Hollywood

More Hyundai cars to be in Sony movies, starting with Spider-Man movies in 2021 and 2022

Spider-man performers are seen at the premiere of Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man Far From Home" at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 26, 2019 in Hollywood, California.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Usually its the stars that are bragging about a multi-picture deal. This go-round it's Hyundai. The automaker has teamed up with Sony Pictures Entertainment that will place Hyundai's new models and technologies in coming productions. Hyundai will also offer marketing support and the companies will collaborate on a wide range of ancillary content-creation.

"This strategic partnership with Sony Pictures will allow customers to understand and experience our human-centered future mobility vision through innovative vehicles and technologies, illuminating a way forward for transforming how we move, interact, and design our lives for optimal benefits. We will offer various ways to inspire our customers and movie fans around the globe," said Wonhong Cho, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Hyundai Motor.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid starts at $27,750, comes in three trim levels. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai isn't the first automaker to collaborate with a production, nor is it the first to enter into a relationship of this kind. Nissan worked with Disney on a number of pictures including the recent Star Wars movies, the remake of "Mary Poppins" and "A Wrinkle in Time" among others. Audi has had its vehicles appear in animated features. Porsche presented a new vehicle at the last Star Wars movie premiere. Land Rover and Aston Martin are virtually synonymous with the James Bond brand.

Hyundai Motor's new models and technologies will be featured in five upcoming Sony Pictures films including "Uncharted" (July 2021); the sequel to "Spider-Man: Far From Home" (November 2021); the sequel to "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (October 2022); and other tentpoles to be determined.

In the last Spider-Man movie, Audi had a supporting role. It looks like their time with the Spidey stories has come to an end.

"This deal embodies the true definition of the word partnership," said Jeffrey Godsick, EVP of Global Partnerships and Brand Management, and Head of Location Based Entertainment at Sony Pictures Entertainment. "The deal has many layers, including substantial marketing support, but its real potential and impact come from groundbreaking content that we will develop together."

Hyundai has a great deal of new-age tech on the horizon including hydrogen-powered transportation, cloud-based driving dynamics, and air travel.

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The EQXX Concept features a crazy driving range.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is putting its century-plus of automotive experience into building electric cars, and the results are impressive. The EQS is an electric flagship with great range, and the automaker has unveiled several concepts to show its future plans. The Vision EQXX concept debuted today as an ultra-efficient luxury EV with astonishing range numbers.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept Mercedes focused on efficiency over power with the car. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes' focus with the EQXX is efficiency over power, as it says the car is its most efficient it has ever made. The EQXX uses less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers (around 62 miles), which equates to 620 miles on a single charge. The battery was designed with tech and knowledge from Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team, especially when it comes to size and weight. The EQXX's battery pack is 50 percent smaller by volume and 30 percent lighter than the pack in the EQS, which already featured astonishing efficiency.

The car's impressive range comes at the expense of horsepower, which in this case means just 201 ponies from the EQXX's electric drivetrain. Mercedes says that the system is capable of delivering up to 95 percent energy efficiency - an impressive figure for power delivery to the wheels. Extremely efficient gas powertrains only achieve around 30 percent efficiency and a human long-distance runner can hit around 50 percent.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept The EQXX is impressively slippery, which improves its range.

The EQXX is a slippery car, too, and with a drag coefficient of just 0.17, the car cuts through the air with ease. The typical EV uses up to two-thirds of its battery capacity just to push through the air, so the EQXX's aerodynamics is a big part of its efficiency. The other big part is Mercedes' thermal management system, which uses shutters and cooling plates to maintain an ideal battery and electric drive unit temperature. The plates allow the EQXX to gain about 12 miles of range in its most aerodynamic mode.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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