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2009 LA Auto Show: All-new Hyundai Tucson Delivers Better Fuel Economy and More Power

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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3, 2009; In 2010, a revolutionary new Tucson joins the rapidly evolving Hyundai product line. The sleek crossover from Hyundai, with its athletic European design, strikes a stark contrast from its predecessor and improves in every functional area, from its roomier cabin with extra cargo space to its leap in fuel economy and technology. Tucson features the company's "Fluidic Sculpture" design language and is the first vehicle in Hyundai's 24/7 version 2.0 product initiative (seven all-new models by the end of 2011).

The all-new Tucson is the first Hyundai CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) to be designed and engineered in Europe at Hyundai's Frankfurt-based design and technical centers. It features precedent-setting engineering including advanced weight saving technology and the eco-efficient Theta II 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivering up to 31 mpg on the highway. True to Hyundai form, the Tucson applies life-saving safety technologies as standard equipment while offering, for the first time, Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and Hillstart Assist Control (HAC). Likewise, to keep its passengers informed and comfortable Tucson integrates Hyundai's first panoramic sunroof, touch-screen navigation and a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system.

European Design

Key attributes of Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy are the athleticism and sophistication that Tucson demonstrates through its flowing lines, full surfaces and muscular presence. This athletic design language is highlighted by bold, dynamic graphic elements such as the new Hyundai family hexagonal front grille, aggressive lower air intake, sculptured hood creases, swept back headlights, sleek greenhouse and wraparound taillights. Chrome grille accents and door handles lend sophistication to the top-of-the-line Tucson Limited.

Conceived in a global collaboration among Hyundai's U.S., Korean and European advanced product groups, with design execution led by the Frankfurt studio, the new Tucson was developed as an urban cruiser. It is tough and compact for life in the city, yet sleek and agile for out-of-town travel.

2010 Tucson 61 Pounds lighter than the outgoing model despite being three inches longer

 --The 2010 Tucson is 3.3 inches longer and one inch wider than its
      predecessor, yet 61 pounds lighter
 --2010 Tucson has a longer wheelbase and overall width than CR-V, Escape
      and Forester to deliver more packing efficiency
  --  Body stiffness is 38 percent greater than Rogue

World-class weight efficiency was one of the program targets for the Tucson engineering team. In fact, the 2010 Tucson leads all of its competitors in weight efficiency. Hyundai engineers also targeted leadership in power-to-weight ratio. Having these targets paid huge dividends in both performance and fuel economy.

                     Curb Weight                 Power-to-weight
  Vehicle              (lbs.)      Horsepower         ratio
  -------           -----------    ----------    ---------------
  Hyundai Tucson        3,203         176             18.20
  --------------        -----         ---             -----
  Honda CR-V            3,386         180             18.82
  ----------            -----         ---             -----
  Toyota RAV4           3,360         179             18.77
  -----------           -----         ---             -----
   Forester             3,250         170             19.12
  ---------             -----         ---             -----
  Nissan Rogue          3,267         170             19.22
  ------------          -----         ---             -----
  Ford Escape           3,390         171             19.83
  -----------           -----         ---             -----

The Tucson's widespread use of high-strength steel provides increased strength at a lower body weight. High-strength steel allows the four-wheel independent suspension to work optimally. At 3,203 pounds for an automatic transmission model, the Tucson is lighter than its competitors, while offering more interior room than Rogue and Escape, with body-bending rigidity 38 percent higher than the Rogue. The Tucson owes its 31 mpg estimated EPA highway rating to its weight efficient unibody architecture.


The 2010 Tucson's athletic shape is now complemented with more agile handling, responsive steering and improved body roll control. These enhancements make the new Tucson more fun-to-drive. Tucson uses MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems for more precise wheel control and a smoother ride. All four wheels are controlled by coil springs and fade-resistant gas-charged dampers. Stabilizer bar diameters have also increased. The front suspension now has a new 25 mm hollow stabilizer bar to save weight versus the predecessors 21 mm solid stabilizer bar. The rear suspension has a new 18 mm solid stabilizer bar versus the predecessors 14 mm stabilizer bar. Larger stabilizer bars keep the vehicle very flat during cornering and help provide quick turn-in response.

