Hyundai teases next-generation hydrogen vehicle ahead of launch

It’s only been three years since Hyundai showed Canadians that a production hydrogen-powered passenger vehicle is viable with the Tucson FCEV crossover, but the Korean automaker has already shared some details of its next attempt at the genre.  

The gasoline-free SUV doesn’t yet have a name, as the launch won’t be until a few months into 2018. The styling has clearly been influenced by the smooth and organic-looking FE concept shown last March during the Geneva Motor Show. The same understated and flowing organic body lines are there, and indeed Hyundai says the “pure and serene” design is inspired by nature, or more specifically, water, the model’s only by-product. Unique styling elements like the flush door handles and contoured two-piece wheels are all purposeful to minimize drag and increase aerodynamics.

Powertrain specifics aren’t yet available, but we know the fuel cell efficiency has been increased nine per cent now yielding an estimated driving range of over 580 kilometres. Output gains a boost by an impressive 20 per cent, to 161 horsepower. Cold start capability is improved as well, and this forthcoming example can fire up at temperatures as low as -30 C.

“With exceptional efficiency, serene styling, and uncompromised performance, our next generation fuel cell SUV is the true epitome of an eco-friendly vehicle of the future,” said Lee Ki-sang, senior vice president of Hyundai Motor Group’s Eco Technology Center. “Hyundai Motor will take the lead in developing and producing green energy vehicles that would ultimately complement a near-zero emission society.”

The clean crossover is part of the manufacturer’s plan of releasing a total of 31 eco-friendly products (electric, hybrid and fuel cell) — between itself and Kia — to market by 2020. For example, the compact Kona SUV will be offered in EV form next year featuring a range of 390 kilometres.

More information, including the offical name, is expected to be revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights