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Hyundai flagship oils up

Struggling: The big Korean has been selling just 15 units a month in petrol V6 form.

Grandeur diesel to come here by the end of the year

3 Jun 2008

HYUNDAI Motor Co Australia (HMCA) has given its struggling Grandeur large car a vote of confidence by deciding to fit a diesel engine.

Despite selling an average of just 15 units a month, HMCA has decided to expand the Grandeur range with a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel variant, to be released in the last quarter of this year.

It will join the 3.8-litre petrol V6 that delivers 194kW and 348Nm of torque.

The diesel falls short in the power stakes with only 114kW, but produces a similar amount of torque with peak figure of 343Nm.

While the petrol-powered Grandeur uses 10.8L/100km, the new diesel model uses just 7.9L/100km.

A five-speed automatic is the only transmission choice for both the petrol and diesel models.

The 2.2-litre diesel is a four-cylinder using common rail direct injection and a variable-geometry turbocharger. It is the same engine that powers the Santa Fe CRDi.

The Grandeur diesel will cost $41,990, which represents a $2000 premium over the petrol V6 model.

As a result of the diesel addition, Hyundai will pare back the V6 petrol Grandeur range from two models to one. The new petrol model will have the same level of specification as the diesel model, which will be determined closer to launch.

The Grandeur will also pick up a mild interior and exterior upgrade, although the changes are not easy to pick. There will be new 17-inch alloy wheels, a new chrome grille, chrome inserts for bumpers, new bodyside mouldings and new wing mirrors with side repeaters.

The cabin will feature new metal and woodgrain trim inserts and a new-look instrument cluster. A new display screen with bright blue lighting for the sound system and dual-zone climate controls will also be introduced, matching the instrument cluster.

The sound system will also be upgraded and feature a regular auxiliary jack as well as a new USB port that will allow owners to play music off a memory stick. HMCA will throw in a 1GB memory stick for those owners who may not be used to the technology.

In addition, a special plug in the armrest will allow full iPod funtionality via the car's audio controls.

Diesel customers will also get a free box of latex gloves to protect them from greasy diesel pumps.

HMCA chief executive Steve Yeo admitted the Grandeur had been performing below expectations. He said the model had been hit by the declining interest in large cars, but also admitted Hyundai had not invested as much as it could in promoting the vehicle.

Mr Yeo said Hyundai Australia found it hard to invest more money in marketing the Grandeur given that it represents a small part of its overall sales.

Hyundai Grandeur diesel pricing:
V6 (a) $39,990
CRDi (a) $41,990

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