2005 New York Auto Show Index by TCC Team (3/21/2005)
Hyundai Celebrates Azera
Not many carmakers can celebrate 2005 the way Hyundai is, with a sales increase in January of ten percent, in February of 19 percent, a good-looking month of March, and today’s unveiling of their all new Azera flagship sedan.
The 2006 Azera gets its official introduction today in New York. The name comes from “the era of A to Z” or A-Z-E-R-A, but it also recalls the French word “azure” — the color of blue skies, an optimistic color that reflects Hyundai’s focus on the future.
The flagship sedan is the third of seven all-new or redesigned Hyundai vehicles to be launched in a 24-month period, completely revamping the Hyundai lineup, said Bob Cosmai, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “Azera will earn a well-deserved distinction for segment-leading standard safety features, refined styling, and content that is generally reserved for higher-priced luxury sedans.”
Compared to the 2005 XG350, the Azera is longer and wider, and rides on a wheelbase stretched 1.1 inches longer than that on the XG350. The interior also benefits from the increased exterior dimensions, as it is larger than its predecessor, and has more interior room than the BMW 760i and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. A new aluminum 3.8-liter V-6 engine under the hood delivers an estimated 265 hp, more ponies than the Ford Five Hundred and the Buick LaCrosse. It is also environmentally friendly, as it is projected to achieve Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) certification levels. It’s coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual control. A four-wheel independent suspension is new, as are the freshly styled alloy wheels. —Greg Sanchez
2006 Mercedes-Benz R-ClassEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz unveiled its twelfth model, the R-Class, in New York. The concept made its debut in 2002 in Detroit as the Grand Sport Tourer, a name Mercedes still likes to use to refer to the R-Class. With a length of 203 inches, a width of 77.5 inches, and a height of 65.2 inches, it certainly plays tribute to its name: the car is an inch longer than the S-Class.
The R-Class is a roomy vehicle with space for six in three pairs of bucket seats. The rear seat backs can be folded forward for more luggage space; after removing the headrests, the seat backs move forward and the seat itself flips up. A completely flat luggage floor is created by folding the second and third rows.
The new Mercedes will be available as the R350 with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine or as the R500 with a 5.0-liter V-8. The V-6 has variable intake and exhaust valve timing and delivers 268 hp and has 258 lb-ft of torque, available from 2400-5000 rpm. The V-8 has two single overhead cams, twin spark plugs, and three valves per cylinder. The engine delivers 302 hp and has 339 lb-ft of torque at 2700-4750 rpm. The R350 accelerates in just eight seconds from 0 to 60 mph and the R500 does this in 6.7 seconds. The engines are teamed to a seven-speed automatic transmission that is also used in the S-Class, combined with 4Matic full-time four-wheel drive, stability control, and four-wheel traction control. A panoramic sunroof with nearly five feet of glass panels is available as an option.