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Hyundai turns your smartphone into a car key

Hyundai smartphone digital key

The traditional car key’s days could be numbered, thanks to technology developed by Hyundai. The ‘Digital Key’ app will allow Kia and Hyundai owners to unlock and start their vehicles via their smartphone – and the tech could arrive by the end of the year.

Replacing the physical key, the app can be used by up to four authorised people and could save motorists hours of searching for lost car keys.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology detects the presence of a Digital Key-enabled smartphone in close proximity to the car door, with NFC antennas located in the driver and passenger door handles, along with another one in the wireless charging pad.

The engine is started by the driver placing the smartphone on the wireless charging pad and pressing a Start/Stop button on the dashboard.

The driver’s preferred settings are stored in the car. When the key is recognised those settings are adjusted automatically – including the position of mirrors, seats and the steering wheel, as well as controls for the media and sat-nav systems.

According to Hyundai, once car sharing becomes more widespread, the Digital Key will be developed to support vehicle rental where the owner and the driver won’t have to meet but can transfer the Digital Key via the smartphone app.

Traditional smart keys and cards will also be provided for use at valet services and when the car is at a dealer for a service.

Harnessing connected-car technology

“The Digital Key will benefit a very wide range of future Kia and Hyundai customers, as well as enabling innovative new schemes for vehicle sharing,” said Ho Yoo, group leader of Hyundai Motor Group’s Electronics Development Group.

“We are studying other ways to harness this type of connected-car technology to greatly enhance the driving and ownership experience.”

Hyundai Motor Group aims to gradually implement the technology in new Kia and Hyundai vehicles, with the rollout starting later this year.

Hydrogen Hyundai

This Hyundai SUV actually cleans the air in London

Hydrogen Hyundai

Hyundai’s next-generation hydrogen electric car, the Nexo, has been driving along the most polluted streets in London – and purifying the air as it goes.

Hyundai teamed up with University College London (UCL) to map a route of the most polluted roads in the capital, including streets in Elephant & Castle, Kings Cross and Westminster (as we reported yesterday, Google is also in the process of mapping London air quality).

While the car itself only emits water and heat, it also has an air purification system that can filter 99.9 percent of fine dust and particulates in the air. Over the course of an hour, the Nexo can filter as much as 26.9 kilograms of air – enough, says Hyundai, to keep up to 42 adults breathing for an hour.

If 10,000 of these cars were on the road, it would have a similar carbon reduction effect to planting 60,000 trees. Big claims that for once, get some in-action proof. A demonstration was set up outside UCL, putting the filtration system to work live.

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“We are all concerned about air quality and what affects it”, says Sylvie Childs, Hyundai’s Senior Product Manager for Nexo.

“At Hyundai, we are committed to improving the efficiency and environmental performance of all our vehicles and have been investing billions in bringing a full range of low and zero emission vehicles to the marketplace. We believe that the availability of alternatives, like the Nexo fuel-cell electric vehicle, will bring the UK closer to its zero-emissions future.

“However, the responsibility for this cannot only rest with us, the manufacturer. We need the government to invest equally in incentives and infrastructure that would enable Brits to have better choices when it comes to the car they drive and how it can fit into their lives.”

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Hyundai i30 'N Option'

Hyundai i30 N gets more attitude with ’N Option’ accessories

Hyundai i30 'N Option'

After the critical acclaim for the Hyundai i30 N since launch, what the marque does next with its burgeoning ‘N’ performance line is crucial. We’ve already got a fastback version of the i30 and now, as of the Paris Motor Show, there’s a new N Option performance parts catalogue.

The Hyundai N Option goodie bin contains a carbon rear wing, a vented carbon fibre bonnet, a quad exhaust setup and cast lightweight wheels with semi-slick tyres. You can even drape your car in ’N Option’ matt paint.

Inside, it’s black carbon and Alcantara all-round. The latter swathes the lightweight bucket seats and steering wheel, while the former is on the dashboard, bottom of the steering wheel and around the vents and door handles.

Overall, the N Option parts bin contains around 25 interior and exterior indivi dualisation options. A set of lighter alloys with sticky tyres certainly appeals, as does an Alcantara wheel, although some of the more aggressive body stuff is a bit much. Spec your Hyundai i30 N tastefully. 

