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Hyundai launches new generation Tucson, an SUV with daring aura

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By Rasheed Bisiriyu

The launch of a new look Hyundai Tucson SUV on Monday was ecstatic as many SUV enthusiasts and analysts say they are excited about the entire virtual unveiling experience.

They acknowledge that the new vehicle, a fourth generation Tucson, built for the 2022 market, evokes a combative and daring aura.

“We were excited about the virtual launch event, which took place in West Hollywood, California, on Monday,” say MSN Auto analysts.

Hyundai’s Global Chief Operating Officer José Muñoz and SangYup Lee, who runs the Hyundai Global Design Centre, spoke at the event on the new wonder machine on the wheels.

The professional surfer Sage Erickson, a Hyundai brand ambassador, made an appearance as well.

Hyundai says the 2022 Tucson will be quieter, smoother, and more fun to drive than the outgoing model.

The automaker uses more sound-deadening materials and has an acoustic windshield to reduce the wind noise from coming into the cabin.

Hybrid models use “e-handling” technology, which should improve the steering response and vehicle stability while providing a fun-driving experience.

According to Motor Trends, the new vehicle has a lot of unique things. First, it notes that in a big departure from the current styling, Hyundai sketched the fourth-generation Tucson with angled character lines and a big grille, turning the compact SUV into a distinct player in an ultra-competitive segment.

“The styling isn’t the only big change for the 2022 Hyundai Tucson, though. It’s longer, wider, and taller than the current SUV, and it will be available as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid for the first time,” it states.

Hyundai says the new car provides the automaker an opportunity to begin its next adventurous chapter and push the boundaries of efficiency a lot higher.

It says, “The entirely new look with a longer, wider body takes SUV design into more modern territory. And its complex network of sensors and cameras help keep you even safer while making driving—and parking— a lot easier.

“For the first time ever Tucson is giving you choices that push the boundaries of efficiency and performance: from the Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid to the race-inspired N Line.”

The auto news website provides other striking details about the new Tuckson SUV. For instance, it notes that the change in proportions means more space inside.

The 2022 Tucson is said to be 5.9 inches longer, 0.6 inch wider and 0.6 inch taller than the model it replaces, with its wheelbase also increasing by 3.4 inches.

This means the new Tucson is now about the same size as the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, two SUVs that have also got bigger recently.

The Tucson is the latest model to embody Hyundai’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design language, which is seen in the Sonata and Elantra sedans but until now had not made its way to an SUV.

Motor Trends also states, “One of the most striking elements is the integration of the daytime running lights into the grille, which gives the 2022 Tucson a wider, futuristic appearance.

“Taking a page from the Kona and Santa Fe designs, the headlights are nestled in the front bumper, giving the Tucson a combative face. Combined with the well-defined fender openings and sharp character lines on the hood, the Tucson has a concept-y look in pictures, but once you see it in person, it embodies a sharper style that brings a new identity to the table.” 

Interior

The new Hyundai Tucson interior is spacious. When you enter the cabin, you will be welcomed by big screens and tons of techs.

The Tucson Limited model is equipped with a 10.3-inch touchscreen, capacitive HVAC controls, ambient lighting, and another 10.3-inch screen for the instrument cluster. Lower trims get an 8.0-inch touchscreen with a 4.2-inch LCD display on the instrument cluster, but they benefit from wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, something you don’t get with the 10.3-inch touchscreen.

Sitting in the driver’s seat you get a sense of spaciousness from the cabin. The hidden air vents on the dashboard and the lack of a physical lever (say hello to push-buttons) make the cabin feel roomier.

The Limited model also uses piano black trim and cloth on the door panels that looks and feels premium while adding a bit of character to the cabin.

The bigger proportions mean more space inside. The second-row seats feel like a living room, with a whooping 41.3 inches of legroom.

Engine

It has three engine options. They are gas, hybrid and plug-in hybrid.

Tucson’s bigger 2.5-litre, four-cylinder gas engine gives you more power with an estimated 187hp and 182lb.-ft. of torque.

Tucson hybrid’s 1.6L turbocharged engine kicks out 226hp estimated total combined system power. And HTRAC All Wheel Drive comes standard.

The third option offers you electric when you want it; and gas when you need it.

Tucson plug-in hybrid’s 1.6L turbocharged engine with 13.8kWh battery power charges in just under two hours. And with standard HTRAC All Wheel Drive and all-electric drive mode, the Tucson Plug-in Hybrid is a win-win.

Those opting for the Tucson hybrid or plug-in hybrid will get a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic, an electric motor, and standard all-wheel drive.

The regular hybrid gets a 1.49-kWh battery to deliver about 226 hp and 258 lb-ft, per Hyundai’s estimates, while getting 37 mpg combined.

The plug-in hybrid uses a 13.8-kWh battery that allows the Tucson to cover about 28 miles on electric drive only before reverting to full-hybrid operation.

Power numbers rise to around 260hp and fuel economy numbers increase to about 70 mpg-e.

