It's shaping up to be a banner fall, if you work at one of the automakers that will still be in business in its current shape come September.
That's the case at Hyundai, where the ambitious product strategy has two and maybe three new vehicles in the bullpen for 2009 and early 2010. The first? A new 2010 Hyundai Tucson crossover set for launch sometime by the end of the year. Hyundai execs suggest the Tucson may be shown off this year on its way to showrooms as a 2010 model. The early preview of the new crossover came this year already, in the form of the HED-6 ix-onic concept from the Geneva motor show in February. A conventional powertrain with a four-cylinder engine and a five- or six-speed automatic is in the cards, along with an all-wheel-drive option.
Next up comes a new generation of the Hyundai Sonata, the big mid-size sedan that's scooped up awards from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates. The 2011 Hyundai Sonata is on its way, and this time around, a hybrid powertrain will join the four-cylinder and six-cylinder lineup. It's not known which engine will get the battery/motor backup, but the four-cylinder engine in the 2009 Sonata is new this year.
The next-generation Sonata's been designed and developed in Hyundai's Orange County, California offices, and is a good bet to be shown at the 2009 Los Angeles auto show in November. Both the Tucson and the Sonata Hybrid could make their world debuts at the show--or both could be postponed a little later.
Finally, the big Hyundai Equus luxury sedan bandied about at the New York auto show earlier this year could be headed for the U.S. as well. While Hyundai still says it's under consideration, other sources say the Equus is coming, and that the chairman of Hyundai personally wants to see the rear-drive, V-8-powered four-door in America.
Stay with TheCarConnection.com next week as we bring you our latest road test on the 2009 Hyundai Sonata.