Magnificent seven - Isuzu D-Max wins Best Workhorse Pickup Award for the 7th. year in a row!

Magnificent seven - Isuzu D-Max wins Best Workhorse Pickup Award for the 7th. year in a row!

Continuing a successful 2019, the multi award-winning Isuzu D-Max picks up yet another award, this time at the Best Workhorse Pick-up 2019 award from Trade Van Driver, in fact this is the 7th year in a row that the Isuzu D-Max has won this award!

Trade Van Driver is the only magazine which caters for the owner-driver and small fleet operator and as such its awards are different from others as they are judged not only by the expert panel of journalists at the magazine but also by a panel of readers who use light commercial vehicles as part of their businesses.

The Trade Van Driver Awards celebrate the most reliable, capable and truly effective working vehicles available on the market. Vehicles are compared across several core criteria, including payload, safety, technology, running costs, fuel efficiency, reliability and aftersales service so it is a great accolade that, yet again the Isuzu D-Max emerged victorious, beating strong competition from rivals in the highly contested pick-up sector.

The Isuzu D-Max was praised for meeting Euro 6 standards without the need for AdBlue, unlike most of its competitors. It has a 3.5 tonne towing capacity, over 1 tonne payload and provides a quiet, economical driving experience. The breadth of the Isuzu D-Max range also impressed; with single, extended and double-cab formats available, as well as a wide choice of trim levels. Coupled with the attractive five-year/125,000-mile warranty package and 5 years’ roadside assistance (in the UK & Europe), the Isuzu D-Max proved it was truly built for the professionals who use it.

David Johns, Group Sales Manager at Trade Van Driver, handed over this coveted award to William Brown, Isuzu UK Managing Director, who commented: “The award for the Isuzu D-Max is a demonstration of the truck’s capability, practicality and reliability which meets the needs of customers, working hard for drivers and offering class leading durability. This award is another testament to that reputation, especially as the judging panel consisted of industry experts and professional pickup drivers alike.”

The award-winning Isuzu D-Max has already had a successful 2019, being crowned ‘Pick-Up of The Year’ at the 2019 WhatVan? Awards and in the Pick-up & 4x4 Pro Awards 2019 plus the Isuzu D-Max won best model in the 4x4 Magazine awards. This success follows on from 2018 where another seven awards were won by the Isuzu D-Max. It just keeps picking them up!

First drive review: Hyundai Sonata doubles down in sedan segment with style

First drive review: Hyundai Sonata doubles down in sedan segment with style

Pulling out of the 123-story Lotte World Tower into the crush of Seoul’s morning traffic in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, the striking symbolism isn’t lost on me. The 1,819-foot tower is new, the fifth-tallest building in the world, and the tallest in Korea. This engineering marvel symbolizes the dramatic progress Korea has made in a short time just as the eighth-generation Sonata that will land in the U.S. later this year represents the dramatic leap Korea’s largest automaker has made in the automotive industry.

The 2020 Sonata isn’t just a good Korean car, it’ll tango with the best of the mid-size segment. It has a few strong cards to play to make it competitive. First, and most noticeably, is the styling. It’s stunning, and photos don’t quite capture the presence the Sonata has in person. But it’s also more dynamic, and it will feature a range of engines to satisfy a variety of buyers.

Slow-rolling out of Seoul in the crush of traffic, I’m in a Korean-spec car fitted with a sleepy 2.0-liter inline-4, paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine makes 158 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain suffers from a noticeable lag between when I press the accelerator and when the engine actually starts to deliver power, generally about two seconds later. Thankfully, the U.S. will get a host of more powerful, and likely more responsive, engines. 
2020 Hyundai Sonata

A 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-4 will serve as the base engine, good for 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, while a 1.6-liter turbo-4 will be the ever-so-slightly upmarket play. That engine boasts similar power figures, at 180 hp, and 195 lb-ft of torque. A more-powerful 2.5-liter turbo-4 will eventually come.

Albert Biermann, head of R&D for Hyundai (and former head of BMW M) says while he can’t elaborate, we can expect a significant power bump to come to Sonata soon. Not coincidentally, he also mentions that Hyundai will expand its N lineup, especially in the N-line, which is more of a trim. Expect a Sonata N-line with the 2.5-liter turbo-4 to follow, likely in 2021.

