A new-look, cutting-edge model to supersede the successful Tucson, the Hyundai ix35 is designed to meet the driving requirements and dynamic lifestyles of European motorists and their families, by offering more style, more space, more equipment and new high-tech features, while its low-emissions powertrains reduce fuel consumption, improve SUV eco-credentials and demonstrate Hyundai’s respect for the environment.
What’s more, as a sign of Hyundai’s confidence in the ix35’s quality and reliability, it is the first vehicle to feature the new ‘Triple5’ assurance package: a five-year, bumper-to-bumper warranty, five years of roadside assistance, and five years of vehicle health checks.
Although the all-new ix35 has a sporty coupe-like appearance and an athletic stance, it maintains high levels of practicality with increased headroom and legroom in the five-seater cabin and a significantly larger cargo bay. Longer, wider and lower than its predecessor (by 85 mm, 20 mm and 20 mm respectively), the ix35’s wheelbase is stretched by 10 mm to 2640 mm.
With an overall footprint that is similar to many C-segment hatchbacks, the latest Hyundai SUV will have the broadest appeal to consumers, making it a rival for vehicles outside the regular compact SUV sector.
Despite the recent and ongoing global economic difficulties, Hyundai anticipates that the market for C-segment SUVs in Europe will grow by almost 10 per cent annually over the next five years as customers down-size or enjoy greater recreational time.
“Customer clinics with the ix35 in Europe have generated an overwhelmingly positive response,” comments Allan Rushforth, Vice President, Hyundai Motor Europe. “The introduction of the ix35 is a hugely important event for Hyundai. At its peak the Tucson accounted for 20 per cent of our sales in Europe and we are confident that our all-new SUV, which is completely different from its predecessor, will still appeal to all the loyal Tucson owners while also attracting thousands of new customers to our brand. Our sales target for ix35 is both ambitious and achievable: we are aiming to sell at least 50.000 units per year in Europe by 2011.”
Boldly building on Hyundai’s strong SUV heritage
Over the last 10 years, Hyundai has regularly ranked as one of the top five SUV brands in Europe. In 2000, its share of the European SUV market was 5.6 per cent and the launch of the Santa Fe, with 2WD and 4WD drivetrains, made a big impact on the market. By 2002, its share had increased to a remarkable 18 per cent, thanks to a strong product range and growing customer acceptance of the brand.
Since then Hyundai has developed class-leading SUVs, such as Tucson and upgraded Santa Fe – both of which have played a major role in consolidating Hyundai’s SUV success. Their appealing design, strong performance and good value for money have helped to raise brand awareness, with each taking a significant proportion of sales in their respective segments.
The Tucson has been a top-10 selling SUV in the C-segment since its launch in 2004. At its peak, it sold 63.000 units annually across Europe – an incredible 20 per cent of total sales in that segment.
Hyundai’s expertise in this sector is well established. Now, it is looking to fulfil the demands of changing customer needs in the decade ahead. Demand for SUVs has shifted in recent years – buyers are moving away from high-power, high-cost SUVs in favour of more efficient models which retain their practicality. But they still seek a distinctive personality, style and flair in their chosen vehicles.
Hyundai has responded to these changes in demand by taking a completely fresh look at vehicle design and applying innovative engineering to its powertrains. The result will be a range of even more desirable vehicles with reduced fuel consumption and improved eco-credentials.
Designed, developed and manufactured in Europe
Designed and developed at Hyundai’s R&D center in Rüsselsheim, the sleek new ix35 adopts Hyundai’s new ‘fluidic sculpture’ form language. Previewed on the 2009 ix-onic show car, the design concept brings together three qualities: refinement, confidence and dynamism.
Refinement is conveyed by the ix35’s sweeping, distinctive lines and a poised stance. Confidence comes from the unique and aggressive ‘double-Z’ lines on the flanks, and a boldness in the vehicle’s details. Dynamism is projected by the ix35’s low profile and its smoothly integrated rear spoiler.
These three qualities are accentuated in the ix35 package by a new design feature which will become unmistakably Hyundai: the hexagonal front grille, a key visual element of the brand’s new European family ‘look’.
The fluidic design theme continues inside, with neat styling touches reflecting the dynamic flow of the exterior. Hyundai’s European designers have sculpted the interior space to provide extra legroom and headroom for superior comfort, while accommodating more luggage and raising equipment specifications.
Maximizing the ix35’s appeal to ‘old’ and new customers
Manufactured in Europe, the new ix35 will be available with a choice of four engines (two petrol and two diesel, covering a power spread of 115HP to 184HP), manual and automatic transmissions and two-wheel or four-wheel drive. A total of nine different versions of ix35 will be produced, but the model range presented to customers may vary country-by-country across Europe to suit local requirements and preferences.
Three of the engines are new – the R 2.0 and U2 1.7 diesels and the GDI version of Hyundai’s popular 1.6 Gamma petrol engine. Fuel-stretching ISG (Integrated Stop & Go) technology will become available on the smaller diesel and gasoline engines, while in some markets, the larger diesel engine (2-litre) will also be offered as a ‘lower-power’ version with 136HP.
All ix35 models feature optimized fuel economy and reduced emissions, with a new alternator management system that eliminates drag on the engine; a driving aid to encourage economical (fuel-saving) motoring; a rear spoiler that reduces aerodynamic drag; and low-rolling resistance Silica compound tyres. When fitted with ISG, the ix35’s CO2 ratings will be as low as 139 g/km (1.7 diesel) and 149 g/km (1.6 GDI petrol). Across the range the new vehicles will demonstrate significant improvements over the previous Tucson models.
Highlighting the ix35 line-up’s ability to meet the needs of the broadest range of customers, it will be available with four equipment levels (compared with two for Tucson), called Classic, Comfort, Style and Premium. Buyers will be able to choose from nine exterior and three interior colours, with leather upholstery and trim available as an option on the top three equipment grades.
Creating a safer environment
New ‘active’ safety features, fitted as standard in most countries, include ESP (Electronic Stability Program), a new Rollover Sensor (that deploys the side airbags, curtain airbags and seatbelt pretensioners when required), Hillstart Assist Control (to prevent roll-back when starting on an incline) and Downhill Brake Control (to severely limit speed during a steep descent).
A new rear-view safety camera is an option on all models to reduce the risk of accidents while reversing. Mounted in the tailgate, the camera is activated whenever reverse gear is selected and transmits an image which is shown on an LCD colour display integrated into the interior rear-view mirror.
The new ix35 range will begin to appear in the 2350 Hyundai dealer showrooms across Europe during the spring. Together with the upgraded Santa Fe, ix35 will consolidate Hyundai’s position as one of the top SUV brands in Europe, while playing a significant role in boosting sales, enhancing brand awareness and raising the company’s market share.