A little bit of
rain (well, actually a bit more) failed to dampen enthusiasm at
Hyundai's regional launch of the 2012 Accent and Genesis at
Charleston, South Carolina.
Place Hotel in the historic part of the southern city served as
headquarters for the two waves that included several SAMA members
as well as others from the Southeast and South Central regions.
featured a welcome dinner at Magnolias Restaurant (for the first
wave), an afternoon break with southern specialties like gumbo and
fried green tomatoes at Gullah Cuisine, and, of course, the two
continues to grow its share of the overall automotive market with
up to over 600,000 in vehicle sales projected for 2011, up from
91,217 in 1998 sales.
Korean automaker now has a retail market share of 6.2 percent
through figures for June, said Scott Margason, Director of Product
Planning for Hyundai North America.
easy to see why.
the new Accent and Genesis are winners.
The Accent is
all-new for 2012 and competes in the subcompact market, which is
among the fastest growing segments in the industry.
added a new five-door hatchback to the Accent line to go with the
four-door sedan version, and both models have gotten upgrades in
materials throughout the comparatively spacious interior. In fact,
Brandon Ramirez, Senior Manager for Product Planning, noted that
the Accent has more interior space than the Audi A4.
feel like a subcompact vehicle,Ē Ramirez said of the Accent during
The Accent is
powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that sends 138
horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via
either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Yet
fuel economy is an impressive 40 mpg high and 30 city.
pricing is competitive, very competitive, in its class, running
from $12,455 to the four-door with a manual transmission to
$16,795 for the five-door with the automatic. Plus $760 freight
charge, of course. (For the life of me I donít understand why they
donít include that in the price to begin with. Save us all from
doing the math.)
as the Accent was in the morning, Iíd have to say the star of the
day was the new Genesis, which according to the information
distributed to us media slugs had undergone only a ďrefreshĒ for
addition to some styling touches, that refresh included the
introduction of a new 5.0 V8 engine for 5.0 R-Spec models. That
baby is billed as Hyundaiís most powerful engine to date, pumping
out 429 hp and 376 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel (no
figures are available for regular) to the rear wheels.
It is mated
with an eight-speed manual transmission, and the company estimates
the zero-to-60 mph time as 5.1 seconds. Yet fuel economy is rated
at 16/25, not too bad considering the performance numbers.
partner, fellow SAMA member Kurt Ernst, and I made sure we jumped
in that 5.0 R-Spec right after lunch so we didnít miss out on the
opportunity. And we respectfully made the mandatory vehicle
exchange at the rest stop so our fellow travelers would have the
same opportunity. (We didnít want to miss out on the gumbo,
We finished the
afternoon in the 3.8-liter V6 Genesis and actually came away
fairly impressed with its power as well, which isnít always the
case when you come out of a more powerful vehicle into a more
understated version of the same car.
tweaked the new 3.8L power plant to get 43 more hp (up to 333)
than the previous generation, and fuel economy is rated at 19/29,
also an improvement of 2011 figures of 17/27. Thereís also a 4.6L
V8 version which we didnít drive.
Pricing for the
Genesis starts at $34,200 for the 3.8 with the 5.0 R-Spec starting
Plus a freight
charge of $850. Iíll let you do the math.
For more reviews and commentary by Paul Borden, visit his blog at
www.paulborden.com. He will be grateful for the attention.