
- LG DVD Navigation system with touch-screen display (replaces in-dash six-disc CD changer and iPod/USB auxiliary input jacks)
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through almost 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program which now includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable bumper-to-bumper warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-year complimentary Roadside Assistance in addition to the highly acclaimed vehicle return policy introduced in early 2009. For more details on Hyundai Assurance, please visit www.HyundaiAssurance.com.