Hyundai reveals all-new Tucson Plug-in Hybrid

The powertrain in Hyundai’s all-new Tucson Plug-in Hybrid will be based on the 1.6-litre T-GDi Smartstream engine
With an all new design and hybrid options, Hyundai is leaving no stone unturned
With an all new design and hybrid options, Hyundai is leaving no stone unturnedHyundai

We have already told you about the upcoming fourth-gen Hyundai Tucson, and now, Hyundai Motor has revealed new details of the all-new Tucson Plug-in Hybrid, which the brand says will be available in Europe in spring 2021. The PHEV powertrain employed here will be based on the third-generation 1.6-litre T-GDi Smartstream engine, paired with a 66.9kW electric motor and a 13.8kWh lithium polymer battery. Combined, the gasoline engine and electric motor will deliver 261bhp and 350Nm. The system is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel-drive.

Further, as in most PHEVs, the driver will be able to switch to fully electric driving, for an all-electric range of about 50km. Also on offer is the Active Air Flap (in the grille) that adjusts air intake depending on the engine coolant temperature and vehicle speed, to minimise air resistance and maximise fuel efficiency.

The Tucson PHEV will be equipped with a 7.2 kW on-board charger, and will allow charging at an EV charging station or using a home wall box.

What else do we know?

Despite the Tucson’s ‘lifestyle SUV’ tag, Hyundai has not shied away with respect to its off-road credentials. Along with the standard four-wheel-drive, the Tucson PHEV also gets Hyundai HTRAC four-wheel-drive technology and a Terrain Mode selector. HTRAC can variably distribute driving power to the front and rear wheels depending on traction conditions and the driving state, while the Terrain Mode selector modulates power, torque and braking depending on the road conditions selected by the driver.

Further, the optional Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) uses adaptive damping tech to provide versatile driving characteristics, depending on the situation and driver preference. The ECS automatically and continuously controls the vehicle’s dampers to maximise driving comfort and performance. Drivers can also adjust the ECS and steering characteristics by choosing Eco or Sport Mode.

What’s new on the inside?

Sat in the driver’s seat, there’s the 10.25-inch digital cluster up front, with a 10.25-inch infotainment display with Hyundai Blue Link connected car services, which also shows the battery charge level (the driver can manage charging settings via the Blue Link app). Also on offer are driver assistance systems like Remote Smart Parking Assist which allows the car to park itself, Highway Driving Assist, which keeps the car in the centre of its lane while adapting the speed based on navigation data and traffic around (like on upcoming curves on highways).

A unique feature, the Parking Collision-avoidance Assist, helps prevent collisions with obstacles in the rear while reversing at low speeds. The system emits audible and visual warnings and applies the brakes when necessary. Hyundai has said these are but a few safety features contributing towards improving visibility, protecting front as well as rear occupants, and preventing collisions.

Thanks to a clever placement of the high voltage battery on the underbody, the Tucson Plug-in Hybrid offers generous space and legroom inside. Rear passengers can enjoy 955mm of legroom. Meanwhile, boot space has even been increased compared to the previous Tucson, offering 558 litres (+9 per cent) overall for luggage with the seats up and up to 1,737 litres (+15 per cent) with the seats folded.

“The plug-in hybrid powertrain represents a new milestone in the Tucson range,” says Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, VP, marketing and product, Hyundai Motor Europe, adding, “With a petrol mild hybrid, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid options, the all-new Tucson offers the widest range of electrified powertrains in its segment. This is just the latest proof of Hyundai’s commitment to electro-mobility.”

As mentioned, the new Tucson Plug-in Hybrid will be available overseas in spring 2021. Now, the all-new Tucson (in purely ICE guise) currently on sale in Korea will probably hit our shores sometime in the second half of 2021 or in early 2022. Hence, we expect the Tucson PHEV to get here (if at all it does) not before late 2022. Once here, though, the Tucson will not have any direct competitors, as the only other hybrid in this space, the MG Hector Hybrid is a mild hybrid (where the electric motor is charged up by the ICE engine itself) and occupies a segment below.

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