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Hyundai i30 N

You can drive the Hyundai i30 N on track… for free

Hyundai i30 N

You don’t need an excuse to buy a Hyundai i30 N, but just in case you were teetering on the edge of buying one of its competitors, maybe a free track day will convince you that Korean is the way to go.

Hyundai’s ‘Nth Degree Experience’ gives consumers the chance to get behind the wheel of the i30 N at the Millbrook Proving Ground, where they can take to the ‘High-Speed Bowl’ or the ‘Mile Straight’. Four different drives will showcase the hot Hyundai’s performance, technology, control and handling.

Hyundai will be monitoring the drivers’ performance and awarding them points throughout the day, with the person at the top of the leaderboard at the end of each session winning a Hyundai Motorsport WRC Co-Drive experience. The lucky winners will be driven by one of Hyundai’s rally drivers on an actual stage used during this year’s Wales Rally GB.

And, if that’s not enough, the overall winner will experience a full weekend at Wales Rally GB in October, which will include meals and overnight accommodation.

Nth Degree Hub

Nth Degree

Off track, participants will have access to the ‘Nth Degree Hub’, where guests can take part in interactive challenges and be given the opportunity to share their verdict on the i30 N.

Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai UK’s president and CEO, commented: “i30 N is the first vehicle from Hyundai’s new performance N range and it has been engineered to deliver maximum driving pleasure.

“We’ve designed the Nth Degree Experience to give consumers the opportunity to, not only experience our new hot hatch, but to really put it through its paces. Each exclusive session promises to be fun and competitive, with guests getting the chance to perfect their driving skills on some of Millbrook’s most challenging routes that aren’t normally open to members of the public.”

The event is free-of-charge and will take place on 11, 12, 18 and 19 August at Millbrook, Bedfordshire. Consumers need to register at nthdegree.hyundai.co.uk.

Hyundai i30 N prices start from £25,010 for the standard 250hp car and £28,010 for the 275hp Performance edition, which also features an electronic diff, active exhaust, Pirelli P Zero tyres and uprated brakes.

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Hyundai and Chelsea

Hyundai is Chelsea FC’s new car partner

Hyundai and ChelseaHyundai has become the official global automotive partner of Chelsea Football Club, in a five-year deal that will see the firm’s logo feature on the sleeves of the team shirt in all domestic competitions. 

It’s Hyundai’s first foray into UK football, after being the official World Cup automotive partner since 1999. 

We won’t just see the Hyundai logo on the shirt sleeves, either. It will feature prominently on Stamford Bridge’s matchday LED perimeter signs, car displays at the club and umpteen other types of media and digital content. 

Chelsea players Olivier Giroud, David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko helped announce the deal and to reinforce the message, Hyundai’s giving away four pairs of tickets to Chelsea’s first home Premier League game of the 2018/19 season. 

What do you have to do? Keep an eye out for any @hyundai_uk tweet with the hashtag #ForTheFans between 11-17 June, and retweet it. That’s it. 

We’ll see the Hyundai logo on the team shirts for the first time on July 23rd, when Chelsea play a friendly in Australia against Perth Glory. Over the next five years, adds Hyundai, it’s going to work with Chelsea to “develop a range of initiatives and benefits for the club’s supporters, as part of its ambition to bring ease to mobility and make football more accessible to fans”. 

What we want to know is, when’s the fleet of (sort of) Chelsea-blue i30 N hot hatches being delivered to the players?

Hyundai Veloster N

N for No: why the Hyundai Veloster N isn’t coming to the UK

Hyundai Veloster N

The Hyundai Veloster N is proof that we can’t have nice things. Because while the good folk at the Detroit Auto Show are salivating over this 275hp coupe, we’ve been denied custody of the i30 N’s slightly more rebellious sibling, without so much as a promise of weekend access.

Why? Because we’re too busy littering the streets with crossovers, while three-door cars are falling out of favour. Sure, the Veloster is technically a four-door coupe – with two doors on one side and one on the other – but the point remains.

Other reasons? Well, the Hyundai Veloster was a monumental flop in the UK. At the last count, fewer than 2,700 of these hatchback-cum-coupes are on the streets of Britain. Hyundai pulled the plug in 2015, after just three years of slower than expected sales.

