2011 Hyundai Equus (Korean-market vehicle)Enlarge Photo
The next 18 months will be busy ones at Hyundai, where four brand-new products are headed to dealers as part of a plan to have the newest, freshest cars and crossovers on the American market. Here's what's in the product plan, according to TCC's sources:
Tucson: First up comes a new 2010 Hyundai Tucson crossover. Previewed in concepts from 2009 auto shows, the new Tucson gets a more radical body style, confirmed in spy shots published last week. Four-cylinder engines and all-wheel drive are a given, but it's unclear if Hyundai will offer a small V-6 engine in the new crossover.
Equus: Next up for Hyundai will be the 2011 Equus sedan previewed here at TheCarConnection.com last week. The big luxury sedan shares some mechanicals with the North American Car of the Year, the 2009 Hyundai Genesis. The V-8 engine and six-speed automatic are part of the new car's performance profile, but a long-wheelbase edition and a version with a larger 5.0-liter V-8 haven't been confirmed for the U.S. market. The Equus goes on sale late next summer.
Sonata and Sonata Hybrid: In the fall of next year, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and Sonata Hybrid will break cover. With a launch at the 2010 Detroit auto show--a few months later than some Web sites had predicted--the new Sonata range will grow more sophisticated and gets the new lithium-ion hybrid powertrain that Hyundai hopes will give it an ever-greener image. The Sonata sedans appear in showrooms late in 2010, with gas-powered versions showing up before the gas-electric hybrids.
Elantra: Last up is a brand-new 2011 Hyundai Elantra. TheCarConnection's sources say the new Elantra will be a completely new car family based on a new architecture. It's likely that a two-door version will arrive early in 2011 as a Tiburon replacement, and styled along the lines of the Hyundai Veloster concept. A convertible isn't in the plan, however.