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Tesla driverless car explodes after crashing into tree

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Two men have died after a Tesla vehicle, which was believed to be operating without anyone in the driver’s seat, crashed into a tree on Saturday night north of Houston, authorities said.

After the fire was extinguished, authorities located two occupants in the vehicle, with one in the front passenger seat and the other in the back seat of the Tesla

The accident came amid growing scrutiny over Tesla’s semi-automated driving system following recent accidents.

The US auto safety agency said in March it had opened 27 investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles.

“There was no-one in the driver’s seat,” Sergeant Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said.

The 2019 Tesla Model S was travelling at high speed when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off the road, crashing into a tree and bursting into flames, local television station KHOU-TV said.

Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in January that he expected huge profits from the company’s full self-driving software, saying he was “highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year”.

Experts say the self-driving technology must overcome safety and regulatory hurdles to achieve commercial success.

-Reuters

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Mercedes-Benz stuns with another seven-seater crossover SUV

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A few days after Mercedes-Benz revealed what it calls the mother of all electric vehicles in the form of the sophisticated EQS luxury sedan, it has added another stunning product to the Mercedes-EQ family of cars, the EQB.

This is a seven-seater, crossover sport utility vehicle that is to the GLB-class what the EQA is to the GLA.

Car and Driver in a report quotes the premium German automaker as saying the EQB is based on the GLB crossover.

Mercedes-Benz EQ is a series of battery electric vehicles manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. The first model was previewed at the Paris Motor Show in 2016 with the Generation EQ concept vehicle.

The EQB will be launched first in China, where it debuts in a luxuriously equipped all-wheel-drive version with AMG Line styling.

Europe is to have it next in three versions: front- and all-wheel-drive models and a range-optimizing mid-level EQB.

The new vehicle will however not be released to the US market until next year.

While the sheet metal and glass are identical, the styling department under Gorden Wagener has cleaned up the exterior for a more contemporary and sophisticated look.

The front is graced by the trademark EQ headlight/fascia assembly, with a horizontal light bar stretching over the entire width.

This element is reflected on the tail end, which boasts a horizontal light strip as well.

There are EQ-specific colours and wheels, and there will be a choice of regular or AMG-Line front and rear bumpers.

The interior is carried over from the GLB as well, but it comes with EQ-exclusive color and trim options, including rose gold (pictured here), one of Wagener’s favorite colors.

Due to the battery packs in the floor, interior space suffers a bit: Daimler cautions that the third row will only work for people up to 5’5″ and the trunk shrinks considerably.

That said, the EQB is still a crossover SUV that offers more space than usual for its exterior dimensions.

The EQB was unveiled in China, and it will be launched there first as a fully loaded model with a standard AMG Line look, all-wheel drive, and two motors that make a combined 288 horsepower.

Europe will get both the EQB350 4Matic with around 268 horsepower and the front-wheel-drive EQB250 with 221 horsepower; there will also be a mid-level version designed as a long-range model. Both China and Europe will see the EQB at dealers within the 2021 calendar year.

The US will have to wait until 2022, and the company is mum about the possible powertrain options.

Car and Driver says, “What we can deduce from our experience with the EQA is that even the least powerful versions of the EQB will come in at around 4500 pounds, which we hope won’t translate into plodding, cumbersome handling characteristics, even if that would feel a bit less out of place in a people hauler like the EQB than in a compact hatch like the EQA.

“There will be no true AMG version, unlike on the EQS and the EQE. However, we’ll suspend judgment until we can drive it.”

 

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Audi to light up Auto Shanghai with new E-Tron

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Audi has released a first teaser of its new E-Tron sedan ahead of the launch of the lustrous car today April 19 at the 2021 Auto Shanghai.

But it only showed the long front end, though the company is back with a second teaser that reveals much more for the car.

The latest teaser, posted to Audi’s Weibo account, the Facebook-like Chinese social media site, shows the car in profile with dramatic shadows obscuring most of the bodywork. But a little tweaking in Photoshop reveals a bit more of the car’s styling.

One of the first things jumping out is the rear overhang, which looks oddly elongated compared to the front.

Audi will show off the car at Auto Shanghai 2021 on Monday, April 19.

However, while its reveal is imminent, the new sedan isn’t expected to go on sale until the 2023 model year, so it will be a bit before you can buy one.

It should be the first model to ride on the brand’s Premium Platform Electric architecture that Audi jointly developed with Porsche.

The teaser confirms much of what is expected – a sedan similar in size and shape to the Audi A5 Sportback.

However, the new E-Tron does look sleeker than the A5 Sportback, with a lower greenhouse and unique proportions. One can even spot the charging door on the rear quarter panel.

Elections will power the new fastback sedan, though the setup remains unclear. A single-motor model will power the rear wheels, while a dual-motor setup in higher performance trim will power all four.

It should also sport 800-volt charging and offer around 300 miles of range, though that could be less in the US with its strict testing regiment. Inside, people should expect to see a similar design to what’s in the E-Tron GT, though it will be a bit less luxurious as this new E-Tron will likely slot below the GT.

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