Video: Hyundai Veloster N in Forza Motorsport 7

Looking back, it’s not hard to see why the Veloster failed so miserably here. Five years ago, Hyundai showrooms were desolate wastelands, devoid of cheeriness and inspiration. The Veloster would have stood out like Keira Knightley at a convention of John Major lookalikes.

The Veloster was caught between a rock and a hard place. To the loyal Hyundai owner – for whom excitement centred on a nine-letter word on Countdown and finding a tin of travel sweets in the glovebox – it was too exciting. To non-Hyundai people, it just wasn’t compelling enough.

Mk1 Hyundai Veloster

Sure, it looked cool, in a Korean Scirocco kind of way, but it didn’t have the dynamic ability to live up to its track-ready styling. Hyundai tried desperately hard to add some flair, but vibrant hues such as solid Sunflower yellow, pearlescent Vitamin C and Green Apple were wasted in the land of Werther’s Originals.

The performance was merely adequate – even in the more interesting Veloster Turbo – with a 0-62mph time quoted at 8.4 seconds. The fact is, the Veloster looked faster than it actually went, which satisfied neither the Hyundai loyalists nor the sceptics.

Maybe it was the right car at the wrong time. Today, the Hyundai range feels like so much more than a line-up of white goods supported by a five-year warranty. Almost every model offers a modicum of flair and panache, while the i30 N hints at an enthralling future for the N sub-brand.

No, you’re never gonna get it. Not this time

Which makes the decision not to introduce the Veloster N in Britain all the more galling. Hyundai will point to the similarities between the i30 N and the Veloster as the reason behind the move, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Just imagine seeing one of these drenched in Performance Blue paint on your morning commute. 

Hyundai Veloster N not for UK

If Hyundai is serious about its N sub-brand, wouldn’t a stablemate for the i30 N make a great deal of sense? Granted, Hyundai Europe would have analysed the business case before scribbling an ‘N’ for ‘No’, but the desire to see the Veloster N in the UK is driven by an emotional rather than a rational perspective.

It looks even more hardcore than its five-door sibling, especially at the back. And with 275hp on tap, the Veloster can finally live up to its velocity-inspired name. Sadly, we won’t be offered the chance to play.

Unless that is, you happen to own a copy of Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One and Windows 10. The Veloster N and Turbo car pack has arrived as part of the January update, and our man Bradley has been having a go. Even better than the real thing, Bradley?

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Hyundai i30 UK review

Hyundai i30 UK review: dull just got interesting

Playing Golf: we head to Cornwall for the first UK drive of the all-new Hyundai i30 – can it compete in the crowded hatchback sector?

Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Revealed: the world’s best selling cars of 2016

Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016What were the world’s best-selling cars of 2016? Thanks to Focus2Move, we have the answers, as we reveal the most popular cars across the globe.

The F2M Global Mobility Database tracks over 3,500 vehicles sold in more than 1,500 countries, and includes light commercial vehicles. Here are the cars that made the top 10, presented in reverse order.

10. Toyota CamryRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 660,868

Toyota unveiled a new 2018 Camry at the Detroit Auto Show, and on this showing it can’t come soon enough. The Camry slides from 6th to 10th, with registrations down 11.5%.

9. Honda CivicRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 668,707

Compare and contrast with the admittedly smaller Honda Civic, which has seen an 18.7% increase in registrations, jumping from 17th to 9th in the process. We’ve driven the new Civic and are pleased to report it’s rather good.

8. Volkswagen PoloRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 704,062

There’s a new Volkswagen Polo on the way. In the meantime, registrations of the existing model are holding steady at just over 700,000 units.

7. Toyota RAV4Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 724,198

The Toyota RAV4 is the one member of the top 10 that always surprises us. It’s not that it’s a bad car, it’s just that it’s not exactly memorable either. Still, 724,198 people can’t be wrong. Can they?

6. Ford FocusRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 734,935

The Ford Focus recorded the biggest drop in the top 10, with registrations down 11.7% compared to the same period in 2015.

5. Honda CR-VRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 752,463

No such problems for the Honda CR-V, which sees a 5.7% increase compared to 2015, breaking into the top five in the process.

4. Hyundai ElantraRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 788,081

The Hyundai Elantra climbs one place, with registrations up 3.9%.

3. Volkswagen GolfRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 991,414

Meanwhile, the Volkswagen drops from second to third. A sign that people are waiting for the new Mk7.5 Golf? We’re driving the new Golf this week, so stay tuned for our initial thoughts.

