Hyundai America’s CEO, John Krafcik, took command of the company’s Twitter account this week to tell the world that the next-gen Azera will debut at the 2011 Los Angeles auto show in November. We expect it to hit the market very soon after that and, as Sir Krafcik’s tweet says, it’ll arrive as a 2012 model.
Odds are good that the Azera we see in L.A. will be nearly identical to the Hyundai Grandeur, which has been on sale in South Korea for several months. The last-gen Azera was marketed as the Grandeur there, and we see no reason that will change with this generation of Azera and Grandeur.
That car is rather more attractive than the soggy sedan it replaces, and in South Korea is sold with a direct-injected 3.0-liter V-6 making 266 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. We expect that it also will come with a V-6 in the States—whether it’s the same mill or the 3.8-liter unit from the outgoing Azera, it’s too early to say—and a sticker price somewhere in the high twenty-thousand-dollar range.
With front-wheel drive and a V-6 (rather than a turbocharged four, as is used in the smaller Sonata), the Azera will again be positioned to compete with the more sober, large, front-drive family sedans like the Toyota Avalon, the Ford Taurus, and the Buick LaCrosse. Should customers want a bit more spice in their Hyundai, we’re sure the sales staff will have no difficulty shuttling them over to the $35,050, 333-hp, rear-drive Genesis.
Tags: 2011 L.A. auto show, auto shows, Hyundai, Hyundai Azera |