Hyundai recently unveiled its all-new Tucson crossover utility vehicle at the New York International Auto Show. The new Tucson offers a fresh, sporty exterior and appealing interior design while making overall fuel efficiency a top priority, with significantly enhanced fuel economy ratings over the previous model.
The 2016 Tucson design employs sculpted body forms and sporty contours for an athletic, bold and striking appearance. The front view proudly presents a hexagonal-shaped grille, a key element of Hyundai’s design signature, enhanced by available high-efficiency LED twin-projector headlights, LED headlight accents and integrated LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs).
The wheelbase has been increased by more than an inch, for enhanced design proportions, interior flexibility and a smoother ride. For the first time, 19-inch alloy wheels will be offered, with a dynamic asymmetrical spoke design, surrounded by forward-raking wheel arch design. Even the door handles feature convenient approach LED lamps. The new Tucson’s roof rails are sleek and low-profile, for an integrated, functional appearance. From the rear, a Z-shaped character line above the rear wheels accentuates an aggressive, sporty side profile. The rear view conveys stability and a wide, sporty stance, for agility both on and off-road. The taillights also utilize LED technology, creating a premium design element while providing enhanced visibility from the rear. Finally, twin, bevel-cut chrome exhaust tips and a standard rear spoiler add even more sporty cues from the rear view.
On the inside, a premium, wrapped instrument panel with will be offered, with extra-wide instrument panel contours to enhance occupants’ overall sense of interior roominess. A stitched, premium, soft-touch pad is located near the driver’s right knee, for better comfort during long commutes or spirited cornering. Interior touch points have been upgraded with premium, soft-touch materials. All interior switchgear has a more refined feel during operation. The overall ambiance of roominess is further enhanced by an available full-length panoramic sunroof, allowing both front and rear passengers day or night skyward visibility.
The 2016 Tucson is longer, wider and has a longer wheelbase than the previous model for greater interior volume and versatility. Overall, cargo room has been increased to 31.0 cubic feet, a full five cubic feet over the previous model, with a dual-level rear cargo floor further enhancing cargo-carrying versatility. The rear liftgate opening has been enlarged in every dimension, for greater cargo flexibility. The 60/40 rear seatbacks have a greater range of adjustable recline for varying combinations of passengers and cargo, with an increased available recline of 37 degrees compared with 28 degrees for the previous model.
2016 Tucson powertrain offerings also have been improved with top efficiency levels as a primary target. Base models offer a Nu engine family, 2.0-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder with an estimated 164 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque, coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed automatic offers SHIFTRONIC manual shifting mode and includes an overdrive lock-up torque converter for higher fuel economy at highway speeds. Based on internal tests, fuel economy for the 2.0L FWD model is estimated at 23 (city), 31 (highway), 26 (combined). The 26-mpg combined fuel economy rating is a one-mpg improvement over the previous model. Further, powertrain NVH has been reduced through hydraulic transmission mounting and recalibrated engine mounts.
2016 Tucson will offer an advanced AWD system developed by Hyundai in conjunction with Magna Powertrain. The system includes a driver-selectable AWD lock that allows a differentiated torque split between front and rear wheels, for off-road and extremely slippery road conditions. The system also includes Active Cornering Control, which automatically transfers torque to the wheels with the most traction. The system reduces understeer and enhances cornering performance by braking the inside rear wheel and delivering more torque to the outside rear wheel, providing a torque-vectoring effect. Finally, the system incorporates both Hillstart Assist and Downhill Brake Control to assist drivers facing sharp incline or decline conditions.
The 2016 Tucson platform offers enhanced driving dynamics with more than one inch increase in width and a 1.2 inch increase in wheelbase for greater ride comfort and linear stability. The front and rear overhangs were increased in smaller proportion to this increased wheelbase, centering more of the Tucson’s mass within the wheelbase for better handling response and control. Even more, the entire Tucson chassis is more rigid, now using more than 50 percent Advanced High Strength steel compared with 18 percent for the former model. The new Tucson also benefits from strategic use of structural adhesives at higher stress points on the chassis and more extensive use of hot-stamping methods for greater rigidity. The structure also uses four-point bushing mounts for improved comfort and reduced road noise.