2019 Hyundai Tucson Gets Mild Hybrid Power, Remains Just Out of Reach

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Those Europeans seem like a scared lot. Always trying to appease their domineering rulers’ demands for greener cars, all thanks to strict mandates handed down from the central powers in Belgium.

While we’re hardly that different over here (minus that whole “union of member states” thing), Europe’s push for fuel efficiency generates technological ripples that reach this side of the Atlantic. Eventually, anyway. For the 2019 model year, European customers gain a 48-volt mild hybrid option for the refreshed Hyundai Tucson, heralding a similar setup that’s expected to land in American showrooms before too long.

Right now, Hyundai’s letting its European division handle all of this mild hybrid stuff, as it’s initially only destined for diesel powerplants. That probably won’t remain the case, as the automaker plans to develop gasoline mild hybrids with far greater market appeal.

Everything’s on the table when it comes to Hyundai’s plan to conquer America… again. There’s a 2.2-liter diesel coming to the redesigned Santa Fe. The subcompact Kona’s getting an all-electric variant. Already, there’s three flavors of electrification available in the Ioniq line, and the Sonata lets you handle its plug, too. With an onslaught of new crossovers on the way, the need to boost the entire fleet’s gas mileage makes a 48-volt system an attractive option for some models. Jeep’s already going this route.

At the very least, it’s an option Hyundai could pull out of its toolbox.

Hyundai said the mild hybrid 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder bound for the Euro-spec 2019 Tucson gains a 16 horsepower boost from its belt starter generator system, which draws power from a 0.44 kWh battery. Regenerative coasting and braking recharges the lithium-ion unit. Just recently, Kia debuted a diesel mild hybrid system bound for the European-market Sportage, though that system offers slightly less grunt under hard acceleration.

The goal for Hyundai’s engineers is to boost fuel economy by 7 percent in vehicles using the system.

[Image: Hyundai]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Bd2 Bd2 on Jun 06, 2018

    Making the 48V system the default across its line-up is a no-brainer. Not only does it help increase fuel economy/reduce CO2 emissions at a manageable cost, a larger battery is needed these days due to drain from all the latest tech. Not really feeling the subtle changes to the sheetmetal. The headlight/taillight treatment is a step back, as is the shape of the grille with that slight curvature at the lower sides; don't exactly like the modified Hyundai hexagonal grille shape, but it works better w/ the design language of the new Santa Fe (so maybe will see an improvement w/ the next Tucson). The 48V system w/ Hyundai's new Theta III 2.5L engine (in turbo form) should be enough power for most (daily) drivers.

  • Stingray65 Stingray65 on Jun 06, 2018

    Too bad the EU can't just take over the whole world and bring their social justice to all the rest of us. Step 1: tax the crap out of carbon based fuels and subsidize renewables so that consumers can enjoy energy poverty with $10 per gallon gasoline and 35 cent per Kwh electricity. Step 2: Mandate super tough fuel economy and emission regs that can only be met with micro-cars or expensive and/or unreliable technology that suck all the profits out of auto-manufacturing. Step 3: after paying high prices for cars and fuel, take 50+% of any remaining money consumers and industry has left to pay for: Step 4: the millions of 3rd world refugees with no marketable skills who sign up for the generous welfare state.

  • Lou_BC While we discuss Chinese cars, Chinese politics, and Chinese global desires, I'm looking at TTAC and Google display advertising for Chinese tires. They have nukes aimed at us but their money and products are acceptable to consumers and business?
  • TheTireWhisperer And a thankful Memorial day to all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Take some time today to realize that virtually zero soldiers had died defending your border.
  • Tassos As somebody who is NOT a stupid fanatic about EVs one way or the other:No manufacturer has built a "Better Tesla" EV yet. Most have tried, we wait for TOyota only (last hope for the Tesla haters)UNLESS a DIRT CHEAP Model 2 comes along (will never happen in the next 2 or 3 years), Do NOT expect that 7% to go to even 10%, let alone the ... 30% clueless Idiot Joe Biden voters expect. If anything, PLUG INS and HYBRIDS may, in the SHORT term, bring the 7% down.
  • Pig_Iron 💝