Rack-and-pinion Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS) also contributes to the Tucson's nimble and refined handling dynamics while saving fuel and reducing interior noise.

Due to the suspension geometry and wider track width that enables greater turn angles, Tucson's turning circle is 34.7 feet - an advantage Tucson drivers will appreciate in their daily driving and parking. In fact, Tucson's turning diameter bests Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

  Vehicle                  diameter
  -------                  --------
  2010 Hyundai Tucson        34.7
  -------------------        ----
  2009 Toyota RAV4           34.8
  ----------------           ----
  2009 Hyundai Tucson        35.4
  -------------------        ----
  2009 Jeep Patriot          36.6
  -----------------          ----
  2009 Ford Escape           36.7
  ----------------           ----
  2009 Nissan Rogue          37.4
  -----------------          ----
  2009 Honda CR-V            37.8
  ---------------            ----


The Tucson was engineered to be more fuel efficient than its predecessor and chief competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The 2010 Tucson accomplishes this while being 3.3 inches longer and one inch wider than its predecessor and having a longer wheelbase than Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Subaru Forester

Tucson features the Theta II 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine. The Theta II engine delivers about the same amount of power and acceleration as its predecessor's V6 engine with 20 percent better fuel economy than the old four-cylinder engine. In fact, the Tucson is more fuel-efficient than Honda CRV, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape four-cylinder engines boasting an impressive estimated 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway fuel economy rating with the available six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® and front wheel drive. Tucson features low rolling resistance silica tires to contribute to the 31 mpg highway. With AWD (All-Wheel Drive), Tucson delivers an estimated 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway exceeding the primary competitors AWD versions including Subaru Forester.

The Theta II is rated at 176 horsepower (26 percent more than its predecessor) and 168 lb.-ft. of torque. This high-tech, all-aluminum, 16-valve engine features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on both camshafts and a Variable Induction System (VIS) for better engine breathing. In the green states, the 2010 Tucson is certified as a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) which means it is as clean as a hybrid.

Powertrain Comparison

                    2010      2010      2010      2010      2010      2010
                   Tucson     CR-V     Rogue      RAV4     Escape   Forester
                   ------     ----     -----      ----     ------   --------
  Displacement      2.4L      2.4L      2.5L      2.5L      2.5L      2.5L
  ------------      ----      ----      ----      ----      ----      ----
  Horsepower      176@6000  180@6800  170@6000  179@6000  171@6000  170@6000
  ----------      --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
  Torque (lb.-ft.)168@4000  161@4400  175@4400  172@4000  171@4500  170@4400
  --------------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------
  A/T             6-speed    5-speed     CVT     4-speed   6-speed   4-speed
  ---             -------    -------     ---     -------   -------   -------
  EPA Fuel
   economy         23/31      21/28     22/27     22/28     21/28     20/26
   FWD A/T                                                            (4WD)
  --------         -----      -----     -----     -----     -----     -----
  Emissions      PZEV/ULEV    ULEV    PZEV/LEV    ULEV       LEV    PZEV/LEV
  ---------      ---------    ----    --------    ----       ---    --------


Hyundai's commitment to making the Tucson extremely fuel efficient continues with a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual control or a standard six-speed manual transaxle. Hyundai's all-new six-speed automatic transaxle helps the company meet its goals of improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. Shifts are silky-smooth with an option of manual control through the SHIFTRONIC feature. Designed for transverse engine applications in passenger cars and SUVs, the new compact transmission puts Hyundai into an elite class of auto manufacturers who have designed their own proprietary six-speed automatic transmissions. The strength of the design is its unique layout which makes it smaller, more compact and lighter than any other six-speed on the market today.

For the customer, the new six-speed delivers a performance edge. In this application (FWD/A/T), it helps bring a 24 percent gain in highway fuel economy (31 mpg versus 25 mpg in the '09).

Developed over a four-year period, this new six-speed automatic is 26.4 pounds lighter than Hyundai's five-speed. It also is 1.6 inches shorter and considerably simpler having 62 fewer parts, which is a key to increased durability, lighter weight and lower cost.

