Hyundai Plays Long Game With Nexo Fuel-Cell Vehicle, A Handsome SUV That Emits Only Water Vapor

Hyundai Plays Long Game With Nexo Fuel-Cell Vehicle, A Handsome SUV That Emits Only Water Vapor

In an automobile-happy society like the United States, where many still don’t know how battery-powered electric vehicles (EV) operate or the reasons why they exist, the debut of Hyundai Motor Co.’s latest fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) – a more advanced and complex environmental technology -- may draw limited consumer demand.

But give Hyundai credit for boldly and courageously playing a long game, one that eventually could deliver the South Korean automaker big advantages if and when hydrogen-powered fuel cells become a mainstream automotive technology. The 2019 Hyundai Nexo, a handsome SUV, effectively illustrates the case for hydrogen rather than gasoline or diesel fuel – or even batteries – as a means of automotive propulsion.

Nexo’s fuel cell stack converts hydrogen into electricity, with an electric motor driving the wheels. The car, like all fuel cells, emits only a bit of water vapor – making it a favorite of environmental advocates who oppose carbon dioxide and other emissions from combustion as harmful to the earth’s atmosphere.

Most hydrogen filling stations are found in California, at least for the time being.

Nexo goes on sale shortly in the U.S., mainly at Hyundai dealers in California, the only state where ownership of a hydrogen car is practical for the time being.  (Built in South Korea, the model also will be available in that country and in Europe.) About 35 hydrogen filling stations are scattered from San Diego to San Francisco. With a state-sponsored $200 million incentive program, operators have slowly been opening hydrogen fueling points, rendering Nexo and a few other fuel-cell models like the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity practical for some Californians. By 2020 the number of filling stations is expected to rise to 59, Hyundai estimates.

Volkswagen is bringing back the iconic microbus in two new electric models and they look awesome

Volkswagen has reached into the past and is bringing back the iconic microbus in two new fully-electric vans slated to be released in the early 2020s. 

While Volkswagen announced earlier in the year the expected production of the I.D. Buzz concept microbus, the German automaker unveiled its plans last month for the I.D. Buzz Cargo, an electric, commercial panel van version of the microbus. 

According to Fox News, the I.D. Buzz Cargo may hit the road before the I.D. Buzz concept, which first made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show and is expected to become available in showrooms in 2022. 

RELATED: Take a look at some vehicles being discontinued in 2018: 

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According to Volkswagen, the I.D. Buzz Cargo will have a battery with range of up to 340 miles per charge, with a large solar roof panel that can extend the daily range an additional nine miles. The van will have the ability to charge to almost 80 percent capacity in only 15 minutes, and is a fully-connected vehicle with a cargo tracking system that makes it possible to track orders and manage online supply networks from inside the cockpit. 

Once an icon of the care-free counterculture lifestyle of the 1960s and '70s, the Volkswagen's microbus was discontinued in 2013 due to safety concerns centered around a lack of air-bags and anti-lock breaks.

Bringing back a passenger and commercial van is a step in a different direction for Volkswagen.  The Wolfsburg-based automaker last offered its imported Transporter van to U.S. buyers 15 years ago and it hasn't had a van in the U.S. market since 2014. 

Volkswagen hopes the I.D. Buzz and I.D. Cargo will have the ability to transition toward fully integrated autonomous driving modes by the mid 2020s. 


Source: Aol.

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N actually Kicks Ass

“It was like a bomb,” Albert Biermann told me, describing one of the more, uh, experimental settings for the Hyundai Veloster N during its testing at the Nürburgring. Biermann runs Hyundai N, coming off of his old job running the alphabetically-adjacent BMW M. If anyone knows how to make a fully-realized performance car, it’s Biermann and his team. But you don’t get a well-polished car without it being rough at first, and I wanted to know how rough things had been.

(Full Disclosure: Hyundai flew us out to the Nürburgring and fed us and roomed us for several days. They also rented out the track for a couple hours, giving us time for two laps of the Nordschleife, and gave us a couple hours more to go around the local roads nearby, including a dead-end de-restricted Autobahn. They even let us borrow a staff Santa Fe to go see the Eifel Rallye Festival, where we saw many good rally cars and more extremely drunk Germans.) 

