Europe always seems to get the best of breed when it comes to cars. Regardless of the make or model, Europe takes delivery of vehicles we can only dream of over here in America. Here in the States we’re often left with slightly bland, dumbed down, and unappealing vehicle selection. Even Ford, an American company, offers vehicles in Europe that we can’t get here at home like the Ford Falcon and Focus RS, which we’ll zone in more later in the article.
Europeans have a knack for the ultimate driving experience, and one thing we noticed during a visit over the Atlantic during the summer was their love of hatchbacks. No, we're not talking about some hokey-puck cheap car that you'd find a teenager racing around town in. These vehicles are actually pretty awesome. We've put together our list of five hot hatches to look out for and consider if and when you’re in the market. Read on!
Hyundai CEO John Krafcik announced that the company will be offering a lifetime guarantee on the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid battery pack. For many new car buyers who are seeking more miles per gallon, hybrids are the best option. However, the daunting thought of battery replacement--often after 90,000 plus miles--would turn many buyers away. With an average battery replacement costing over $6,000, the money on fuel saved over the years would be cancelled out in just one repair bill.
The Hyundai Sonata will be equipped with a lithium polymer battery, “which are lasting in the range of 275,000 miles in the company's tests,” reports Nathan Bomey of Annarbor.com. The car itself comes with a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty, and with the added lifetime battery guarantee, Hyundai is sure to attract new buyer to their brand.
"Hyundai got where we are by being an outstanding value brand," Krafcik said. "Today we’re becoming something more in the eyes of our customers: a valuable brand."
Be on the look out as Hyundai releases its new models (Veloster) and redesigns (Genesis) for 2012.
Read More | AnnArbor
Ford brought a small fleet of intelligent vehicles to San Francisco to showcase a technology that the company expects will be mainstream in about five years, from most automakers.
Two Ford Focus cars and a Ford Expedition were equipped with a technology called Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), which basically serves as a car-to-car wireless connection that currently serves as a crash avoidance system in Ford's implementation, and as a wireless toll collection mechanism overseas. Eventually, it could even be used for entertainment purposes.
Although Ford demonstrated the technology in a parking lot outside of AT&T Park, the company isn't alone in developing the technology. Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, Hyundai, and Kia are all working together, plus truck, bus, and motorcycle companies, said Mike Shulman, the technical leader in Ford's Active Safety Research and Innovation department.
"Next year, we're doing a model deployment in a city where there will be thousands of equipped vehicles and trucks and buses all sending out these messages, and then the goal in 2013 is to start a regulation that will require this on all vehicles. Then, maybe consumer electronics companies would start designing products that could be retrofitted onto existing cars, because everyone sees the potential," Shulman said.
"Maybe five years from now, cars will be equipped with this," Shulman added.
How’s this for luxury? The 2011 Hyundai Equus will include a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad with every purchase. What’s the connection? Well, Hyundai is trying to be cool, so rather than including a printed manual with the vehicle, the manual will actually be included on the iPad as a custom app. Not only that, but it will come with a custom leather case with an embossed logo, suede on the inside, and the case will double as a stand. Oh, and the manual will include a bunch of video content showing you how to use different features of the Equus. Any updates to the manual will come through iTunes, like any other app. Definitely unique, and a way to stand out from the crowd.
Read More | Autoblog
It isn’t enough that you are fighting with traffic, your cell phone, and GPS while driving, not to mention the dreaded back seat driver hammering in your ear. Hyundai will soon be releasing an in-dash dual monitor into the company’s Grandeur. So while you watch the road, the map, and listen to your missed messages, you can also be distracted by your passenger watching a DVD. We think we would rather sit that one out, thank you very much.
Read More | Aving