Hyundai is in the process of updating its popular compact crossover SUV, the Tucson. And in what is a big first for the South Korean automaker, the facelifted version of the Tucson that was unveiled to the world at this year's New York motor show in March will now be offered as a 48-volt diesel mild hybrid.
Of course, the system itself isn't exactly uncharted territory as it has also been recently announced by Kia as featuring in the facelifted new model year of the Sportage. It's therefore not much of a surprise that Kia's parent company is to put it in the Tucson that occupies the same part of the market as the Sportage.
Nevertheless, the use of a 48-volt technology is a new direction for Hyundai, which it claims will reduce the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of the Tucson by as much as seven percent.
To begin with, the only system offered with the 48-volt mild hybrid tech in the Tucson will feature the most powerful 183 bhp diesel engine that will also come with standard all-wheel drive. Consumers will be offered a choice of gearbox though, as there will be a six-speed manual or Hyundai's new eight-speed automatic available.
The electric motor used in the new system is what's being called a "Mild Hybrid Starter Generator" and it will supply up to 12 kW of additional power and be coupled to a 0.44 kWh lithium-ion battery.
Although the new system will initially be limited to just the one engine, by sometime early in 2019 Hyundai has said the 48-volt mild-hybrid technology will also be available with Tucson models equipped with the new Smart Stream 1.6-liter diesel.
At the same time as reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, the mild hybrid system will also be capable of providing the Tucson with an additional 16 bhp under acceleration, and the battery will be recharged using energy recovered from braking.
There will still be petrol versions of Hyundai's biggest-selling model, and the new Tucson is set to make its European debut in the next few weeks.