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Los Angeles: 2012 Hyundai Azera goes Fluidic, gets direct injection power [w/video]

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    Los Angeles: 2012 Hyundai Azera goes Fluidic, gets direct injection power [w/video]

    Filed under: LA Auto Show, Sedan, Hyundai, Luxury

    The 2006 Azera was the first shot that Hyundai took at going upmarket, a big, soft, front-wheel-drive sedan packed with content and offered at a bargain price compared to the Toyota Avalon and Buick LaCrosse. But today, this Korean import seems more like it comes from the Island of Misfit Toys. Azera has quietly persisted while Hyundai has launched several well-received models, from the Genesis to the 2011 Sonata to the brand-new Veloster. Now comes the Azera's 15 minutes of fame, in the form of a complete overhaul for 2012 designed to make the Azera more of a premium offering.

    The new Azera adopts Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design language that we've loved on the Sonata, but in this application something went amiss. Everything looks good up front, as the Azera's Fluidic front fascia looks similarly aggressive. But follow the attractive chrome trim strip back from the headlights and something goes bump in the night. The Azera's rear quarter panel retains a bulging character line similar to the old model, except that in the new sheet metal the flanks are even more pronounced - and Buick-like. Things get better out back, as the new Azera has an elegant decklid and rear taillights that wouldn't look out of place on any luxury car.

    Underhood, the second-generation Azera gets a new 3.3-liter V6 with direct injection. This "Lambda II" powerplant is good for 293 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque, while providing an estimated 20 miles per gallon in the city and 29 on the highway. Hyundai has also fitted the new Azera with its Active Eco mode, which should be good for a five-percent boost in fuel economy, according to the automaker. Like the old Azera, power is fed to the front wheels through a six-speed transaxle.

    Standard Azera equipment includes some formerly optional content, like a navigation system with rearview camera, and Hyundai is also equipping Azeras with its Blue Link telematics system. Leather interior with heated front and rear seats, 18-inch alloys, and Vehicle Stability Management are all included, as well.

    The 2012 Azera goes on sale in February, and while we will admit to being more excited about some of Hyundai's other launches next year (that's you, Elantra coupe) we're certainly not going to complain when we get our opportunity to chew up some comfortable highway miles, Azera style.

    We've got the official press release from the LA Auto Show after the jump, as well as a full gallery of Azera images.Continue reading 2012 Hyundai Azera goes Fluidic, gets direct injection power [w/video]
    2012 Hyundai Azera goes Fluidic, gets direct injection power [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Nov 2011 13:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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