Hyundai and Kia Looking Future Plans, BMW Chasers and Then Some

By Matthew Askari | August 13, 2012
Hyundai and Kia have steadily positioned themselves onto America's automotive map, and with a slew of new and refreshed offerings to come, the Korean twosome look to only further expand market share. Hyundai has been busy with a host of new models and variants to existing nameplates, most recently introducing a turbo version of the popular Veloster, along with coupe and hatchback versions of the Elantra. The 2013 Santa Fe has been given new vigor, and the Sport version will be in showrooms starting this month. The following are some other expected changes to come: Equus: The flagship of the Hyundai lineup offers all of the goodies of much pricier luxury cars, but retains the Hyundai value proposition. At one time, the automaker was considering creating a separate luxury brand, but ultimately decided the more premium models raised the perception of the brand overall, and shelved the idea. The Equus's conservatively styled exterior will get a refresh late next summer for the 2014 model. Major changes aren't expected until 2015 or beyond. Elantra: The Hyundai Elantra was voted the Car of the Year back at the Detroit Auto Show in January, and Hyundai recently expanded the Elantra nameplate with two new variants. The Elantra coupe cuts the number of doors in half and offers a different aesthetic, while the Elantra GT is a five-door European-inspired hatchback.
Genesis: A very different Genesis will arrive late next year as a 2014 model. Hyundai says the 2014 Genesis will be restyled and re-engineered, including the brand's first all-wheel-drive version. Engineers will be focusing on the ride and handling, trying to achieve the success of the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. Sonata: We're two years away, but the 2015 Sonata, arriving the year prior, is said to showcase a new design language Hyundai is calling "fluidic precision." Considering the current one is referred to as "fluidic sculpture design," the new one is considering to be a gentle evolution of the current language, and one that will be slightly less expressive, in the case of the Sonata anyways. A refreshed version with some changes to the front-end and some interior enhancements is expected next year, ahead of the full overhaul. BMW 3 Series Fighter: Cadillac has one in the all new 2013 Cadillac ATS—which we think is darn good—and now Hyundai is reportedly working on a car that can compete with the ultra-successful 3 Series as well. The Korean version, code named "RK," won't arrive before 2015, and is expected to employ elements of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe's rear-wheel-drive engineering. Might the engine be developed jointly by Hyundai and BMW? Santa Fe: The 2013 Santa Fe Sport crossover has been redesigned and hits showrooms later this month. We'll be getting behind the wheel soon, so check back for first drive impressions in a couple of weeks. The 2013 Santa Fe Sport will feature two powertrains: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that can generate 190-hp while still offering up to 33 mpg highway, and an optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that can produce a beefier 264-hp. A longer seven-passenger version will follow early next year, and will replace the Veracruz. Tucson: While the Santa Fe has been getting the attention recently, Hyundai's other compact crossover will have a few front-end changes next year, including a new grille (likely the same or similar to the 2013 Santa Fe Sport) with more ambitious changes coming for the 2015 model. Plug-in hybrid: Hyundai has been rumored to be planning a 2015 model plug-in hybrid, the company's first. It was expected to be a new model, but Automotive News says it could be based off of an existing model. We think the Sonata and Elantra could be strong candidates for the new plug-in technology. Hyundai's Korean cousin Kia, also has a slew of changes in the pipeline, including some new models. The following is the latest from camp Kia: Cadenza: Kia's version of the Hyundai Azera is slated to hit the ground next summer as a 2014 model. The Cadenza will be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that the Korean version currently uses. Kia says the premium sedan will be priced around $40,000 give or take. Quoris/K9: Kia will sell its rear-wheel-drive Korean flagship in the U.S. Kia says the U.S. should get the 3.8-liter V-6 that produces 330-hp, paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The car will also be the most advanced Kia safety wise, with features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and more. Forte: A newly designed Forte will greet us early next year, as a 2014 model. Kia is aiming for 40 mpg highway with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder entry-level engine. A two-door Forte Koup and a five door hatchback will go on sale next summer, much like Hyundai's Elantra couple and GT models did this year. Sedona: Kia has confirmed its third-generation Sedona minivan will arrive in the near future, we're just wondering how much it will look the Kia KV7 Concept. GT Concept: It's no sure thing as the business justification is not yet strong enough, but we really hope to see this looker on the streets in the next couple of years. The rear-wheel-drive GT Concept is powered by a 395-hp, 3.3-liter turbocharged V-6 engine. We're keeping our fingers crossed. Source: Automotive News (subscription required)