“There was a day when I was not happy with the power understeer,” Biermann was telling me as we rested in some shade next to T13 at the Nordschleife. Hyundai N has a test center here (the N stands both for Nürburgring and Namyang, Hyundai’s South Korean dev center), right on the industry row beside Aston Martin, Jaguar, Öhlins, Manthey Racing and everyone else.

Biermann said that his engineers had been futzing with different settings with the car’s electro-hydraulic limited slip differential, tweaking as many different settings as they could with getting power to the front wheels.

“You keep telling me this,” Biermann repeated, “for months.” He was tired, and he took things into his own hands. “Just give me the car with almost no toe at the rear and I’ll test it.” So the engineers gave him the car with almost zero toe at the rear. Rear toe helps keep a car stable, pushing the car to straighten out. Taking it out adds instability, and that’s exactly what Biermann got. “It was perfect,” he laughed, “but it was perfect conditions.” The car had become wildly sharp and reactive, but nearly impossible to keep straight on even a sunny, dry, ideal track, in the hands of an experienced driver. “It was like a bomb,” as Biermann put it, knowing that the car could never have this setup for production, but that at least the team had learned it needed to solve its understeer by fixing it at the rear. Resolve the car as a whole, not part-by-part.

In many ways, it’s easy to see the Veloster N as what it isn’t.

It’s not a hardcore track car. Bierman and his team admitted they could have chased down quicker lap times, gone for a trickier aero balance, but they didn’t. They wanted a car that was fun more than absolutely fast.

It’s not a muscle car of a hot hatch, big boost and power and not much else, like an old Alfa Romeo or a Dodge Caliber SRT-4. The most you get is 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft with the performance pack, pushing around a hefty 3,106 pounds. (Standard is 250 HP and the same 260 lb-ft for 3,035 lbs.)

And the Veloster N also isn’t a collection of expensive parts smashed onto a standard car without much thought. N opted against putting Brembos on the car to keep costs down, instead using the rotors off of the South Korean Kia K5 (aka Sonata) but with different pads and more cooling.

The shocks don’t come from a fancy outside supplier like Bilstein. Hyundai decided against putting 20-inch wheels on the car for better laps, but they’d blow out on potholes driving to the track. Standard are 18s, 19s for the performance pack, and they kept as big a sidewall as they could.

The steering is “nothing special,” in N’s own words, “with Revo-knuckles” or whatever. They are heavier and more expensive and still not perfect. “Ours also is not perfect,” Biermann said, but it works. The team even accepted that the car will get torque steer, and didn’t try to tune it all out. Then they’d lose feedback.

What they focused on was making the car as fun as possible, as accessible as possible. It’s simple and even tail-happy, and strong enough to take lap after lap on track. The car did 10,000 kilometers of testing at the Ring, only for the team to discover that the wheel bolts would break after changing tire after tire on a hot track. They had to change them to make them as strong as possible but also not over budget. Eventually they changed the coating on the metal, and sent the car back out for another 10,000 km of certification. (That extra testing was the idea of Biermann’s Korean employees. He himself figured nobody would have the time to get it done.)

“We didn’t go to the extreme,” Biermann put it. “We knew that fun is lost.”

And it fucking worked.

With no prior planning, I ended up driving three different front-wheel drive cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a week. I did two laps in a race-prepped and caged Suzuki Swift. I did two laps in a totally stock manual Volkswagen Golf. And I did two laps in the Hyundai Veloster N, running in ‘N Mode’ with the performance pack. Of the three, it was in the Hyundai that I wanted to push more and more.

The Golf was hilarious but all over the road once things started getting fast. The Swift was totally competent and secure, but its limits were far above mine, all grip and no power. The Veloster just made me laugh. If it wasn’t lifting a rear wheel going into a corner, it felt like it was.


The majority of the Ring is blind, full of corners where it looks like the road is about to cut in on you, only to reveal over a crest that you could have curled in with more speed, gotten on the gas earlier. I recognized a few spots by the time I was in the Veloster N, pushing into the throttle and letting the front diff pull the car up the track’s steep grades. It’s not aggressive, but it is satisfying.