While the Korean-market powertrain would be wholly insufficient in the U.S., thankfully I get a little time with the 1.6 turbo-4 on Hyundai’s Namyang high-speed test track. The track is short, but it’s a good test for the Sonata’s new platform. It features several corners that are great for evaluating dynamics, its elevation changes will work the engine and transmission, and its long straight will let me get well past highway speeds and give the brakes a good test to boot.

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is built on a new, third-generation platform that will be used by several future Hyundai and Kia car and crossover SUV models. Codenamed “N3” internally, the architecture makes strategic use of high-strength steel to make it lighter and safer, and to improve driving performance. The front-drive platform can facilitate all-wheel drive, which will not be offered for the Sonata at launch, but Hyundai’s product planners say it’s something they are considering.


2020 Hyundai Sonata

The Sonata I’m driving on the track is paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the same setup we’ll get in America. Acceleration from the 1.6 turbo-4 feels pleasingly quick, and the 8-speed auto—motivated by boost and more power to call upon—does a good job of channeling that power. In automatic, while not seamless, shifts occur quickly and smoothly. I took a second lap, this time opting for the paddles, second into third for the short corners, up into fifth and sixth before coming down hard on the left pedal. While the engine lacks a sporty engine note, I assume the N-line engine will handle those duties.

Turning into the short corners, the car remains planted even as the tires squeal. While it exhibits noticeable weight shift and body roll, they’re both less than you’d expect on a mid-size sedan.

I momentarily crest triple-digit speeds on the straightway on my second go before slamming on the brakes. The braking is excellent. The engineer riding with me swears the car doesn’t have Brembos or a special track setup, and I confirm he’s not pulling one over on me with a peek at the brakes after my run.

The brakes may be stock, but I do notice that the car is wearing Continental summer rubber. U.S. cars will get all-season tires, so they won’t grip as well as this one did.

The suspension damping will also change slightly. The Korean market generally prefers softer damping than North America, mostly to deal with a distressing amount of speed bumps. Nonetheless, this car feels about right for what we’ll get in the U.S. The steering is well-weighted—light, as this segment calls for—and consistent.

Despite Hyundai’s efforts to improve NVH, road noise and wind noise both make themselves known at highway speeds. They’re not distractingly loud, but they are noticeable at times in the background.

2020 Hyundai Sonata
2020 Hyundai Sonata
2020 Hyundai Sonata
Designed to attract in an SUV world

As improved as the dynamics may be, the Sonata’s trump card is its design. In a shrinking sedan market, Hyundai went bold and broke new ground with the Sonata’s design.

“It was a case of do we go the way of the Big Three, and begin to eliminate and go in an all-SUV direction? We decided to go a different way, to go bold, we think there will always be a place for the sedan.” SangYup Lee, head of Hyundai design (and a former Bentley and GM designer), tells Motor Authority.

The hood is long, and the nose pinches down low, like on an Aston Martin. That’s not a coincidence. "Astons are very expensive cars, and they have a lot of money to work with the sheet metal. But why can’t we bring some of that style to a car in this price range?,” Lee says.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

The standout design element is the Hidden Lighting Lamp, which employs a chromic strip that looks like it’s part of the chrome strip that runs from the headlight, along the hood, to the door. When the car is on, it illuminates and is an extension of the daytime running lights. It’s especially eye-catching when you see the Sonata in your rear-view mirror.

Two character lines draw the eye and break up volume in the profile view, while in the rear aero pins on the taillights add a sporty touch. The Sonata looks great to my eye, but it’s also a risky play that’s sure to polarize.

While the exterior is bold, the interior is decidedly modern. It’s designed around two screens. One is a curved-display, 12.3-inch touchscreen that is easy to use and controls navigation and infotainment functions. The second is a 10.2-inch digital skin for the instrument cluster. Its graphics and colors change depending on driving mode. Toggle into Sport mode, for example, and a blue splash momentarily overtakes the speedometer and tachometer, as they turn to red. Hyundai also offers a wireless charging pad—though I noticed my phone was on slow-roast after 30 minutes of resting on the charger.

2020 Hyundai Sonata
2020 Hyundai Sonata
2020 Hyundai Sonata
The cabin is roomy and luxurious, too. The center stack features tactile knobs for the temperature controls that could have been pinched from a German luxury car; the cushy headliner feels high-end; and piano black, chrome, and faux-leather trim accents complement the overall aesthetic. The available nappa leather-wrapped seats are comfortable, and higher-end models have a striking stitch-quilting pattern on the seats. The back seat has ample knee and leg room, and head room is sufficient for all but the tallest passengers.

