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2013 Hyundai Azera: Modern design, smart technology, performance and safety
Since the launch of the all-new model, Azera has been the hottest- selling nameplate in its segment. According to J.D. Power PIN data, the new Azera sits on a dealer’s lot for an average of 16 days before being sold, compared with a Nissan Maxima at 65 days, Toyota Avalon at 28 days, Buick LaCrosse at 63 days and the Ford Taurus at 70 days. But the good news doesn’t end there. The new Azera is enjoying a 61 percent conquest rate - an amount that’s unheard of in the large car segment.
Azera is a modern and sophisticated interpretation of Hyundai’s signature Fluidic Sculpture design language. This flagship sedan also features Hyundai’s new generation Lambda II 3.3-liter GDI V6 engine, a six-speed transmission, a wide range of advanced safety equipment and outstanding fuel economy. For the 2013 model year, Hyundai engineers improved highway and combined fuel economy by one MPG to 30 and 24 respectively, making Azera the first V6 powered Hyundai to achieve 30 MPG highway.
The 2013 Azera represents an advanced approach to the traditional large sedan segment by delivering a powerful yet efficient powertrain, emotional design and luxury features offered with Hyundai’s strong value proposition. With the new Azera, Hyundai continues to offer customers the highest levels of luxury, performance, and efficiency, all brought together in the praised design.2013 AZERA MEETS THE MECHANICS OF FLIGHT
Azera’s Fluidic Sculpture design takes inspiration from the mechanics of flight. The exterior of the Azera is long, light and low. The unique, undulating beltline allows for a long, sleek roofline accented by the third window and wraparound LED taillights. A monoform side profile includes flowing lines in the rear quarter panel. The face is masculine with a powerful, winged chrome grille and HID headlamps that integrate precise details. The stance is completed by available 19-inch multi-spoke wheels.
The elegant look continues inside where Hyundai has created an upscale ambiance, thanks to a flow-through center fascia and instrument panel that creates a dual-cockpit front passenger space. These flowing surfaces complement the exterior design and wrap around the driver and passengers.ACCOMMODATING INTERIOR WITH STANDARD LEATHER
The 2013 Azera offers luxurious appointments that rival the finest premium competitor brands. It offers a roomy cabin with more than 45 inches of legroom and 40 inches of headroom for front-seat passengers.
Hyundai focuses heavily on other interior details, such as an optional panoramic sunroof, which allows more natural light into the cabin and 3D Carbon interior accents. Ambient lighting compliments the vehicle’s modern appearance. Other standard luxury equipment include, power front seats, power rear sunshade and manual rear side window shades. The side shades, not found on any other car in the Azera’s segment, can be inconspicuously tucked away when not in use.
Given the functionality and design of the Azera, seat quality and comfort is of extreme importance to the feel of the car. The 2013 Azera offers first-class seating for all passengers, offering leather seating as standard equipment. A ten-way power driver and eight-way front passenger seat are also included. The driver’s seat has an optional cushion extension and an integrated memory system for the seat, steering wheel and side mirrors, while the Azera’s climate and seat temperature controls keep occupants in total comfort.
Best-in-class specific output
With the introduction of direct injection, Hyundai didn’t have to increase the displacement of their V6 engine in the pursuit of more power. The Lambda II 3.3-liter GDI engine is the heart of the 2013 Azera. It produces a best-in-class specific output of 88.8 horsepower per liter, while also boasting the smallest displacement in its class. The engine’s high-pressure (over 2,200 psi) direct injection system increases power and torque, while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The system eliminates the need for larger displacement, and increases the compression ratio from 10.4 to 11.5 in the pursuit of greater thermal efficiency and power output. The new engine also features all-aluminum construction, four valves per cylinder, piston cooling jets, roller timing chain, CrN Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating on the top ring chamfer and Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT). A three-stage Variable Intake System (VIS) further broadens the engines power curve to improve the vehicle’s off-the-line acceleration and passing performance. EPA fuel economy estimates for the Azera are 20 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 24 mpg combined.
The engine is mated to Hyundai’s in-house six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual control. This system offers smooth shifts and a wide ratio spread that ideally suits the engine’s power delivery.
Azera’s powertrain also has an Active Eco mode, which modifies engine and transmission control for improved fuel economy. This translates into a more than a five percent improvement in real-world fuel economy.
