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Hyundai dealers will get Elantra coupe, redesigned Azera

Tue, 08 Feb 2011

Hyundai is continuing its recent product onslaught with two new or redesigned models to be launched by January 2012.

Hyundai told dealers attending the NADA convention in San Francisco that a two-door coupe version of the 2011 Elantra will go on sale this spring and a redesigned Azera sedan will go on sale in January 2012.

“They showed us a photo of it and it's gorgeous,” Doug Fox, a multi-franchise dealer who owns a Hyundai dealership in Ann Arbor, Mich., said of the Elantra coupe. “We weren't expecting that.”

Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor would neither confirm nor deny the existence of an Elantra 2-door, but he stressed that no such vehicle would arrive this spring.

Fox said dealers were also shown a redesigned Azera large sedan.

“It'll give us that step-up car from the Sonata for when Sonata owners come back and want something a little bit larger,” Fox said.

The Azera is scheduled to go on sale in January 2012, Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai's U.S. sales boss, told Automotive News.

The redesigned Azera will be powered by a new 3.3-liter, gasoline, direct-injection V6 that generates about 260 horsepower and is more fuel efficient than the current Azera.

Zuchowski said the new Azera has the potential to sell 18,000 to 20,000 units a year in the United States, a major leap from the car's current volume. Hyundai sold 3,051 Azeras last year, a drop of about 20 percent from 2009.

New trim level for Genesis

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik also said the brand is adding a new highline trim level when the Genesis sedan gets its midcyle freshening for the 2012 model year. The new trim level will feature a new 5.0-liter V8 engine from Hyundai's Tau engine family producing 429 hp, mated to a new Hyundai-developed eight-speed automatic transmission.

The model, to be called the Genesis R-Spec, will be shown at the Chicago auto show this week and will cost $45,000-$50,000, Krafick said.

By Ryan Beene- Automotive News