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2012 Was Without a Doubt Hyundai’s Year

Over the last decade, Hyundai has grown to become one of the world’s leading automotive brands. But its success story isn’t of the overnight kind. The Korean automaker has made it its mission ‘to create exceptional automotive value for customers by harmoniously blending safety, quality and efficiency’. And in doing so it has slowly but surely earned a respected reputation for consistently giving customers the best possible value for their money. This year Hyundai has excelled in all its various ventures.

Hyundai Car of the Year and other Awards

Hyundai received numerous local and international brand and product awards during the course of 2012. Early this year the Hyundai Elantra clinched the North American Car of the Year title at the Detroit Auto Show. Soon thereafter the Elantra was also named South African Car of the Year for 2012, beating the competition with a landslide score awarded by the country’s top motoring journalists.

Hyundai also received international awards from top global publications. Its Hyundai Azera was named ’2012 Best Bet’ by, while both the Hyundai Accent and Azera made it onto’s’10 Best Interiors’ list and the Accent onto its ’10 Best Engines’ list. The Hyundai Elantra in turn was named one of‘s’10 Best Green Cars’ for the second consecutive year in recognition of top fuel efficiency. The Hyundai brand itself received the prestigious BrandLaureate’sBestBrand title in its automotive section for 2011-2012.

Kinsey Report results support Hyundai’s value promise

For over 20 years the annual Kinsey Report has kept the public and fleet operators informed by providing them with a complete vehicle parts price comparison for various auto brands. This year Hyundai again achieved excellent results in various vehicle categories:

· Auto Executives Category – Hyundai Sonata, 1st place

· Super Mini Category – Hyundai i20, 2nd place

· City Car Category – Hyundai i10, 3rd place

· Family Favourites – Hyundai Elantra, 3rd place

Hyundai concept vehicles – a glimpse into the future

Hyundai proved its innovative design talent at numerous international auto shows where it revealed a number of concept vehicles. Here are just a few that made headlines in the press:

· 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show – 3-door Veloster C3 Roll Top Convertible

· 2012 Geneva Motor Show – Electric Hyundai i-oniqSports Car Concept

· 2012 New Delhi Auto Show – 8-passenger Hexa Space Concept

Hyundai’s plans for 2013

According to CAR magazine, Hyundai SA has quite a few launches up its sleeve for the new year. First up will be the unveiling of the new generation Hyundai Santa Fe, followed shortly thereafter by the release of the much anticipated Hyundai Veloster. The Hyundai Sonata is also expected to receive a new 2.4L GDiengine and a facelift, while a facelifted Hyundai ix35 and micro car Hyundai Eon might make it to our shores by the end of 2013.

2007 Nissan Bevel Concept Debuts at the 2007 NAIAS

Nissan has unveiled their Bevel Concept at the recent 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Bevel Concept is not conventional vehicle and you can easily tell by its door and window layout. It is a four-door vehicle which includes an extra long door located on the driver’s side, a rear hatch, and an expansive twin doors on the passenger side, and rear suicide style opening.

The back hatch with its picture window size glass is built-in into the roof to create a cavernous opening. The hatch providing a full-six feet tailgate style work bench that extends outward and have a height of approximately two inches off the ground. Nissan said that the tailgate style work bench is strong enough to sit or stand on.

The Bevel concept has a wheelbase that measures four inches longer than the Murano crossover which is another vehicle in Nissan’s lineup and was presented last year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Bevel has also relatively short overhangs with a surprisingly small overall footprint that is just 173.2 inches from nose to tail. To make up for the things that it lacks, the Bevel is provided with a bigger interior space.

With its seats up the cabin is divided into three distinct zones. The driver is provided with a futuristic looking bucket that can pass for a home in a remake of the Jetsons. Another great feature of the Bevel Concept is its seats can be folded flat to accommodate additional loads, luggage or cargoes.

The Bevel is loaded with lots of electronic gadgets ranging from its glass roof-mounted solar panels to its drive-by-wire steering, throttle, and braking. Its 20-inch wheels that features rubber inserts on the outer spoke edges enhance the Bevel’s aesthetic appeal while at the same time protects against curb damage.

There is nothing conventional with the Bevel Concept its asymmetric glass roof with its distinctive puck-shaped tie downs up to its yoke style steering wheel screams exclusivity. And that’s not all! Both headlights & tail lights are hidden same with its rear LCD lamps that are concealed under the paint job. Car gadget lovers will definitely have fun with the not so ordinary door handles that the Bevel Concept is equipped with–this car is provided with touch-sensitive release keypads.

According to Bruce Campbell, Vice President of Design at Nissan Design America and the automaker’s styling connoisseur in La Jolla, California, “Our goal in designing the Bevel exterior was to maximize functionality and minimize the use of visual distractions such as door handles, big exhaust pipes, or splashy lighting. At the same time, we wanted the little details to reflect Bevel’s utility theme, which is why there is a recurring use of hexagons in the vehicle’s design – reminiscent of a socket or a tool – in the wheels, grille, and even the disc brake venting.”

The Bevel Concept is not yet due for production but some of its design cues and technical features may just make it to production.–Hopefully.

Vintage and Future Cars

As a rule, vintage cars can be classed as the ones that are older than twenty-five years and more often than not, insurance costs associated with these cars is very low compared with the insurance costs of a conventional vehicle, and are normally between the ranges of $100-$250 for it to meet the legal driving requirements of the country. As a rule though, these cars are normally seen at car shows and the likes but are not seen too often on public roads.

Vintage cars require very light servicing and do not normally suffer any severe mechanical problems due to the diligent care afforded to them by their very careful owners, who no doubt have shelled out a large amount of money for them in the first place. Original vintage cars are very hard to come by, especially the ones that were very low in original production numbers. Even when one does find a great vintage car, the prices, as we mentioned above, are extremely high.

Most people who do happen to own a vintage car usually use it during the summer when the weather conditions are at their best and more conducive to driving. It must be said though that vintage cars are now being bought for record prices by auto lovers and a very large percentage are snapped up by vintage car collectors. These collectors then spend more of their time and money on aspects of their hobby like restoration.

Owning a vintage car is a real head turner in any part of the world, but it doesn’t come without very real danger of theft or damage and repairs can be very costly. It is amazing how owners of these cars lovingly look after and maintain their vehicles but it is hard work and driving and keeping the car healthy is not an easy task at all. It requires much time and of course a lot of money.

Cruising down the highway in an old convertible is the ultimate American dream but can anyone envision how our future cars will look like? Concept car makers and scientists have a future vision of bio diesel electric cars built out of light weight materials. Items like the car windows could be made of special composite materials and are estimated to weigh up to 50% lighter than today’s vehicle glass and will also be much stronger and shatterproof resistant.

It is all well and good looking into the future with all the anticipated types of cars which may or may not turn out to be reality. It’s also great to think that in the very near future, fuel efficiency will be increased beyond comprehension without the additional worry of the green house effect as well. Obviously these things haven’t happened yet and may not happen at all but one thing for sure about the present day – if any sees a vintage car on the road, it is always going to turn their head just as much as any modern (or future) sport car would!