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NHTSA to investigate the 2011 Hyundai Sonata over steering issues

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is not resting, and has announced another investigation concerning the 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

It seems that after the faulty door latches recall from the beginning of the year, the Sonata might be plagued with a new problem, this time concerning the steering column. More specifically, 16,300 Sonata sedans might have a faulty upper universal joint, located in the intermediate steering column.

Under stress, the joint has been reported to break, leading to a loss of steering capabilities. No accidents have been reported as of yet, but Hyundai has already declared that it is cooperating fully with the federal agency.


2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0 Turbo reaches 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, does 34 mpg highway

Hyundai is going all out with the 2011 Sonata model, as not only did it implement the new, more attractive design language, but also threw everything plus the kitchen sink in terms of options.

Now, after pleasing regular fans, those with a desire for a bit more performance out of their sedan will be treated by the South Korean company with the 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0-liter Turbo model.

As you already know, the new car is powered by a direct injection, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, capable of 274 HP. Up until now though, we didn’t know just what impact the potent engine will have under the hood of the Sonata: will it offer adequate performance or be weighed down by the sedan?

Worry no more, as Hyundai has revealed the first official performance details. The Sonata 2.0 Turbo will be able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 6.5 seconds. Better yet, it seems that the fuel economy won’t be so bad, with Hyundai estimating 22 mpg US in the city, and an equally impressive 34 mpg on the highway.

Expect the 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T to hit dealerships in the following months.


2011 Hyundai Accent (Verna) debuts in Beijing

During last week’s Beijing Motor Show, Hyundai finally revealed the 2011 Accent compact sedan, or Verna, as it is known in Asia.

As you can see above (if you take your eyes off the lovely ladies), the new Accent sports the same Fluidic design language as seen on the larger Sonata sedan. One can even go so far as to say the Accent is just a shrunken version of its bigger brother.

Either way, this still leaves the compact sedan with a very attractive look, one that is certain to attract the customers that can’t spring for a full grown Sonata. For the Chinese market, two petrol engines are going to be available: a 106 HP 1.4-liter that can be coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic, or a more potent 121 HP 1.6-liter unit, available only with the automatic transmission.

The 2011 Hyundai Accent is set to hit the Chinese market this summer, with the South Korean carmaker planning to launch the model all around the world somewhere between the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011.


2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid revealed, 209 HP and 37/39 MPG

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid didn’t surprise anyone at the 2010 New York Auto Show, as the South Korean carmaker teased the new model days before it was finally revealed.

Now, the first US hybrid from Hyundai has been detailed, and we can say that the Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry Hybrid do have a few things to worry about. Starting with the powertrain, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid uses the same 2.4-liter inline-four cylinder engine, now running on an optimized Atkinson cycle. Instead of opting for a CVT gearbox to couple the engine and the electric motor (which develops 30 kW or 40 HP), Hyundai opted for a standard six-speed automatic gearbox, with the motor running instead of a torque converter.

This means a total power output of 209 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque. Official fuel estimates aren’t available, but Hyundai is confident the Sonata Hybrid will do 37 mpg on the EPA combined city cycle and 39 on the highway. Also, the company revealed that the model can accelerate up to 62 mph running in pure EV mode.

Two major factors contributed to the performance of the Sonata Hybrid. First off, the low weight. Besides the fact that the Sonata is already a light mid-size sedan, the hybrid model is the first to use a lithium-ion battery pack in the USA (the Volt will be the second). This means a curb weight 3,457 pounds. Secondly, the improved aerodynamics also play a big role. No doubt, you noticed the restyled front fascia of the Sonata Hybrid, as well as extensions to a few other body panels. This means that the drag coefficient has been reduced from 0.28 to 0.25.

Overall, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is looking pretty good as opposed to its competition. The last remaining unknown is the price, which will be revealed at a later time. Until then, check the car out in the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery: Hyundai Sonata Hybrid


2011 Hyundai Sonata Turbo revealed, packs 274 HP and 34 MPG

Right before the New York Auto Show kicks off today, Hyundai decided to unleash the details of its top-of-the-range 2011 Sonata Turbo model, which will pack a twin-scroll turbocharged (duh!) 2.0-liter direct injection four-cylinder unit.

The figures for this new car? A whopping 274 HP and a jaw dropping 34 MPG (on regular gasoline!). Torque figures are also quite high, with 269 lb-ft of twisting power. You won’t be wrangling that power with a manual gearbox though, as only a six-speed automatic will be available for the 2011 Sonata Turbo.

In comparison, the regular 2011 Sonata, with its un-turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four gets 35 MPG, while the already teased Sonata hybrid will be averaging a rumored 39 MPG. All in all, there’s no valid reason to skimp paying a bit extra and ordering the Sonata Turbo when it will be available this summer.


Hyundai starts teasing the Sonata hybrid before New York debut

Hyundai is getting ready for the start of the New York Auto Show, where it will premiere two new versions of its 2011 Sonata sedan. The first is a range-topping model powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, while the second is the South Korean company’s first US-spec hybrid.

