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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2019 hyundai tucson gets mild hybrid power remains just out of reach

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]

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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.

  • Del My father bought GM cars in the 60's, but in 1971 he gave me a used Datsun (as they were called back then), and I'm now in my 70's and am happy to say that GM has been absent from my entire adult life. This article makes me gladder than ever.
  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.