Hyundai has been building out its vehicle lineup with new nameplates and eye-catching redesigns of existing products since 2010. Now that it fields an entry in most major vehicle segments, with the exception of a pickup, Hyundai is turning its attention to keeping its lineup fresh rather than adding nameplates.
Its Accent subcompact and Elantra compact cars will be freshened this year after its $60,000-plus Equus luxury car gets an updated interior and other improvements this summer. Next year two of Hyundai’s most important vehicles get major updates.
The second-generation Genesis goes on sale in the second quarter after it makes its debut at the Detroit AutoShow in January. Hyundai’s bread-and-butter Sonata mid-sized sedan gets new sheet metal, a new interior and ride and handling improvements for its 2015-model re-engineering next summer. Down the road, Hyundai is planning to add a rear-wheel-drive sport sedan, possibly in 2016.
Here are highlights of Hyundai’s product plan for the 2014-2017 model years.
Accent: Hyundai’s subcompact will get new content and features late this year, including new wheels and updated headlamps.
The next-generation Accent with new sheet metal is unlikely to arrive before 2016.
Azera: The full-sized sedan was redesigned for 2012. The next major change, either a redesign or a re-engineering, probably won’t happen before 2017. A freshening may happen in 2015 if Hyundai follows typical product improvement cadences.
Elantra: The compact car, Hyundai’s current top-seller, will be freshened late this year. The update will add a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with direct-injection technology to the lineup to complement the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that currently is the Elantra lineup’s sole powertrain.
The 2.0-liter will be an option on the sedan and could replace the 1.8-liter in either the Elantra GT five-door hatchback, the Elantra Coupe, or both.
New sheet metal is unlikely to appear on the Elantra until late 2015 at the earliest.
Equus: The $60,000-plus luxury car gets a substantial freshening for the 2014 model year, including a redesigned instrument panel and center stack, along with a new front fascia and grille design and other updates. The 2014 Equus began arriving at U.S. dealerships in July.
The second-generation Equus, re-engineered and with new sheet metal, should arrive in 2016 under normal product lifecycle timetables.
Genesis: After it debuts at the Detroit auto show in January, the second-generation Genesis is scheduled for a late-second-quarter launch next year.
The Genesis’ 2015 model year re-engineering will include new sheet metal, cab-rearward proportions, a bigger back seat and a fresh and more-contemporary interior design. The 2015 Genesis will also be the first Hyundai car to offer all-wheel drive. The sedan’s rwd platform has been modified substantially from the current version, with a stretched wheelbase that pulls the front wheels forward and moves the cowl further back.
Hyundai engineers have worked to improve the Genesis’ ride and handling to be more competitive with German models.
The current Genesis’ 3.8-liter V-6 and 5.0-liter V-8 will be carried over into the 2015 model year.
Genesis Coupe: Roughly a year after the Genesis sedan’s debut, a re-engineered Genesis Coupe will arrive with new sheet metal in the second half of 2015.
Like the sedan, the re-engineered coupe’s platform will be reworked substantially for an improved, more luxurious ride than the current coupe’s stiffer, sport-tuned setup.
The coupe’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.6-liter V-6 are expected to carry over as well.
RWD sedan: Sources say Hyundai’s much-anticipated answer to the BMW 3 series and other compact sports sedans should arrive in 2016, though precise timing is unclear. Read more clicking here.
Sonata: The seventh generation of Hyundai’s mid-sized sedan goes on sale in the third-quarter of next year with new sheet metal and a new interior.
The Sonata’s platform will be carried over from the current Sonata, which was launched on a new mid-sized sedan platform when U.S. sales began in early 2012. Hyundai engineers have been working to re-engineer the Sonata’s platform to improve ride quality, handling and steering.
The 2015 Sonata also will reflect an evolution of Hyundai’s swoopy “fluidic sculpture” design language. The bold creases and character lines on the current Sonata will be toned down as part of a new direction Hyundai calls “fluidic precision.”
The current Sonata’s lineup of 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter turbo engines also are expected to carry over into the seventh generation, but should have improvements to boost efficiency. A 1.6-liter turbo is a rumored addition, either as a replacement to the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder or as an additional engine.
Sonata Hybrid: The hybrid version of the re-engineered Sonata will arrive in the first half of 2015.
Veloster: Hyundai will release a few special-edition Velosters in the next few years, but no major changes are planned until 2016 at the earliest.
Santa Fe: Hyundai’s family crossover lineup was redesigned for the 2013 model year and no major updates are planned for at least four years. A freshening could arrive in 2015 if Hyundai follows a normal product improvement cadence.
Tucson: A re-engineered Tucson is scheduled to arrive in the first half of 2015. The current platform will be carried over, as will the current Tucson’s powertrain lineup, but the crossover will get new sheet metal and a new interior.
Fuel-cell Tucson: A hydrogen-powered Tucson is expected as early as 2015 to help Hyundai meet California’s zero-emissions mandate. Initially, Hyundai is likely to offer the fuel cell-electric vehicle as a lease-only vehicle in California.