Hyundai edges out Ford, Volkswagen for North American Car of the Year
Hyundai Motor’s Avante, dubbed the Elantra in overseas markets, has been named the 2012 North American Car of the Year.
The winner was confirmed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit after the compact sedan polled the highest number among a group of 50 motoring journalists from the U.S. and Canada.
Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik (standing) is seen after the Hyundai Elantra was awarded the 2012 North American Car of the Year award at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday. (Hyundai Motor)
The Avante has been in a tight race with its fellow finalists ― the Volkswagen Passat and the Ford Motor Focus.
The Hyundai model earned 174 points, putting it 13 points clear of the mid-sized Passat and 19 points ahead of the third-placed Focus small sedan.
“Elantra speaks to the success of our recipe of bold design and great fuel economy,” Hyundai Motor America president and chief executive officer John Krafcik was quoted by a news provider as saying.
“In a year with some truly breakthrough competitors, we are honored that the jury recognizes Elantra’s far-reaching impact on the industry,” he said.
Elantra exemplifies Hyundai’s emotional “fluidic sculpture” design principles. Fluidic sculpture considers the interplay of wind with rigid surfaces to create the illusion of constant motion. Elantra is an evolution of the design qualities found in Sonata.
Hyundai Motor also said it has unveiled its turbo-charged Veloster model and refreshed Genesis Coupe at the Detroit auto show in a bid to strengthen its presence in the U.S.
The Veloster Turbo, unveiled for the first time at the motor show, which kicked off on Monday, is powered by Hyundai’s 1.6-liter turbo GDi engine with 204 horsepower.
The new hatchback has a more aggressive look than the standard Veloster model, with a larger front hexagonal grille and rear bumper.
The updated Genesis Coupe is equipped with a 3.8-liter GDi engine, 2.0-liter TCI engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The Veloster Turbo will hit showrooms in the U.S. around the summer and the new Genesis Coupe will go on sale within the first half.
Hyundai is also showing off popular vehicles such as the Equus and Genesis premium cars, and the Sonata Hybrid at the Detroit motor show.
Kia Motors Corp., a smaller affiliate of Hyundai Motor, said that it is showcasing a total of 19 vehicles at the motor show, including the K5 Hybrid, branded as the Optima Hybrid in the U.S., and the K5 race car.
The K5 Hybrid has a 2.4-liter engine with 168 horsepower and a fuel efficiency of 17 kilometers per liter, according to Kia Motors.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org