2. Ford F-SeriesRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 993,779

For a vehicle that is sold predominantly in North America, this is quite a remarkable result. The Ford F-Series remains the best-loved pick-up and the second best-selling car in the world.

1. Toyota CorollaRevealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2016

Registrations: 1,316,383

Which leaves the Toyota Corolla to cement its crown as the world’s most popular car. Registrations are down 3.6%, but Toyota is still able to shift 1.3 million units.

Figures courtesy of the F2M Global Mobility Database.

Buy a new Hyundai online in five minutes through 'Click to Buy' service

Buy a new Hyundai online in 5 minutes with ‘Click to Buy’ service

Buy a new Hyundai online in five minutes through 'Click to Buy' service

Hyundai is launching a new “Click to Buy” online service – letting buyers trade-in their car, arrange finance and order a new vehicle, all from the comfort of their sofa.

Going live in January, the new website will feature ‘competitive fixed pricing’, says the company, meaning buyers won’t need to negotiate on a new car.

Although the initial buying process will take place online, most buyers will still visit a dealer to drop off their part-exchange, sign any finance papers and collect their new car.

Selected dealers will also be able to offer evening and weekend collections to help those short on time – while some will be able to deliver your new car to your doorstep.

The car manufacturer says that, for those buying outright without any finance involved, the process of buying a new Hyundai online can take less than five minutes.

Click to Buy follows Hyundai’s Rockar stores at Bluewater and Westfield shopping centres in London.

President and CEO of Hyundai UK, Tony Whitehorn, said: “It’s no understatement to say that we’ve been pioneering in the field of online car sales, thanks to our successful experience with our digital stores. Now it gives me great pleasure to launch Hyundai’s own website, Click To Buy.

“We’ve spent many years listening to customers and Click To Buy is the result: it’s a site that makes the process of buying a new car easier, simpler and clearer than ever, doing away with haggling through fixed pricing – and offering the ability to buy a car online in just five minutes flat. This is just the start of Hyundai offering even greater customer service. Over the coming months we’ll be adding even more functionality to Click To Buy – watch this space.”

Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition quick review: is it rally good?

01_hyundai_i20_review

Visit the microsite for the new Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition and the Korean firm will do its best to convince you that the turbocharged supermini is packed with racing DNA. “Discover the road-going i20 lurking beneath the exterior of Hyundai’s latest World Rally Car,” it says.

You’ll have seen the advertisement: the i20 WRC car gets down and dirty on a forest stage, before making its way through a sleepy village and a petrol station car wash. The question is: has the Hyundai i20 Turbo left its “racing DNA” in the autowash? Read on to find out.

Prices and deals

The headline price is £12,795, but given the fact that the majority of customers will pay monthly, the more relevant cost is £165 per month.

For this, you’ll need to part with a deposit of £2,970 plus VAT and be restricted to 8,000 miles a year. That should be enough for a few special stages, mind.

What are its rivals?

The i20 Turbo Edition lines up against some fierce competition, not least the all-conquering Ford Fiesta. But a recent price hike means that Fiesta prices start from £13,545 – or £14,545 if you opt for the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine.

Other rivals include the Vauxhall Corsa 1.0-litre Turbo, Skoda Fabia, Mazda 2 and Volkswagen Polo.

What engine does it use?

The “racing heart” of the Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition is its 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine. The 998cc unit develops 100hp at 4,500rpm and 127lb ft of torque between 1,500 and 4,000rpm.

How fast?

05_hyundai_i20_review

Floor the “racing throttle” (actually, Hyundai hasn’t used this line), and the i20 Turbo rockets to 62mph in 10.7 seconds – 0.5 seconds quicker than a Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost with an equal amount of power.

The top speed is 116mph – 4mph more than the Fiesta. In reality, the i20 Turbo feels even faster, helped in no small part by the delightful/irritating (delete as applicable) thrum of the three-cylinder engine.

Will I enjoy driving it?

In short: yes. Beneath that rather sombre – read: disappointingly normal – exterior lies a car that’s genuinely good fun to drive. There’s a hint of old-school turbo lag to get through, but once the turbocharger has woken from its slumber, it’s playtime.

It doesn’t beg to be taken to the redline, like say the Suzuki Swift Sport, but it’s surprisingly eager and there’s a thumping load of mid-range torque. Furthermore, the steering is nicely weighted, while the five-speed gearbox is a joy to use. Whisper this: but this is an i20 you can buy with your head and your heart.

