The new ix35, revealed at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, is a “C-SUV” by Hyundai’s definition—presumably short for Crossover SUV. Or it could mean C-segment, as its compact outer dimensions of 4410-mm (173.6-in) length, 1820-mm (71.65-in) width, and 1660-mm (65.36-in) height on a 2660-mm (104.7-in) wheelbase may suggest. It is a dynamically shaped vehicle running comfortably among the recent crop of more expensive and bigger CCUVs, the extra ‘C’ in this case standing for “coupe-like.
The ix35 represents Hyundai’s dramatic leap into the global design arena, with four major design studios in strategic and auto-artistic locations brimming with motivated and ambitious designers from around the world.
The CUV will retain the name Tucson, with the “ix” suffix, in the U.S.
The ix’s underpinnings are thoroughly modern and purpose-developed with all-independent suspension. For Europe, a number of engine choices are offered, including the new transversely mounted R inline four-cylinder turbodiesel of 2.0-L displacement. It employs technologies including dual overhead camshafts and a Bosch common-rail piezo injector system.
The R-powered ix meets Euro 5 emissions standards. Two gasoline engines are offered in Western Europe: the Theta-II 2.0-L inline four equipped with dual continuously variable valve timing. The U.S. Tucson ix will run with Theta-II gasoline engines in 2.0- and 2.4-L displacements. (The Theta II program was initiated as the World Engine in a partnership with Chrysler and Mitsubishi.) Hyundai plans to add the Gamma GDI 1.6-L from November 2010.
The ix35 benefits from a new six-speed automatic transmission.
Also at the Frankfurt show, Sandy Hartono of the global design team based at the design center in Namyang, South Korea, introduced the team’s fifth concept car. It is called ix-Metro, targeting young European urbanites. Hartono’s boss, Rogelio Flores, Chief Designer of the project, said, “We wanted the ix-Metro to be something out of this world,” taking inspiration from NASA and Sci-Fi movies.
The ix-Metro powertrain is all eco-business. The inline three-cylinder engine displaces just one liter. With direct fuel injection and turbocharging, it generates 92 kW (123 hp) at 6000 rpm. The vehicle is nudged by a 5-kW starter assist motor with regenerated electric energy stored in an ultracapacitor and a 12-V battery. A six-speed dual-clutch transmission is employed.
The Global Design Team plans to keep the 2+2 coupe’s weight to 950 kg (2094 lb).
Frankfurt was the first stop for the Elantra LPI Hybrid’s around-the-world road show. The car went on sale in Korea in July this year. Hyundai claims it is the first production hybrid to use liquid petroleum gas and to employ a lithium-ion polymer battery pack. LPG-fueled vehicles are popular in Korea. For the same amount of money expended for the liter of gasoline that takes the Elantra 1.6-L gasoline version 10 km (6.2 mi), LPG takes the Elantra LPG Hybrid 39 km (24 mi), according to Hyundai.
The vehicle is a straightforward Elantra four-door sedan powered by the Gamma inline four-cylinder 1.6-L engine of 115-PS (113-hp) output, combined with a hybrid system employing a steel belt CVT with a wet-clutch start-up device.
Another Hyundai world premier of technological significance was the i10 Electric, a small pure electric car based on the manufacturer’s four-door hatchback mini that is sold in India with a conventional powertrain. Hyundai envisions launching series production of the car in 2010, first in Korea.
The i10 Electric will employ a lithium-polymer battery pack. This type of battery is widely used in home and business appliances such as laptops, cell phones, and portable music players. The advanced Li-poly batteries for cars are more durable and space-efficient. And unlike the cylindrical or prismatic cells of nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) and lithium-ion types, the polymer laminate battery is said to be lighter in weight and more malleable. Compared with NiMH types, Li-poly batteries deliver the same power with 30% less weight, 40% less volume, and 12% greater efficiency, according to Hyundai. They also hold their charge 20 times longer and are more resistant to changes in temperature, Hyundai says.
Compared to Li-ion technology, Li-poly possesses higher energy density and lower manufacturing costs, in addition to being more resistant to physical damage, according to Hyundai.
The Elantra LPG Hybrid already employs this battery type, taking the honor of “world’s first series production car” so equipped, the company says.
The i10 Electric is 3565 mm (140.4 in) long, 1595 mm (62.80 in) wide, 1550 mm (61.02 in) tall, and 1000 kg (2200 lb) in mass. Powered by a 49-kW synchronous motor, fed by the Li-poly pack at 36-V system voltage, the car has a range of 160 km (100 mi) and attains a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph). The battery pack can be brought to 100% state-of-charge in 5 h on a normal 220-V cycle or to 85% SOC in 15 min by a dedicated 413-V rapid-charge system.