More fun is to press into the corners harder and harder, starting to let the tires sing. You feel, genuinely feel, the car like it’s starting to rotate under you. You play with it, not fight against it. It reveals its character quickly but stays entertaining, encouraging you and rewarding you.

Again, this is not a particularly extreme car, no mini GT3 RS. It’s never twitchy. It’s comfortable, mentally at least. In its stiffest setting, the suspension will hilariously pogo-stick over the concrete expansion joints of the Karussell. The car itself, at least, never feels deflected. It’s stable. You just want to keep your foot planted and let the car hop and bound on the bumps of the Ring’s faster back sections.

Even when you’re not hunting for the limit on track, the car is still fun on the road. There’s an “N custom” mode that lets you individually change the throttle response, rev-matching, steering weight, suspension stiffness, exhaust noise. It is very satisfying to keep the car super eager, but tone down the exhaust for not pissing off the neighbors, calm yourself and make the suspension comfortable, too.


There’s even a good amount of leg room in the back seat. The front buckets (specific to the N along with the pedals, shifters, steering wheel, and gauges) are comfy but not race-car tight. It’s an enjoyable vehicle to bop around in, if only because you know in your heart that it whips on track.

Particularly enjoyable is the exhaust. There is a quiet normal mode and a louder sport mode, and also a third “Sport+” setting that, after some testing, doesn’t make the car any louder, it just turns on a part of the car’s brain that makes the exhaust pop and crackle when you lift off the gas. It’s retarding the ignition timing to do a kind of mock anti-lag, but Biermann and his team asserted that it’s not there to make the car faster, just more fun.

It would be easy to be cynical about it. But it’s not synthesized. It’s a genuine novelty in the vehicle, a built-in goof. You can turn it off if you don’t want to be silly, but if you do, the Veloster N is here to enable your dumbest tendencies.

It’s kind of funny that this very German branch of Hyundai, with a staff that includes the guy who was in charge of all of the AMG Black Series vehicles, made a car that’s such a lark.

The only thing they’re stern about is that N will continue, strongly asserting over beers one night that the Veloster is just the first (for America) of a number of N cars. Only for the moment is it a lone attempt to make Hyundai seem more fun. The company has already changed its attitude on quality, on design, now it’s looking for enthusiast credibility.


Source: Jalopnik

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And you do get the sense that they could have bought their way into a car that had all the right parts and all the right figures but no cohesion and no character. But it didn’t turn out that way. Maybe it’s just that everyone in charge was too serious about a fun-to-drive car to let that happen.

Hyundai partners with Autotalks to develop vehicle-to-everything technology

Hyundai has a new partner to develop future vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologyin Autotalks, an Israel-based company founded in 2008. The Korean automaker announced on Tuesday it will partner with the technology company via a direct investment in its operations.

V2X includes vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology. Effectively, the tech allows cars to communicate with other connected things, such as traffic lights, roadways, buildings, other cars, and more. Hyundai said the partnership is vital to its future work with self-driving cars; the automaker plans to reveal its first Level 4 self-driving car in 2021.

Specifically, the focus of the partnership will be on vehicle safety. In manned vehicles, V2X tech can alert drivers of conditions ahead and notify them of potentially dangerous conditions. Think of a car sending a message to another car letting it know there's a wreck up ahead, or the roadway is icy. In self-driving cars, V2X will help vehicles make better decisions by communicating with "smart" objects embedded in the surrounding infrastructure.

The Korean automaker has been on a roll with future-forward technology as of late. Hyundai showed off the Nexo fuel cell vehicle at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show and also detailed plans for an artificial intelligence personal assistant. The AI assistant will debut in Hyundai vehicles next year, and more futuristic gear could come from its Intelligent Personal Cockpit concept.

The cockpit concept includes voice recognition, a Wellness Care system to monitor various driver vitals, and a few other party tricks. Drivers can also knock twice on the door to unlock the car.

Hyundai didn't detail when it plans to include V2X technology in production cars, but the automaker said the partnership "will accelerate the development and deployment of the next generation chipset for connected cars."

