All-New Hyundai Model Coming, Equus to Grow, Get Turbo?

Jun 01, 2015 07:00 AM EDT | Matthew Askari

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We recently drove the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and while you should definitely check back soon for that review, there’s no shortage of interesting product news coming out of camp Hyundai. Perhaps most compelling, it appears Hyundai will add an all-new model to its lineup—and soon.

It’s already busy season for South Korea’s powerhouse, with the 2016 Hyundai Tucson arriving this summer, and sharing that new platform will be the 2017 Elantra, which we can expect to debut at the Los Angeles auto show later this year. But now, it appears that platform will be called on again, to make a production version of the Hyundai Santa Cruz concept.

Without officially confirming the Santa Cruz for production, one Hyundai product planner told us, “we’re always looking for efficiencies,” adding: “If you look at how well the Santa Cruz was received, it certainly helps make the case.” The ultimate decision would rest with Hyundai’s global headquarters, but the U.S. arm is making the business case, and is hopeful. A final decision on the compact pickup could come this summer.

And Hyundai’s halo car, the Equus, will be receiving some significant changes for the next generation. While the luxury car received a light refresh in 2014, the next Equus will grow in size. “Like much of that segment, it’s fair to say you can expect the Equus will expand,” we learned. Hyundai may be looking to further differentiate, and widen the gap between the Genesis and Equus models, which share the same platform architecture.

In addition to growing, the Equus will feature “some interesting powertrain options, in line with the industry trends.” He negated the idea of a plug-in hybrid, and said while Hyundai would love to bring a diesel engine to the U.S., the cost of converting oil-burners was thought too costly at present. While he would not confirm the makeup of the new engine, a downsized, more efficient turbo engine option is a safe bet.

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