On the Road

Hyundai presents 2016 Tucson, i20 Cross Sport in a green setting

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AT THE launch of the all-new Hyundai Tucson and the i20 Cross Sport are (from left)  Hari chair emeritus Richard Lee, Hari vice chair Conrad Marty,  Hyundai Motor Co. export department head and senior general manager Park Jin-young, Hyundai Motor Co. Asia and Pacific Regional Headquarters director Park Sang-min and Hari president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo. photos by EUGENE ARANETA

At the launch of the all-new Hyundai Tucson and the i20 Cross Sport are (from left) Hari chair emeritus Richard Lee, Hari vice chair Conrad Marty, Hyundai Motor Co. export department head and senior general manager Park Jin-young, Hyundai Motor Co. Asia and Pacific Regional Headquarters director Park Sang-min and Hari president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo. PHOTOS BY EUGENE ARANETA

Back in 2011, Hyundai Motor Co., Korea’s largest carmaker, stunned the global automotive industry with the audacity of its fluidic sculpture design philosophy.

Last month, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (Hari), Hyundai’s official distributor in the Philippines,  continued the standard-setting tradition by presenting two of its newest offerings amid the tranquility of an audaciously green 10-hectare setting, the Hyundai Logistics Center (HLC) along the Mt. Makiling forest reserve in Calamba, Laguna.

Instead of displaying the i20 Cross Sport and the all-new 2016 Tucson in a crowded, noisy auto show, Hari chose a quiet, environmentally friendly structure that promotes sustainable development, which includes energy-efficiency, sustainability, water- and energy-efficiency, and occupant well-being.

GREEN STANDARD. As Hari president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo said at the inauguration of the HLC, “With HLC, Hari seeks to set the standard for green architecture, especially among the country’s automakers and distributors.

“HLC is Hyundai’s flagship contribution to the national agenda for sustainability. We are building a case for responsible innovation that will revolutionize the local automotive industry not only with new car models that represent new thinking in green technology, but also green operations.”

Aside from a guided tour of the HLC site, which previously housed a textile factory, the trip to Calamba was validated by a sneak peek at prototypes of the i20 Cross Sport hatchback and the all-new Tucson compact SUV, both of which will be formally launched in the market by the second semester of 2015.

Since Hari had no new offerings in 2014 except for the Grand i10 subcompact and the Grand Santa Fe midsize SUV, the arrival of the i20 Cross Sport and 2016 Tucson is highly anticipated and should boost the Hyundai brand’s chances of retaining its No. 3 rank in over-all sales this year.

Of the two, the i20 Cross Sport is totally new in the Philippine market, and thus deserves a closer look at its specs.

RETORT. Car buffs see the five-seat i20 Cross Sport as Hyundai’s retort to Ford’s EcoSport, the subcompact SUV that is enjoying high volume sales mainly due to the lack of competition.

With a 170-millimeter ground clearance, the i20 Cross Sport can tackle rough, difficult surfaces more capably than most hatchbacks and sedans.

Side moldings, claddings and a skid plate give the i20 Cross Sport an extra layer of protection and enable it to take on rough roads and even floods.

Silver-finished roof rails enhance its sporty look and can carry sports gear or other outdoor equipment.

A rear tailgate spoiler with a stop lamp not only provides excellent aerodynamics, it also contributes to safe driving.

One key advantage that the i20 Cross Sport has is the availability of a 1.4-liter U2 CRDi (common rail direct injection) WGT diesel engine (88.77 HP/4,000 rpm and 22.5 kg-m/1,500-2,750 max torque) aside from a 1.4 Kappa petrol engine (98.63 HP/6,000 rpm and 13.6 kg-m/ 3,500 rpm max torque) with Dual Multi Port Injection (MPI) and Variable Intake System (VIS).

PART of the Hyundai Logistics Center

Part of the Hyundai Logistics Center

The diesel engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, while the petrol engine is paired with either a five-speed MT or an automatic tranny.

FLUIDIC COMPOSITION. Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, projector headlamps, a hexagonal grille with chrome surrounds, cornering headlamps, a front air dam with two-tone bumper, automatically folding and unfolding side mirrors, and stylish R16 wheels compose the i20 Cross Sport’s attractive form.

Inside, a multifunction steering wheel (audio and Bluetooth remote) that is tilt and telescopic adjustable, a one-touch signal system to forewarn lane change intention, a 60:40 split rear seat that can be folded down to enlarge cargo space, storage compartments and cup holders galore, and rear air-conditioner vents are the convenient features.

For your safety, the i20 Cross Sport has an antilock braking system (ABS), dual airbags, impact-sensing door unlock, reverse parking sensors, the steering adaptive parking guideline that is a rear parking camera, a headlamp escort function to help you locate your car in a dark place, rear defogger lines, and the smart pedal that overrides the gas pedal when you step on both accelerator and brakes at the same time.

Is the i20 Cross Sport a combination of subcompact sedan and hatchback, or a hatchback, or a subcompact crossover?

At this point, it seems to be all rolled into one. Its suggested retail price range, rumored to start below P1 million, has us consumers in eager anticipation.



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