Fuel economy and running costs

Hyundai claims you could achieve 72.4mpg on a combined cycle, but you should take that figure with a pinch of racing salt. Over the course of a week, the display was showing a figure of 37.7mpg, although admittedly we spent the majority of the time exploring those rally credentials.

CO2 emissions of 104g/km puts the i20 Turbo Edition in VED band B, which means no road tax in year one, followed by £20 for each year thereafter. As you’d expect, the i20 comes with Hyundai’s excellent five-year warranty.

What’s the interior like?

08_hyundai_i20_review

Peek inside the Hyundai i20 Turbo Edition and you’ll find a pair of Sabelt racing seats, a tall sequential gearbox lever, paddle shifters on the steering wheel and a multi-point roll cage. It feels every inch the rally-bred road car.

Actually, none of this is true. Instead you’ll find the standard i20 interior, with Hyundai making no effort to make this special edition feel any more, well, special. We think this is a missed opportunity. It’s pleasant enough, but hardly inspiring.

Is it comfortable?

Yes, it’s comfortable, but we’d be prepared to sacrifice a little comfort in exchange for more in the way of fireworks. As it is, the i20 feels surprisingly grown up, with plenty of space in the front and rear. There’s a hint of body roll if you attempt too many ‘hard rights’ and ‘easy lefts’ at full pelt, but the seats offer plenty of lateral support to keep you in place.

Is it practical?

In the boot you’ll find 301 litres of luggage space, which extends to 1,017 litres with the 60:40 rear seats folded down. 

There are many pockets and storage compartments, including a place for your smartphone in front of the gearlever, two cupholders between the front seats and generous door bins. Rear seat passengers will also find plenty of legroom and headroom.

Tell me about the tech

The Hyundai i20 Turbo is generously equipped, including a 7-inch touchscreen sat nav, a free seven-year TomTom Live subscription, Bluetooth, DAB radio, parking sensors, steering wheel controls, auto lights and a rear-view camera.

A Magneti Marelli engine control unit and direct communication with the works team engineer are both optional. Probably.

What about safety?

The Hyundai i20 was awarded a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating when it was tested in 2015, scoring 85% for adult occupants, 73% for child occupants, 79% for pedestrian safety and 64% for safety assist.

Standard safety equipment on the i20 Turbo Edition includes hill-start assist, six airbags, lane departure warning system and ISOfix child seat anchorage points.

Which version should I go for?

13_hyundai_i20_review

Hyundai is limiting the i20 Turbo Edition to just 1,000 cars, but you’ll be able to choose from six different colours, including Passion Red, as tested. Sadly, the colours are a little sombre, with even Passion Red more ‘garden centre café’ than it is ‘rally stage service area’.

Sorry to make a big thing of this, but this was an opportunity for Hyundai to capitalise on its rally pedigree. Some additional badges, an interior makeover and some subtle tweaks to the suspension could have made a good car great.

As it is, you’re left with a measly Turbo Edition factory sticker on the door frame.

What’s the used alternative?

The previous generation Hyundai i20 was introduced in 2009 and is the most obvious used alternative. Prices start from as little as £1,700. Buy a later car and the i20 might still be covered by the five-year manufacturer warranty.

Other used options include the Kia Rio, Mazda 2, Suzuki Swift and Vauxhall Corsa.

Should I buy one?

Don’t let our misgivings about Hyundai’s lack of effort to add a touch more WRC to this special edition put you off, because the i20 Turbo Edition is a thoroughly good car. We often found ourselves nipping out for a quick drive, because it’s properly fun to drive. If there’s a hint of petrol running through your veins, you’ll love the turbocharged three-pot engine.

It’s also seriously well equipped and offers tremendous value for money. It might not be as sharp as a Ford Fiesta, but it offers a nicer interior and is a touch quicker on the straights. We really enjoyed our week with the i20 Turbo Edition and would recommend it to anyone who is in the market for a supermini.

Pub fact

16_hyundai_i20_review

The Hyundai i20 WRC car is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine developing 300hp. Unlike the road car, it features four-wheel drive and a six-speed transmission, and can sprint to 62mph in under 4.0 seconds, reaching a top speed of 139mph.