Balanced steering and suspension solutions
The Azera is fitted with a MacPherson strut front suspension, coil springs and a 24 mm diameter front stabilizer bar. The sophisticated multi-link independent rear suspension enables precise geometry for a premium ride, while not taking away from the agile handling. The capabilities of the advanced front- and rear-suspension are maximized through Sachs Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD), allowing tuning flexibility at smaller damper displacements. The ASD suspension provides:
*Improved ride comfort with more body/wheel control
*Increased driving comfort without compromised handling
*Optimized road surface contact
*Standard are 245/45R18 tires on 18-inch Hyper Silver alloy wheels. There is an optional 19-inch Hyper silver alloy wheel fitted with 245/40R19 tire.
Advanced standard safety technologies: part of hyundai’s assurance commitment and it starts with the seats
Azera has an exceptional level of standard safety features for the large car segment, placing emphasis on what are perhaps the most important part of the car - the seats. Hyundai engineers have developed an impact-reducing seat system, which eliminates the need for active front head restraints through optimization of seat back structure to further absorb impact.
Azera includes a Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, which optimally manages ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and the Motor-Driven electric Power Steering (MDPS).
VSM works to control two effects: first is the unwanted pull in one direction when the car accelerates or brakes on a split-mu surface (slippery on one side, dry pavement on the other). VSM detects this natural pull and applies steering input in the required direction. VSM counters the pull and automatically provides eight Newton meters of counter- steering. The second is the counter-weight effect that occurs during a violent lane change or cornering maneuver: VSM counter steers in the opposite direction to stop the back of the car from stepping out of line.
Azera features nine airbags including dual front, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact, front and rear side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag.
The Azera also features a state-of-the-art braking package. The package includes four-wheel disc brakes (12.6 inch front and 11.2 inch rear) and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), to automatically adjust the braking force to front and rear axles based on the vehicle’s load conditions.
Additionally, Azera offers impressive passive safety features including a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system for children’s seats and three-point seatbelts for all positions.
Advanced connectivity and standard navigation
Touch-screen navigation with integrated backup camera is standard on all Azeras, which are pricey optional features on all other cars in the segment. This easy-to-use unit can be controlled via seven-inch WVGA touchscreen or voice-activation by a headliner-mounted microphone. The system features 8GB of flash memory and comes matched with a sound system that plays compact discs, accesses digital music files via Bluetooth streaming audio or allows driver and passengers to access their personal listening devices through the iPod/USB/auxiliary inputs. Bluetooth audio wirelessly streams music from select mobile phones to the head unit. In addition, Bluetooth-enabled phones allow drivers to look up a local restaurant and call for reservations before plotting the route.
Azera is available with two audio systems. Standard is a Dimension AM/FM/Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system with seven-speakers and iPod/USB/auxiliary input jacks. An Infinity 550-watt, Logic 7 audio system with 12 speakers, including an eight-inch subwoofer and external amplifier is available. An XM Satellite Radio interface is also integrated into the head unit and features channel logos and XM Data services, such as XM NavWeather, XM Stock Ticker and XM Sports Ticker. Azera also offers standard HD Radio technology.
A Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition, address book download and audio streaming comes as a standard feature.
Hyundai blue link
Hyundai Blue Link telematics comes standard on the Azera with a 90-day complimentary trial period. Blue Link can be accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror inside the Azera, or via the web or a smart phone. Blue Link is offered in three packages: Assurance, Essentials and Guidance.
“Blue Link combines safety, service and infotainment into a complete package that works to both help simplify Hyundai owners’ lives and reduce distracted driving,” said Barry Ratzlaff, director of customer satisfaction and service business development, Hyundai Motor America. “We’ve carefully studied how drivers rely on smart phones and navigation systems as an innovative link to the outside world. Blue Link brings that seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like voice text messaging, POI web search download, turn-by-turn navigation, and monthly vehicle reporting. Our agent-assisted advanced voice recognition system offers a 21st century solution to performing POI searches in the vehicle. This unique and innovative approach enables Hyundai to deliver fast, accurate searches and downloads of POIs to vehicles without the unnecessary costs of traditional operator-only type systems of our competitors.”
More details on Hyundai Blue Link are available at http://www.hyundaibluelink.com/.
By Donald Lambro
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