Next week, Hyundai Motor Co. and Volvo Car Corp. will introduce posh sedans as standard-bearers for multibillion-dollar investments in luxury cars. Hyundai will show the G90 full-size sedan as the flagship of a Genesis luxury channel that will offer three sedans, two light trucks and a coupe by 2020. Volvo, amid an $11 billion revival plan under Chinese ownership, will unveil an S90 sedan that the company has described as its “entry ticket to the premium sedan club.”
With a good map, radar and cameras now used for cruise control and blind-spot monitoring could detect open parking spaces in real time and beam that information to the cloud. Temperature sensors and automatic windshield wipers could deliver block-by-block weather updates better than any meteorologist's forecast. This type of robust, real-time status report is one of the big reasons Audi, BMW and Daimler joined forces this year to buy the mapping company Here.
Last week, Kia released the first design sketches of the Niro, which shares a name with a concept Kia unveiled in 2013 at the Frankfurt auto show. It is part of Kia's plan to spend $10 billion through 2020 to build a full eco-friendly lineup, including electric vehicles and a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
Three years after pulling the plug on the rotary-powered RX-8 sports car, Mazda hints it hasn't given up on the peculiar engine design that gave the brand some of its grandest successes. The company's latest concept is a low-slung sports car called the RX-Vision powered by a next-generation rotary engine called the Skyactiv-R.