2014 Hyundai Elantra, Tucson FCEV and a new Nu engine at the LA Auto ShowWed, 20 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Hyundai made a boatload of news at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday. The Korean company unveiled the redesigned 2014 Elantra coupe, sedan and GT, the Veloster R-Spec hatchback and some interesting info on its upcoming fuel-cell program.
The biggest news is Hyundai's revamped 2.0-liter Nu engine that now makes 173 hp, instead of 145 hp, and 154 lb-ft of torque, as opposed to the 130 of the old engine. To make that extra power, Hyundai added 0.2 liters of displacement and direct injection and improved the variable valve-timing system. It's more efficient, too, using electronic throttle control, a variable oil pump and hydraulic lash adjusters to get better fuel economy. The engine will see duty in a handful of Hyundai vehicles in the coming years, including the new Elantra.
Hyundai's 2014 Elantra is now considered a midsized car due to an increase in interior space. It has more passenger volume than the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze and Mazda 3.
As for styling, the Elantra family gets restyled front and rear fascias, projector headlights, fog lamps, a chrome beltline and an exposed single exhaust tip. Inside, the instrument panel was redesigned and a new center stack was installed along with a new gear selector.
Upgraded models will get a new navigation system, driver selectable steering weight, bigger wheels, one-touch windows, sunroof and a few other bits.
The Elantra coupe and GT come standard with more upgrades, including blind-spot mirrors. The trim level options for the coupe have been reduced to just two.
Moving from the mundane to the sporty, the 2014 Veloster Turbo R-Spec will make its first appearance at the show. It will be the hottest hatch the company has to offer, intended to be a “reverse halo” car, to attract new buyers to the brand. Pricing wasn't given, but company brass said it will cost less than the current top-of-the-line Turbo model.
Accent-colored sideblades and front splitters differentiate the R-Spec from the other models, as do the red leatherette and black cloth seats. The R-Spec also comes with a B&M racing shifter and badges on the floor mats and hatch.
The R-Spec will continue with the same 1.6-liter turbocharged engine as last year's hopped-up hatch, making 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The Gamma engine makes use of direct injection and has a compression ratio of 9.5 to 1. Fuel economy ranges from 24 mpg in the city to 33 mpg on the highway.
In addition to higher spring rates in the front and rear, the R-Spec will also get stiffer transmission mounts, require more steering effort and use a torque vectoring system that improves cornering.
The R-Spec will be offered in only four colors: blue, black, gray and white.
Hyundai couldn't let LA pass without a little green news, so they revealed some information on the upcoming Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle, in small scale production right now.
The Tucson Fuel Cell comes out next year in the Los Angeles area with a $499 per month lease price on a 36-month term, with $3,000 due at signing. Now, that might seem like a lot, but Hyundai will provide the fuel. There are already seven hydrogen stations in southern California, with 13 more on the way, according to Hyundai. Tucson testers will be able to fill up their car at any of those. First deliveries will come next spring, and those FCEVs will qualify for the HOV lane.
About the LA Auto Show
The Los Angeles Auto Show has long served as a spotlight for "green" cars, and a popular place to unveil new hybrid and electric vehicles. We'll have photos, video and complete coverage of all the manufacturer reveals and top news from this year's LA Auto Show right here, so check back often.
By Jake Lingeman