Hyundai didn't get to be the world's fifth-largest auto manufacturer by not knowing how to produce cars that the market wants. While other manufacturers are currently meeting the demand for higher-mileage vehicles with expensive technologies (hybrids and diesels), Hyundai is taking another approach--they're going downmarket, big time.
For Hyundai, Blue is the new green, and the company will introduce the Accent
Blue and Elantra
Blue editions that will be less expensive and deliver higher mileage than the non-Blue iterations. The mileage increases will come from de-contenting the cars to remove weight, a perpetual enemy of high mpg. For example, air conditioning will be optional and heavy electric window lifts will be replaced by lighter (and quaint) hand cranks. Tires will also be selected to maximize mileage instead of grip, and suspensions will be lowered to improve aero at the expense of some ride comfort.
Unlike Porsche's marketing strategy (where they charge more when they remove content), the Blue models will each be the least expensive models in the Accent and Elantra lines.--Rex Roy
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