Niagara Gazette


May 2, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: How do you say the name of that car?


Niagara Gazette — Over the years I have stood on the sidelines watching Hyundai roar through the country with one great product after another. Nameplates like Sonata, Elantra, Tiburon, Veloster, Genesis, Santa Fe, Tucson, Azera and Equus fanning the fires of aspiration in both young and elders alike. One award after another stacked up like cordwood.

On and on the awards go, and not for just one or two models, but for the entire model lineup. Very impressive indeed! Recently, I had the pleasure of driving the new Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD Crossover Utility Vehicle. This is an extended version of the Santa Fe of old, adding a third row of seating. If you have ever sat in a vehicle that “claimed” a third row of seating, you know that such a claim is a stretch because the seating room is very limited and only a person who is an accomplished yogi can find comfort in such a seating arrangement. However, this vehicle is quite a different story. The second row of seats fold down and slide forward to make easy access to the third row of seats, thus even I could comfortably climb into the rear seat and experience plenty of legroom Hyundai engineered into the seating design. For those of you who like a choice of colors to choose from, Hyundai offers a broad pallet. Interiors can be gotten in any color to compliment the color of the exterior. Unlike Henry Ford who, when introducing his Model A to the public and asked about color said, “They can have any color they want as long as it’s black.”

On the powertrain side, Hyundai has enchanted their powerplants with some sort of black magic that has endowed them with massive power from albeit small power mills. Via the use of VVT (Variable Valve Timing), Twin Scroll Turbo Chargers which force greater volumes of air through the engine forcing it to generate 20 – 40 percent greater horsepower and torque, twin camshafts feeding multiple valves per cylinder, high performance electronic ignition and electronic fuel injection taking its fuel-feeding cues from a high performance drivability program, orchestrating everything together to create a 4-cylinder fire-breathing dragon. This is not to say that all Hyundais come with 4-cylinder engines. Some vehicles in the lineup use a 4-6 or 8 cylinder engines. Yes a V8 generating 429 HP and 430 Ft Lbs of ground shaking torque in the Genesis R-spec Sedan, a world-class car all alone at the top competing (and beating or matching tit for tat) with the likes of Audi, Lexus, Infinity, BMW and Mercedes!

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