Though its company headquarters are in Israel, Autotalks has offices in North America, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, and Korea.

Introducing the new concept vehicles for Team D-Max, Australia's precision driving team

EMG, the company behind Australia's leading precision driving troupe, Team Isuzu D-MAXhas unveiled CONCEPT-X; a pair of super-sized off-road behemoths that dwarf their showroom counterparts.

Vastly bigger than most modified 4WDs, the CONCEPT-X duo feature aggressive muscular styling, enormous pumped-out bodies and huge suspension lifts to accommodate massive 38 x 15.5 R20 Toyo Open Country Mud Terrain tyres.

“It was the tyres that got us started,” laughs Team D-MAX lead driver Jack Monkhouse, “following a throw-away comment made at a 4WD show. We saw some gigantic tyres on the Toyo stand and Wayne joked about putting a set on his company car!”

Wayne Boatwright, EMG Director and owner of Team D-MAX has wowed crowds throughout Australia with spectacular precision driving displays for years.

What started as a joke became a light-bulb moment for the team and set them on a mission to build the ultimate double act.

“It certainly got a bit out of control” laughs Wayne, “but once we’d started, we were determined to make them special. We didn’t set out to build a racer or pre-runner or rock crawler, or yet another version of the ultimate 4WD tourer. It would have been easy just to bolt on a lot of accessories but we really wanted to go our own way, so most of the build; the guards, bull bars, bonnet, brakes, suspension and chassis mods are all in-house custom work.”

The result is two vehicles of epic proportions, which could almost look at home in the next ‘Transformer’ movie and the kind of vehicle that every child dreams about.

Combining form and function, the CONCEPT-X spec sheet includes front and rear winches and a bespoke suspension package with 60mm remote reservoir shock absorbers. A high performance four wheel disc brake package on both vehicles delivers the ultimate stopping power and combines six-piston callipers with 390mm full floating rotors at the front and four-piston callipers with 355mm full floating rotors at the rear.

The D-MAX’s full-alloy tray is a work of art, and below it the standard rear leaf spring suspension set-up has been replaced with a custom MU-X style 5-link coil spring configuration. With the big tyres and another 7 inches of suspension lift, the approach and departure angles steepen impressively to 50 and 38 degrees respectively.

While the exhaust systems have been tweaked, the CONCEPT-X vehicles are still powered by unmodified versions of Isuzu’s legendary 4JJ1-TC 3-litre diesel engine and 6-speed automatic transmissions, while the interior incorporates the premium styling and features of the LS-T model D-MAX and MU-X.

Team D-MAX is known for putting their vehicles through the ringer with their spectacular precision driving displays.

Wayne said “We’ve used different vehicle brands throughout the team’s history but Isuzu’s truck DNA sets them apart from the rest. Their diesel engines are simply the best in the business and the whole package has been outstanding in terms of reliability. The performance vehicles are close to showroom spec and get jumped, bumped and driven on two wheels, week in week out. We really want to show people how capable they are without having to go crazy with modifications. The CONCEPT-X duo is a bit on the wild side though. They’re a bit like the evil cousins of the family.” he laughed.

Audi and Hyundai partner on developing fuel-cell technology

Audi and Hyundai will work together on the development of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles through a patent cross-licensing agreement. The deal means that each company will be able to access the other's existing and future patents surrounding fuel-cell cars as the two automakers work to promote hydrogen cars.

Though the deal is specifically between Hyundai and Audi, it applies to related brands like Kia and Volkswagen. Within the Volkswagen Group, however, Audi has taken the lead on developing fuel cell vehicles. Audi plans to launch a long-range hydrogen-powered SUV "at the beginning of the next decade."

Hyundai's latest fuel-cell car is a crossover called the Nexo. Audi will be able to access information used for that vehicle, as well as its predecessor, the ix35/Tucson fuel-cell. Moreover, Audi will have access to Hyundai's parts supply chain for hydrogen tech. The Korean company owns Hyundai Mobis, which builds hydrogen fuel cell stacks and associated components.

