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Hyundai electric SUV boasts 497-mile range

Close to production model to head bold Electric Vehicle programme.

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Hyundai has unveiled an almost production-ready fuel cell SUV, with a potential all-electric range of 497 miles.

The as-yet unnamed hydrogen-powered car was revealed at a preview event in Seoul, South Korea, ahead of its official launch early in 2018. It is the brand’s second commercial fuel cell vehicle and represents the fourth generation of Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Four major strategies governed the design of the new vehicle. The fuel cell system is 9% more efficient than the version in its ix35 Fuel Cell predecessor. Maximum power output of 163hp is 20% better than the ix35 version and with better cold starting. The system is more durable and the hydrogen storage tanks improved in density, using three equal-sized tanks instead of two of different sizes.

Water-inspired design

The look of the new vehicle is evolved from the FE Concept, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017. A ‘clean’ visual profile is inspired by water – the only emission of hydrogen vehicles – and includes several low-drag elements such as flush door handles.

The newcomer is expected to head up the brand’s development programme for low-emission vehicles, with 31 eco-friendly models due to introduced across the global Hyundai and Kia ranges by 2020. Hyundai will launch an electric version of its Kona SUV, with a range of 240 miles, in the first half of 2018, a Genesis EV in 2021 and a long-range EV capable of 310 miles after 2021.

The finished version of the new vehicle will be revealed in Korea early in 2018, but its name will be unveiled alongside a number of new driver assistance technologies at the CES global consumer electronics and technology show in Las Vegas, USA in January.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.