As you can imagine, Hyundai is focusing more on the hybrid, and has just released the first teaser photo of the model, showcasing a part of its redesigned front end. It seems the company wants to give the hybrid Sonata a distinct personality, and will add in some influences from the Blue-Will concept we saw earlier this year in Detroit.

No official details are known, but it is expected that Hyundai will be optimizing the 2.4-liter direct injection inline-four cylinder unit in order to make it more efficient, and combine it through a regular six-speed automatic gearbox with a 30 kW electric motor.

Until the start of the NY show, at the end of the week, the guessing game is still open regarding the new Hyundai Sonata hybrid.


Hyundai stops sale of 2011 Sonata, recalls units over door latch problem

Hyundai was extremely busy these past couple of weeks with the launch of the brand new 2011 Sonata in the US, a model which it hoped would generate big sales.

Sadly, it seems the launch didn’t go without a hitch, as Hyundai has just announced that it will recall all new Sonata models sold (around 1,300) and stop the sale of the ones already in dealerships due to a malfunction in the driver and passenger door latches.

“The [Sonata's] front doors incorporate a convenience feature that allows a locked door to be unlocked and opened by pulling the inside door release handle without first unlocking the door with the inside door lock switch. If a front inside door lock switch is held in the locked position while the inside door handle is pulled to open the door, the door latch may malfunction. If this occurs, the inside door handle will not return to its normal, stowed position and the door latch will remain in the unlatched position when attempting to close the door.”

Hyundai also revealed that the rear doors aren’t affected by this problem, as they don’t have the specific mechanism fitted. Replacement parts are being shipped out to dealerships across the US, and it is expected that the fixing procedure will last around one hour per vehicle.

The few customers who already received their 2011 Hyundai Sonata are advised to contact dealerships and schedule a meeting. While the defect isn’t life threatening, I’m pretty sure some people would want to get out of the car fast in dangerous situations.


LA Auto Show: 2011 Hyundai Sonata revealed for US market

After we Europeans got a glimpse at the upcoming 2011 Hyundai Sonata (or i40 as we’ll receive it), during the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, the South Korean carmaker revealed the US-spec version of its mid-size sedan.

Major selling points include more room inside, a bigger boot and better handling, thanks to a good power-to-weight ration and tighter turning diameter. It will feature the 2.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine as standard, delivering 198 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. Customers can choose between a six-speed manual transmission, which achieves 23 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway, or a six-speed automatic which gets 23 and 35. During next year the Sonata will also receive a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit as well as a 2.4-liter Hybrid Blue Drive version.

Customers with a taste for higher end things will also be happy to hear that a Sonata SE version will arrive after the official launch, which features sportier suspension with stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars, as well as monotube rear shock absorbers and low profile 18-inch wheels.

Music fans will also get to choose from standard six-speaker audio systems to a Dimension premium one and a range-topping Infinity-made system will be available as an option. Look forward to the beginning of 2010, when this model will enter the market.


Hyundai denies creating Sonata-based coupe

The Internet was buzzing with rumors lately after a presumed image of a new Sonata-based coupe from Hyundai surfaced. This led to a lot of speculations on whether it is the much talked about Veloster model or if it is a new version of the mid-size sedan from the Korean manufacturer.

Now though, a source from inside the company has talked about the image and proclaimed it to be nothing but fiction and that Hyundai isn’t planning on releasing any type of coupe model based on the 2010 Sonata / i40.

It would seem that the four-door version is enough for the Korean company, which will continue to market the Genesis rear-wheel drive coupe as the best two-door fun you can have with one if its models. Don’t forget that the eagerly awaited Veloster is also in testing, which will offer a bit of fun but with a great mileage, according to the Korean company.


2010 Hyundai Sonata/i40 has been revealed

As you all know, the Frankfurt Motor Show has been filled with big announcements, coming from almost all of the big automakers in the world. Hyundai also joined the pack, and revealed the new generation of the Sonata model, which will be branded in Europe as the i40, thus entering the new branding from the South Korean car maker.

The new sedan from Hyundai will be arriving next year all around the world, and will contain a revolutionary design, as opposed to the more conservative last generation. The midsize car will have longer, coupe-like lines, with an interior filled with technological trinkets and high quality, some of them borrowed from the ix35, the next generation of the old Tucson.

Being bigger than the previous generation, the new car will also get two gasoline engines at first, with the 2-liter Theta II MPI already prepared to enter production and develop 165 HP, if it is running on gasoline, and 144 if it is fueled with GPL. When it will enter production next year, the new Sonata or i40 will also get a new 2.4 liter gasoline engine.

Driver assists like Vehicle Dynamic Control, Hill-start Assist Control or Brake Assist will be incorporated in the new sedan, with a panoramic roof and a sideways parking assistance system, that will alert the driver of any obstructions.

With production scheduled to commence in South Korea this year and in the United States and China in 2010, Hyundai is predicting that it will sell worldwide almost 450,000 units, by 2011.

Read More: “2010 Hyundai Sonata/i40 has been revealed”
Source: Automarket