Hyundai launches new SantaFe
Seoul November 22, 2005; Hyundai Motor Co. today introduced the all-new Santa Fe sports utility vehicle. Larger, more elegant and more refined than its predecessor, the new Santa Fe sharpens Hyundai's competitiveness in the hotly-contested segment with third row seating plus an abundance of new comfort and convenience features.
Just like its predecessor which carved out a unique niche for itself, the 2006 Santa Fe blazes a new trail for Hyundai and will take our brand to the heights of refinement and confidence,Ħħ said Chairman and CEO Chung Mong-Koo.
Developed at cost of 162 billion won (US$155 million) over a period of 26 months under the CM project code-name, the new Santa Fe rides on a 2.7m-long wheelbase, 8cm longer than its predecessor. This enabled an increase of 15cm, 5.5cm and 5cm in the overall length, width and height, respectively. As a result, the cabin offers more front and rear legroom and headroom than the outgoing model.
Power options include an all-new diesel, the D-2.2 which delivers 153ps @ 4000rpm and 35kg.m of torque @ 2000rpm with the help of a Variable Geometry Turbocharger. The new diesel is coupled to an all-new five-speed transmission, with the customer being offered a selection of either manual or automatic, both fuel efficient, smooth-shifting designs. Fuel is delivered by a second generation 1600-bar common rail diesel injection system governed by a new 32-bit microprocessor (versus the predecessor's 16-bit ECU) while a variable swirl control device and electric air control valve contribute to improved combustion efficiency and lower emissions. The cylinder head features a two-layer water jacket which increases the strength of the head to permit higher combustion pressures. An electronically controlled water-cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve helps minimize emissions to comply with the latest Euro IV standards.
Santa Fe will also be offered with a choice of gasoline engines: the 2.7-liter Mu (???and for the North American market, the 3.3-liter Lambda (????both V-6s featuring all-aluminum construction. The Mu adopts Variable Valve Timing and a Variable Intake System to produce a peak output of 189ps @ 6000rpm and 25.3kg.m of maximum torque @ 4200rpm.
The 3.3 Lambda is mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox while the 2.7 Mu comes with a five-speed manual transmission as standard equipment with a four-speed automatic being optional.
Santa Fe's new electronically-controlled 4-wheel drive system automatically routes power to the wheels that have the best traction. And the driver-selectable 4WD lock provides a continuous 50/50 torque split between front and rear wheels during off-road situations.
Santa Fe's chassis was extensively revised to attain a more refined sedan-like ride, most immediately noticeable by rear seat passengers. The predecessor's double wishbone rear suspension was dropped in favor of a multi-link setup resulting in reduced noise and vibration. When the vehicle is fully loaded or pulling a trailer, an innovative self-leveling system automatically levels out the vehicle height without requiring external power. While carrying over the Macpherson strut front suspension, the caster angle was increased to improve stability while optimizing the overall strut geometry.
A nine- and ten-inch tandem booster provides ample braking power to the front and rear 16-inch discs with the front brakes being ventilated. An Anti-Lock Braking System is standard while an Electronic Stability Program further enhances safety.
In addition to the dual front airbags, Santa Fe is fitted with front seat side airbags plus curtain airbags which deploy along the entire length of the vehicle extending head protection to the third row passengers. A front passenger seat airbag cutoff switch enables the front passenger seat airbag to be deactivated in case a child seat is installed. Active headrests for the front seats are also new to the range as is a seat-mounted 3-point seat belt for the center seat passenger in the second row.
Supervision-illuminated gauge panel and dual zone climate controls for driver and front seat passenger bring a touch of luxury to the Santa Fe which second- and third-row passengers enjoy a new level of comfort thanks to a rear fan switch, B-pillar mounted adjustable vents and dual heating ducts which extend to the rear.
In a novel touch, third-row seats can be easily stowed away and fold flat into the floor. Other thoughtful design touches include power adjustable pedals, rain-sensing automatic wipers, trip computer, heated side mirrors plus a front windscreen de-icing system.
Built at the company's Ulsan plant, Hyundai is targeting 2006 sales of 60,000 Santa Fe units annually while exports are projected to reach150,000 units.
With today's Korean launch of the Santa Fe models destined for Europe and non-North American markets also go into production this month while production at the Montgomery, Alabama plant is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year
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