New Tucson is lighter, loses V6

  • 23-Feb-2010 06:11 EST
2010 Tucson.JPG
The 2010 Tucson features a number of Hyundai firsts, including standard hill-start assist control (to minimize backward roll on steep grades) and downhill brake control (to help maintain vehicle control and speed on steep descents).

First-for-Hyundai technologies and other changes on the all-new 2010 Tucson mean a lighter weight, more fuel-efficient crossover utility vehicle than its predecessor.

Hyundai's Frankfurt, Germany, design studio and technical center took the lead role in a project involving design groups at facilities in the U.S., South Korea, and Europe. Developed as an "urban cruiser," the new vehicle has an overall length of 173.2 in (4399 mm) and a width of 71.7 in (1820 mm), which is 3 in (76 mm) longer and 1 in (25 mm) wider than the prior model.

Compared to the previous-generation Tucson, the 2010 vehicle is a significant 61 lb (28 kg) lighter. When fitted with the new A6MF1 six-speed automatic transmission (featured recently on AEI Online), the front-wheel-drive version has a mass of 3203 lb (1453 kg).

In addition to a reduced curb weight, several changes had a positive effect on fuel economy. The Theta II 2.4-L, four-cylinder engine replaces a 2.0-L four-cylinder and a 2.7-L V6. When compared to the 2009 Tucson's V6, the new engine provides a 2.9 mpg improvement.

Replacing the previous four-speed automatic with a new six-speed automatic transmission netted a mpg improvement of 0.34. Other changes and the corresponding mpg result: electric power steering (0.84); higher silica tires (0.43); alternator management system (0.19); and automatic transmission fluid warmer (0.12).

In a FWD configuration with automatic transmission, the 2010 Tucson has estimated mpg of 23 city and 31 highway compared to 20 city and 25 highway for the 2009 FWD Tucson with four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission.

The new Tucson's exterior shape netted a 0.37 Cd vs. the previous model's 0.39 Cd. Aerodynamic alterations on the 2010 CUV include the addition of a rear spoiler, revised windshield rake, an undercover for the engine, and 8 x 8 in (200 x 200 mm) wheel deflectors. "This is the first Hyundai CUV to have wheel deflectors," said Michael Nino, Manager of Product Planning for Hyundai Motor America, during a January media briefing at the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center in southeast Michigan.

Various mounting points, including those for the front strut and the rear trailing arm suspensions, were redesigned as part of an engineering effort to reduce road noise. "Sound quality improvements addressed several areas, including the addition of a sound-proofing wall on the rear quarter panel and A-, B-, and C-pillar foam," said Nino.

The second-generation Tucson's front independent MacPherson-strut suspension includes a unique stabilizer bar. "The wall thickness of the 25-mm hollow stabilizer bar provides strength and weight savings vs. the previous 21-mm solid stabilizer bar," said Nino.

Tucson's hollow stabilizer bar is a Hyundai-first as is the crossover utility's optional panoramic sunroof. The sunroof is fixed-in-place above rear-seat occupants, while the sunroof above the front-seat occupants tilts and slides.

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