Hyundai and Kia launch a concept and a coupe--photos
Concepts were few and far between at the 2009 New York auto show, but Korean automaker Hyundai came through. Hyundai brings a futuristic concept, while Kia tries out a coupe version of its new Forte sedan.
Hyundai puts forth the Nuvis concept as a study in a futuristic crossover and a showcase for its Blue Drive hybrid system. The Nuvis would be driven by a parallel hybrid system composed of a 2.4-liter four cylinder engine, a 30 kilowatt electric motor, and a 270 volt lithium polymer battery pack.
Continuing the eco message of the hybrid system, the seats are covered in a polyester material made from recycled soda bottles. The gullwing doors require less room to the sides of the car than traditional side hinged doors.
Sitting high on 22-inch wheels, the exterior sculpting of the Nuvis combines the conventional and unconventional. The bulbous front-end and long, pillar-less side windows are pure concept elements, but the rear design would look normal on a production car.
The interior employs touch-sensitive panels that extend back to the rear passenger area, giving all occupants control over infotainment sources. Hyundai envisions the Nuvis as a connected car, taking in information from exterior sources about restaurant specials and store sales the car might be driving by.
The coupe version of Kia's new Forte sedan made its debut at the New York auto show with the intention of unseating sport stalwarts such as the Honda Civic Si. The Forte Koup is powered by a 2-liter four cylinder engine making 156 horsepower, or an optional 2.4-liter engine with an output of 173 horsepower.
Simple, angular styling provides an interesting counterpoint to more curved exteriors dominating current automotive design. The Koup sits lower than the Forte sedan, and is available in EX and SX trims, the latter including sport-tuned suspension and a six speed manual transmission.
Although navigation doesn't seem to be available in the Koup, it will offer Bluetooth phone support and iPod integration. Kia will also be adopting Microsoft's automotive system in the future, so expect the Koup to eventually get capabilities similar to the Ford Sync.