CAPABLE FOR OUT-OF-TOWN TRAVEL To make the Tucson even more versatile, Hyundai engineers added an advanced electronic AWD system designed by JTEKT. The AWD system will automatically activate under any driving condition when needed, distributing the power equally and optimizing driving performance. Under normal driving, the system only distributes power to the front wheels thereby reducing fuel consumption. The system includes a driver-selectable AWD lock allowing for a 50/50 torque split between the front and rear wheels for off-road and very slippery conditions.

For even more driver control, the 2010 Tucson features Hyundai's first Hillstart Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC). HAC is designed to minimize rolling backwards on steep ascents. By selecting the DBC switch, the Hydro-Electronic Control unit manages the wheel speed sensors, steering angle sensor and acceleration sensor to maintain control and speed on steep declines without having to use the brake.

Thoughtful Interior Design

The long wheelbase and generous width of the Tucson, combined with Hyundai's expertise in interior packaging, have produced an interior that delivers class-leading rear legroom and improved headroom. These improvements were accomplished while lowering the overall height of the vehicle. The Tucson now has more passenger volume than Rogue and Escape at 101.9 cubic feet. Tucson's cargo capacity is 13 percent greater than its predecessor. In fact, Tucson has more interior volume than Acura RDX, and more cargo volume than Infiniti FX. The spacious cabin on Tucson Limited is further enhanced for all passengers by Hyundai's first available panoramic sunroof with UV blocking. Finally, with the extra wheelbase length, Hyundai engineers were able to expand front seat tracks allowing taller drivers a comfortable seating position.

The high-tech cockpit comes standard with Hyundai's signature blue lighting, power windows, power door locks, fold-away mirrors and remote keyless entry with alarm and panic button. Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition and steering wheel audio and cruise controls are also available. Another premium feature in the Tucson Limited is a CleanAir Ionizer that automatically cleans the air when the heater or air conditioner is running.

Audiophiles will love Tucson's 160-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers. This system includes XM Satellite Radio® and iPod®/USB auxiliary inputs as standard equipment.

The 2010 Tucson can be further upgraded with an optional navigation system with rearview camera. Shifting into reverse automatically turns on the rear-view camera that provides a wide-angle view reducing the risk of accidents. This navigation system also provides Bluetooth streaming audio capability. This easy-to-use unit can be controlled via a 6.5-inch LCD touch-screen or voice-activation by headliner-mounted microphone. The voice recognition allows the user to control the navigation system, audio system and phone commands. The system comes matched with the 360-watt premium audio system that includes an external amplifier and subwoofer. It plays compact discs, accesses digital music files employing Bluetooth streaming audio or allows driver and passenger to access their personal listening devices through the iPod/USB/auxiliary inputs. Bluetooth audio wirelessly streams music from a phone to the audio system. And with a Bluetooth-enabled phone, a local restaurant can be called for reservations before plotting the route.

Advanced Standard Safety Technologies: PART OF HYUNDAI'S ASSURANCE COMMITMENT

The 2005 Tucson was the first Hyundai model to feature standard ESC (Electronic Stability Control) upon its launch in fall 2004. It was also the first vehicle under $20,000 with standard ESC and six airbags. The Tucson started Hyundai's approach to combining state-of-the-art safety and affordability and this approach lives on in the 2010 Tucson. The Tucson is loaded with life-saving standard safety features including ESC with traction control, six airbags and active front head restraints. Its braking system features four-wheel disc brakes controlled by an advanced four-channel ABS with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).

Tucson's standard front-seat active head restraints help prevent whiplash by automatically reducing the space between a front occupant's head and the head restraint during certain rear collisions and are highly recommended by safety organizations such as the IIHS.

A total of six airbags are positioned in the Tucson's interior. Dual advanced frontal airbags are complemented by front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags with new rollover sensors that cover both the front and rear seat rows.


Mass production of the Tucson started at the Ulsan factory for the United States market in October 2009 with sales starting in December 2009.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 790 dealerships nationwide.