While presenting few other details, the factory has released the first official photos of the redesigned sedan it will sell in America as the 2012 Hyundai Azera. Badged the Grandeur in Korea, this fifth-generation replacement for the automaker's full-size, front-drive family four-door will receive a number of market-specific tweaks to allow it to conform to U.S. legal requirements and buyer preferences. However, Hyundai sources have confirmed that the basic appearance will carry to our car, as well.
Intent on raising its profile as well as its perception among consumers, the exterior styling of the 2012 Hyundai Azera/Grandeur embodies a "Grand Glide" styling flavor. Hyundai says the look is meant to reflect "a bird gliding gracefully across the sky." To help foster that image, the 2012 Azera embodies a clean aero-wedge profile with more graceful, flowing contours that are highlighted by a rising hoodline, more steeply raked windshield and an even sleeker roof/side glass treatment. The bolder look of its larger grille and more assertive fascia plus new headlamps and foglamps impart additional presence up front while better-integrated LED taillights bring a similar level of elegant flash to its rear quarters.
No word on powertrains for the 2012 Hyundai Azera, although it seems likely the 3.3-liter and 3.8-liter V6 engines used in the current GLS and Limited models will continue to provide motivation -- both teamed with Hyundai's newly introduced six-speed automatic transmission that offers Shiftronic manual control. Given Hyundai's stated desire to become a more affordable alternative to both European and Japanese premium sedans, it's virtually certain the 2012 Azera will offer an even longer list of upline standards and high-tech options along with solid value pricing.