Audi says that it believes fuel cell technology will be ideal for larger vehicles, but notes that building a refueling infrastructure is one of the "key aspects for its future market success." The automaker has been developing fuel-cell prototypes for nearly two decades, with models including the A7 h-tron. Hyundai says that fuel-cell vehicles are ideal because they offer long driving ranges and short refueling times, especially compared to electric cars. Hyundai currently sells fuel-cell cars in 18 countries

2019 Hyundai Veloster first drive review: A superb second act

The first-generation Hyundai Veloster was a fun little thing, despite Hyundai not really knowing how to build a properly sporty car at the time. It wasn't an area where the automaker had a lot of experience, and it showed.

It's a wonder what seven years will do. The 2019 Veloster feels better put-together before you even turn the key, and once you set out on the road, you'll find a solid, competent sports hatch that is ready to compete against some long-time segment darlings.

A looker full o' quirks

If there's one thing the Hyundai Veloster has always, and will (hopefully) always have, it's that Zooey Deschanel brand of sanitary quirkiness. The driver's side has one big, coupe-like door, but the passenger side has two smaller doors. On the inside of the top-spec Turbo Ultimate trim, the driver and passenger door panels rock different colors.

But whereas the last generation was quite a bit much to behold, Hyundai's styling has grown more cohesive. It now carries a relatively familiar family face, but there's still some weird stuff to help it stand out, like wonky scalloping on the quarter panels or the wee rear diffuser that straddles the center-exit exhaust.

Weirdness doesn't beget a super-cramped interior, thankfully. There's ample room up front, and thanks to the placement of various cut lines and trim pieces, I feel like I have a space all my own as the driver. The second row is a bit cozier -- at 6 feet tall, my hair ever so slightly brushes the headliner and my knees are only about an inch from the front row, but it feels roomier than before, if only barely.

Back-road hustler

The base Veloster comes with a 2.0-liter I4 good for 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. If you care only about standing out and not standing on the gas pedal, it'll do you just fine. Automatic emergency braking and a 7-inch infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) are standard, regardless of cog-swapper.

But Hyundai only has its Turbo models available during my time in Austin. For a four-grand price premium, the engine changes to a 1.6-liter turbocharged I4 putting out 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. The exterior is a bit more expressive, as are the interior color choices, adding splashes of color in the seats and on the dash. The base R-Spec trim can only be had with a six-speed manual, whereas the range-topping Ultimate is mated exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch unit.

The R-Spec's manual is very good, with a clutch bite point that has plenty of feel and a B&M-developed short shifter that is tight and rewarding to use with every shift. The DCT is almost as good as the manual, and buyers will like it, but it gets confused when downshifts bring the engine near redline, and I keep experiencing a delay between pulling the paddle and feeling the clutches engaging a lower gear. When shifting up, though, the DCT blasts through the gears as well as any other competitor's transmission.

No matter the method, the drive is rewarding. A new multi-link rear suspension keeps the car well composed in tight corners, and lighter aluminum steering knuckles has the car digging into turns with confidence. The car feels vastly more solid than it ever did, and when the curves get tight, there's little body roll. The only tradeoff here is that its stiffness is more obvious over highway expansion joints and poor-quality pavement.

The 1.6-liter offers enough low-down torque that you won't have to reach toward the high end of the tachometer in daily driving, and it sounds quite nice no matter the revs -- something I first noticed when this engine landed in the Hyundai Elantra Sport. There is a fake-sound synthesizer that bumps up the volume in the cabin, and while it's never so loud as to be annoying, I believe the engine sounds better with it turned off.

The 200-ish-hp sporty car segment has some heavy hitters like the Honda Civic Siand Volkswagen Golf GTI. Hyundai morphed the Veloster into something that's wildly better to drive, and while it feels more adult, it still hasn't lost that little bit of weirdness that makes it unique. If an automaker wants to perform in this segment, it needs to bring its A-game, and this time around, Hyundai did.

Tony Hartman Kok

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Johnny Milan

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T: 593-3778

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Sales Associate
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Lizzette Koolman

Sales Associate
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Alex Dijkhoff

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Adolfo Gonzalez

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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 quality vehicles from Hyundai, Isuzu and Volkswagen, along with an extensive catalog of pre-owned vehicles.

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