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata boasts striking, elegant styling, and a modern, attractive, and cohesive interior to create a premium vibe usually reserved for pricier cars. Its range of engines will suit varying tastes, and its improved dynamics will satisfy more drivers. Hyundai has come a long way from the value brand of the 1990s, and the 2020 Sonata will be an alluring standout in a shrinking mid-size car segment.



2020 Hyundai Sonata Uses A New Third-Generation Platform

2020 Hyundai Sonata Uses A New Third-Generation Platform

Shortly after the 2020 Hyundai Sonata was revealed ahead of its world premiere at the 2019 New York Auto Show on April 19, the South Korean automaker has confirmed that the new four-door coupe is underpinned by its third-generation vehicle platform.

This new platform debuts beneath the bodywork of the Sonata and will be used by future models in the Hyundai range. Hyundai says that its third-generation vehicle platform incorporates a multi-load path structure, ‘Hot Stamping’ and super-high tensile steel plate to ensure it is far superior than the outgoing platform.

Safety first

In terms of safety, the new architecture has improved energy absorption and helps to minimize collision impact into the passenger cabin. In addition, the platform is designed in such a way that the wheels move outward during a small overlap collision to improve passenger safety. This technology also helps to prevent the vehicle from spinning and being involved in potential secondary collisions.

Hyundai’s use of Hot Stamping also prevents deformation of the passenger cell.

Alongside the improvements in safety provided by the new platform, the underpinnings of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata improve performance.

One way the new platform does this is through a system designed to control the flow of air to the engine bay while improving heat dissipation. This system also enhances stability in the lower portion of the vehicle and minimizes air resistance.

Hyundai’s third-generation platform is also lighter than its predecessor and has a lower center of gravity. This allows for improved handling. Additionally, the new platform helps the 2020 Sonata achieve improved noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) performance.

201-horsepower Hyundai Ioniq Electric track car is awesome

201-horsepower Hyundai Ioniq Electric track car is awesome

While we've seen plenty of high-performance electric cars, such as Rimac's supercars and Tesla's powerful sedans and crossovers, we haven't seen many modified electric cars. Or at least electric cars modified for more performance in the traditional sense of the word for more speed and handling prowess. Engineers at Hyundai are finally giving us a peak at the future of tuning and hot rodding with their upgraded 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric that's competing in the Optima Ultimate Street Car series this year.

It's visually much more striking than the average Ioniq thanks in part to a bold color scheme, but also bolt-on fender flares and Volk TE37SL wheels wrapped in fat 275-mm width tires. More important, there are major changes under the skin. The standard Ioniq Electric's 118-horsepower, 218 pound-foot motor has been swapped out for the new Kona Electric's motor, which makes 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. Though that's less power than the Veloster N that's also been racing this year, it's more torque than the same hot hatch.

Power still goes to the front wheels, but now there's a limited-slip differential up front to prevent the inside wheel roasting its tire in corners. Interestingly, the only suspension change mentioned is firmer lowering springs, so presumably it still uses the torsion-beam rear suspension layout of the regular Ioniq Electric. Beefy six-piston Wilwood brakes up front and four-piston units in the rear help the car come to a stop much more quickly. The cooling systems for the electronics and battery pack have been upgraded, too. It all sounds like a blast to drive.

As to why Hyundai built this, the company is using it for research and development purposes. Perhaps this will aid in developing an electric N model. It's also looking to build on its 2017 season when Hyundai was the only brand with a car in the Ultimate Street Car series GTE electric vehicle class. The modifications will certainly be useful this season, since a competitor has been to a few events with a Tesla Model X P100D. The overall standings show that the hopped-up Hyundai is second in total points, which will likely narrow after the Hyundai heads to its third event at Autoclub Speedway this weekend.

The two cars have not been at the same events this year, but both appear to qualify for the final invitational event that takes place in Las Vegas following the SEMA show. Both cars should have a reasonable shot at winning the class overall and at the invitational, since each event in the series consists of five portions including timed sections on a road course, in an autocross, and a combination test of acceleration, braking and slalom. The other two segments are an on-road section and an evaluation of design and engineering, which takes into account modifications, as well as how well the car still works as a street car (i.e. such things as, does the air conditioning still work?).

Source: Autoblog

Consumer Reports “Wowed By Lively Handling” Of New Hyundai Veloster

Consumer Reports “Wowed By Lively Handling” Of New Hyundai Veloster

Consumer Reports believes that even the Veloster without the N is a fun-to-drive hatchback with practical storage space and interior comforts. 

