Tag: i40

By on December 22, 2011

 

Editor’s note: be aware that the images are extremely large, in order to show off TTAC’s rare opportunity for amazing photo shoot locations.

What makes a flagship? It’s a question that gets to the heart of one’s philosophy as a car reviewer, and no better example exists to explore the issue than Hyundai. Here in the US, Hyundai’s unquestionable flagships are the large, rear-drive Genesis and Equus, well-equipped traditional luxury bruisers at a value price. And though these plush-but-understated cars sell well enough in these economically uncertain times (and they certainly help Hyundai embarrass the likes of Cadillac, which still lacks a true, large, rear-drive flagship barge), they don’t completely fit with the brand values that Hyundai has ridden to prominence across the globe. They’re not wildly efficient, they lack Hyundai’s dramatic “fluidic sculpture” design language, and they’re dreadfully conventional in light of Hyundai’s professed mission to promote “New Thinking, New Possibilities” in the automotive space. Indeed, they’re almost the last throwbacks to Hyundai’s old image of slightly stodgy cars that simply beat the competition hollow on value.

But if we look past the undeniable market logic to offering the Genesis and Equus in the US, it becomes clear that Hyundai has another flagship that almost perfectly captures the reasons the Korean brand has become such a force in the global car business in recent years. Though it might not be the right flagship for the US market, the Hyundai i40cw is far closer to representing the platonic ideal of Hyundai’s brand than any other car the brand offers. And as such it’s also just a damn good car.
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By on October 28, 2010

TTAC’s own Israeli man of mystery, Tal Bronfer, has been busy with non-TTAC related work this summer, but he’s just checked in from the Alps with brand new images of the Hyundai Sonata Wagon (known in Europe as the Hyundai i40) brake testing on Austria’s Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Tal was blasting through the Grossglockner in some rapid Teutonic metal (let’s just say it has at least one “R,” and one “S” in its name, and a review is forthcoming) when he smelled brakes. Naturally, his first thought was to check his own, but the culprit was this lightly-camouflaged wagon “slowly, braking downhill all the way from the top of the mountain.” Another Sonata Wagon was tow-testing.

What these pictures reveal is that the Sonata Wagon is not a simple sheetmetal job, as the elongated roof falls away gracefully towards the rear of the car, and appears to offer integrated roof rails. It’s a Euro-style “sport-wagon” in the mold of the European Accord rather than a US-style “cross-wagon” like the Venza or Crosstour, which indicates that it won’t come to the US. After all, with the Mazda6 and Subaru Legacy wagons discontinued, the mass-market station wagon seems all but dead. On the other hand, the Sonata has been punching above its weight since it debuted, and with the Euro-Accord wagon coming stateside as the TSX Sportwagon, and a Buick Regal wagon rumored, the i40 may yet come to the states as a Sonata Wagon.

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