Chicago 2010: Hyundai sneaks revised-for-2011 Azera into Windy City

, Posted by Sports Cars Fans at 8:45 AM

2011 Hyundai Azera

Things are looking good for Hyundai. Not only has the brand been named the most fuel efficient automaker in the country, but they are releasing lots of new-and-improved metal. In a market where product is king, that's a good thing. First we saw the 2010 Tuscon and the just about-to-be-released 2011 Sonata. This morning, despite no official Hyundai press conference here at the Chicago Auto Show, we get a freshened 2011 Azera.

The big news are its two engines. The mid-cycle Azera will still use either a 3.3-liter or 3.8-liter V6, just like the outgoing car. However, both Lambda engines now use DCVVT (Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing) instead of CVVT. Translation: instead of only the intake valves getting varied, the exhaust valves' timing can be manipulated, too. In English that means more power and better mileage.

The 3.3-liter V6 makes 260 horsepower and 233 pound-feet of torque while the big 3.8-liter V6 cranks out 283 ponies and 263 units of torque. Much more impressive than that are their mileage numbers. An Azera equipped with the 3.3-liter mill gets 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, increases of 11 and 8 percent, respectively. The 3.8-liter motor allows the Azera to achieve 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, increases of 12 and 4 percent.

Part of this frugality is no doubt assisted by Hyundai's all-new, built-in-house six-speed automatic transmission that we got to experience in the Tucson. On the outside, the Azera gets new headlights, taillights, a new grille, new fog lights, bumpers and wheels. Oh, and for those of you that doubted the accuracy our Kia Optima spy shots, the joke is on you.

[Source: Hyundai]