World Cup of Cars: Russia vs. Korea Republic
South Korea is a national power in the making in more ways than one. It is the most wired company in the world, responsible for a number of technological innovations, some of the finest Starcraft players you’ll ever see, and hard working men and women who will not hesitate to drink you under the table. (Take Kyle Johnson’s word for it; he was in Korea during the last World Cup, and it was a rare occasion not to find well-dressed men passed on bar stoops after 7pm).
Two other things on the rise in South Korea: football and cars. The Korean men’s team is a talented squad that could go a lot further than many might think, and the country’s auto industry—particularly Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia—have been rising to prominence in markets all over the world. Tonight, they face off against a talented Russian squad who is probably a little less than excited to be pitted against anyone other than the Ukraine (after all, they’d probably just shut off the natural gas supply to the team’s hotel rooms so they couldn’t cook meals, effectively forcing them to withdraw). In tonight’s World Cup of Cars: Russia vs. Korea Republic, it’ll be the Nissan Almera against the Hyundai Sonata.
World Cup of Cars: Russia vs. Korea Republic – Nissan Almera (Russia)
In Soviet Russia, car bores you! Nissan unveiled the Almera at the Moscow International Autosalon back in August 2012 as a spacious car with plenty a low starting price. It boasts generous ground clearance with an underbody steel plate, the biggest interior in the B-segment, and a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that generates around 101 horsepower.
It’s got a comfortable if not modest interior complete with a CD player, which means you can play the latest Pussy Riot album as loud as is governmentally allowed. What? You mean you might get whipped by Cossacks for that? Jeeze. Russia sounds kind of like a horrible place filled with a bunch of jerks and boring small cars, don’t you think? Not standard on the 2014 Almera: insurance fraud-preventing dash cam. You’ll have to install that one yourself.
World Cup of Cars: Russia vs. Korea Republic – Hyundai Sonata (Korea)
Hyundai launched the new 2015 Sonata at the 2014 New York Auto Show in April, and while it wasn’t quite the total overhaul that some had hopes for, the seventh-gen Sonata is refreshed with Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, a quieter ride, cleaner interior, and stronger body. It’s powered by either a 2.4-liter Theta II GDI (SE, Limited, Sport trims) or a 2.0-liter Theta II turbo GDI (Sport 2.0T), which generate 185 horsepower and 245 horsepower, respectively.
It’s a technologically advanced vehicle that’s a sound choice for those looking at sedans, but not a model that’s going to blow anyone’s socks off if you pull up in one outside the noraebang. And we’ll just neglect to mention the whole flap with the inflated fuel economy figures.
In the end, the Sonata makes up for what it lacks in style with technology and safety, snatching victory from Russia much in the same way that Russia’s government snatches rights away from its citizens.
You can watch Russia vs. Korea Republic live from Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá in a mere 30 minutes on ESPN.