Subtle but meaningful enhancements are coming to the 2011 Hyundai Azera, which made its debut in Chicago and arrives at dealers later this spring. To complement its modestly freshened styling, Hyundai's full-size front-drive sedan receives significant powertrain enhancements that boost both performance and efficiency.

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The most prominent visual changes to the 2011 Hyundai Azera come up front, where a redrawn fascia gains a more distinctive appearance complemented by its new chrome grille and revised headlamp/fog lamp treatments. Out back, a recontoured rear fascia gets flanked by bolder tail lamps and integrates a pair a chrome exhaust outlets. Inside, a new strain of metal grain trim imparts a more elegant character to the Azera's spacious cabin. It also gains an EZ Lane Change Assist feature that adds a triple-blink response from a single touch of its directional signal stalk as well as a new Eco Indicator dash beacon that glows green when drivers are operating in a high-efficiency mode.

On a functional level, the 2011 Hyundai Azera gains an impressive underhood boost to both of its V6 engines thanks to the fitment of Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT) and the presence of a new six-speed automatic transmission that replaces the five-speed used previously. Output of the 3.3-liter in the Azera GLS rises from 234 horsepower to 260 while peak torque moves from 226 to 233 lb.-ft. The 3.8-liter in the top-line Azera Limited fares equally well, popping its pony count from 263 to 283 and stepping up torque from 257 to 263 lb.-ft. Beyond enhanced drivability, these revised engine/transmission combos also bring tangible gains in fuel economy to the 2011 Hyundai Azera lineup, with EPA stats on the 3.3-liter engine moving from 18/26 mpg city/highway to 20/28 mpg and the 3.8-liter climbing from 17/26 mpg to 19/27 mpg.

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