Update: Read our Hyundai ix35 review.
Hyundai is a star attraction at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show with more concepts than I had time to photograph although, this is no concept.
If you ever doubted the future of the Korean based Hyundai automotive brand, take a look inside Hall 6 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and you will get a snapshot of the future of an automotive powerhouse.
No less than three concept vehicles, and one world premiere in their stylish new SUV, the ix35, and what a great looking vehicle this is, a futuristic design for today’s drivers.
The ix-35 is a clean slate project, which replaces the ageing Tuscon, which means almost every system and major component has been designed from the ground up.
Stylistically, I was never a big fan of the Tucson, too awkward looking, I thought, but a popular choice regardless.
But no one in their right mind could say any such thing about the ix-35 design direction, with it’s superb profile, heaps of interior space, larger and more creative storage solutions, as well as class leading fuel economy.
Hyundai’s design gurus call it “fluidic” design language, with sweeping curves and a sports-like stance with the optional 225/55 R18 wheels.
Space inside the ix-35 is further enhanced with a dual-panel panoramic sunroof, which can either tilt or slide completely open.
Although, the overall height has been reduced by 20 millimetres, headroom seems unaffected due to smart cabin design.
This car is a study in ‘attention to detail’. Take the front seats, greater travel in their adjustment means more legroom for taller folks, while the centre console has been enlarged by a full 3.4 litres.
The armrest is now longer and higher for greater comfort, and there’s more space for your iPod and phone.
Without boring you with specific dimensions, I can tell you first hand that the ix35 doesn’t look like a large SUV, as it appears from the inside.
There are new engines too Hyundai has spent a small fortune developing advanced fuel efficient petrol and diesel powertrains, which may well end up best in class.
And it just gets better for prospective Hyundai buyers, with a proprietary six-speed automatic transmission with a shiftronic option for manual shifts.
It’s also lighter, smaller, and more compact than another comparable six- speed transmission on the market today. Your mechanic won’t ever need to check the transmission fluid either, not that there’s dipstick to do so, that’s good for the life of the product.
And if you really want to push the green barrow, lights will flash on an LCD screen when you need to shift gears, if you go with the manual transmission.
The six-speed auto unit uses an “ECO” icon, which is backlit by specific coloured LEDs depending on how heavy you ride the right pedal.
The ix35 should handle well too with a compact multi-link rear suspension set up, while MacPherson struts are employed up front.
No need to worry about safety either, the ix35 has a five-star rating in Euro NCAP for frontal and side impacts.
The body shell has been stiffened by extensive use of ultra-high tensile steel and noise and vibration levels are said to be class leading.
Even the rear luggage area gets additional soundproofing for reduced exhaust sound.
As a peak hour driver in hilly cities such as Sydney, you’ll appreciate both Hillstart Assist and Downhill Brake Control which help to relieve stress in a variety of traffic conditions.
The leather and switchgear which I saw in the display car was top shelf, as I suspect the standard audio unit to be, judging by what my base model i30cw Wagon long term press car is blessed with.
Other features include:
Make no mistake the ix35 will be a hit in whatever market it chooses to enter.
Hyundai Australia confirms that we should see the car here during the first half of 2010, but can’t say whether we will get both the 2WD and 4WD versions. Any version will do, thanks.