Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hyundai to debut new Santa Fe and ix35 crossover in Frankfurt

Hyundai announced it will unveil next generation Tucson crossover (to be called ix35 in Europe) and facelifted Santa Fe SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month to strengthen its position as one of the leading brands in the European SUV segment.

The all-new ix35 crossover is going to replace the very successful Tucson SUV, and will receive its world premiere at the Show on the 15th September. Alongside the ix35 will be a facelifted Santa Fe mid-size SUV, which benefits from a wide range of engineering and cosmetic changes to fine-tune the driving experience and make it even more competitive versus rival D-segment SUVs. Both models will reach Hyundai showrooms across the globe in the next six months.

New Hyundai ix35

The ix35 represents a major step forward for Hyundai in Europe. It is the first SUV to be conceived and engineered in Europe at the company’s Frankfurt-based design and technical centers. The newcomer embodies Hyundai’s new design language ‘fluidic sculpture’ and carries over much of the confident, sweeping styling of the ix-onic concept car, which starred at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

Its revolutionary features begin with the exterior styling which is based on the bold ix-onic concept shown at Geneva Motor Show in March. The power output, fuel-efficiency, comfort and safety features have been all upgraded. Known by the project name LM, it took 36 months and 280 billion won (approx. US$225 million) to develop.

Some safety features that were not available in the first-generation Hyundai Tucson will now be vailable:

- Safety Rear-View Mirror: Shifting into reverse gear automatically turns on the rear-view camera which provides a wide-angle view of the rear on a 3.5-inch color LCD built into the rear-view mirror thus reducing the risk of accidents.

- Emergency Stop Signal: In the event of a panic stop, this feature automatically triggers the emergency hazard lights whose flashing alerts the driver behind thus reducing the risk of rear-end crashes.

- Downhill Brake Control and Hill-Start Assist Control: DBC allows the vehicle to maintain a safe speed on steep declines without having to use the brake while the hill-start assist helps a driver move up a steep or slippery hill without rolling backwards.

- Panoramic Sunroof

- Vehicle Dynamic Control: improves the safety of a vehicles stability by detecting and minimizing skids

The ix35 comes availablw with a 2L engine: either the all-new diesel R or gasoline Theta-II and is fitted with Hyundai’s all-new six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine meets the Euro-5 emissions standards and achieves 15.4 kilometers per liter fuel economy with maximum power output of 184 horsepower. The gasoline engine has a fuel economy of 11.7 kilometers per liter with a 166 horsepower. The diesel engine is offered in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel drive configurations, while gasoline engine is available only in front-wheel-drive.

Hyundai is aiming for sales of 16,000 units of the new Tucson ix this year in the Korean market and 40,000 units annually starting next year. From the year 2011, Hyundai predicts its sales to reach 300,000 units globally, with 260,000 units sold in the overseas market.

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