Hyundai showed off a near-production-ready version of its fuel cell SUV that will drop early next year in Korea, followed later by North America. Although Hyundai has yet to name the new model, it promises increased range, performance, and durability over the outgoing ix35 Fuel Cell, known as the Tucson Fuel Cell here in the U.S.
Power will increase 20 percent over the outgoing model, Hyundai says, and system efficiency will jump 9 percent. With the updated fuel cell system, the SUV should achieve a driving range of more than 580 km (360 miles) on a single charge, based on Korean testing standards.
Certain components increase aerodynamic performance on the new model. A tunnel inside the D-pillar in addition to wheels designed in a two-piece construction help boost aero efficiency.
The new model borrows certain design elements from Hyundai's FE fuel cell concept, which was revealed in March. Not only doesitfeature the same rounded hood, but the headlights take on a similar shape, and the door handles once again sit flush to the vehicle.
Hyundai has also bolstered the longevity of the hydrogen-powered SUV by using highly durable catalyst technology. New components in the fuel stack have improved performance at start-up in cold temperatures. The vehicle has been optimized to start at 22 degrees Fahrenheit. The new SUV also improves tank storage density, now that there are three equally-sized tanks instead of two different sizes.
Expect the new Hyundai fuel cellSUV to offer advanced driver assistance technologies. More details on this front will be shared at the 2018 CES Show, where we'll also learn the official name of the model. The SUV will launch in Korea early next year, and after that, it will arrive in North America and Europe. Hyundai is also considering whether or not to bring the model to China.
The new fuel cell SUV is just one green model Hyundai plans to introduce globally in the coming years. Hyundai confirmed that it will launch a Kona EV in the first half of 2018. It's unclear which markets will receive the new model, but it should offer a range of 390 km (242 miles) on a single charge, likely based on Korean testing standards. Meanwhile, a Genesis EV will arrive in 2021, and a new EV with a range of 500 km (310 miles) is slated to arrive later.
As we previously reported, Hyundai plans to launch its first dedicated architecture for all-electric vehicles. Hyundai says it's also committed to hybrids in addition to electric and fuel cell technology.
Source: Hyundai, Hyundai via Facebook
Pictured in the gallery below is the Hyundai FE fuel cell concept.