The pricepoint is cheaper than the Honda Civic Si and a lot more affordable than other hot hatchbacks. Don’t be fooled into thinking the 201-horsepower engine isn’t potent enough because that’s far off the highlight of the turbocharged Veloster.

Consumer Reports has been “wowed by the lively handling,” adding that “it’s a blast to drive on curvy roads” thanks to the Michelin summer tires, taut suspension setup, quick steering, and low-rev torque. The asymmetrical design adds to the character of the Veloster, but on the downside, you’ll have to put up with a “hard and choppy ride.”

The R-Spec Turbo comes exclusively with a six-speed manual and a decent amount of interior flair, including a metal shift knob. “Some of the pieces feel a bit cheap and flimsy” according to Consumer Reports, and there’s no denying Hyundai had to cut a few corners to sell the Veloster at a low price.

Whereas the R-Spec Turbo is certain to make you smile, there’s no denying the N will make you laugh out loud every time you speed out of a corner. The essence of the N performance division is to deliver driving enjoyment, and the Veloster has been developed from the get-go with this characteristic.

Hyundai Wants Future EV Models to Park, Hook up to Chargers on Their Own

Hyundai Wants Future EV Models to Park, Hook up to Chargers on Their Own

Hyundai are the latest automakers to demonstrate how future autonomous cars could eliminate one of the most annoying aspects of driving: finding a parking space. The two Korean automakers released a videoshowing how a self-driving car could park itself with a human driver onboard.

In the video, the driver gets out of a car (which looks a lot like the Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept) and directs it to seek out an empty parking space using a smartphone. If the car is electric, and equipped for wireless charging, recharging could be handled automatically while parked, according to Hyundai.

All of this requires a communications system that not only connects the car to the driver's smartphone but to the parking facility itself. That allows the car to get continual updates on which parking spaces and charging stations are available. This is an example of the vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) tech other companies are using for everything from paying tolls to safeguarding intersections. Other companies have also demonstrated fully-automated parking, and Tesla's Summon feature allows cars to maneuver themselves in and out of parking spaces without the driver onboard. Systems like these aim to address congestion and could gain public acceptance more easily than fully-autonomous driving.

Autonomous parking could be more efficient because of two factors. Because no one is onboard when parking, cars can be parked very close together. A communication system like the one proposed by Hyundai and Kia would also tell cars where open spaces are located, allowing them to drive directly to those spaces, rather than circling around the lot or garage. Drivers may also be willing to relinquish control when it comes to parking, which is an activity that it's hard to find any joy in.

However, it's unclear when automated valet parking will become available on production cars. Hyundai plan to launch self-driving cars in what they call "smart cities" in 2021, with a wider-scale rollout by 2030. But the availability of automated parking will depend on the automakers' ability to integrate their tech with infrastructure.

Source: The Drive

Hyundai is building a dedicated platform for a future EV fleet

Hyundai is building a dedicated platform for a future EV fleet

Hyundai announced today its intention to build a dedicated electric vehicle platform that will be used for a new electric car set to be released in 2020, according to CNET. The platform, part of a planned $40 billion investmentinto innovation, will move the car manufacturer away from using chassis that are shared with gasoline-powered vehicles like the ones used with Hyundai's current EVs, including the Kona Electric and Ioniq.

Creating an all-electric platform from the ground up will play a major role in enabling Hyundai to achieve its broader goal: introducing 44 EVs in the next six years. South Korean car maker intends to be one of the "world's top three EV manufacturers" by the time 2025 rolls around. The company hasn't released any specifics about its future fleet of electric vehicles, though it has previously stated that it is aiming to produce EVs with 250 miles of range by 2020 -- a goal it accomplished already with the Kona Electric.

Electric vehicles will be a major focus of Hyundai's recent massive investment in research and development, but the company will also explore autonomy. Part of the five-year plan for the carmaker includes developing a fleet of autonomous taxis that will be deployed in South Korea. The company is setting 2021 as the target for that initiative.

Source: Engadget

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About Garage Centraal

The goal of Garage Centraal Aruba is simple: that everyone that needs a vehicle is able to have a vehicle that satisfies their needs and expectations, with expert service and parts support.

That is why we offer brand new, award winning vehicles from the renowned Hyundai brand, as well as Isuzu pickups and trucks. We also offer an extensive catalog of commercial vehicles from Hyundai as well as Hyundai Construction.