Hyundai arrived first to market with the world’s first production hydrogen fuel-cell crossover utility in 2013 with the Tucson Fuel Cell, and we have a good idea of what to expect from the brand’s follow-up act.
The Korean brand unveiled a lightly-disguised concept this week that previews its next fuel-cell SUV to come in 2018, which remains unnamed so far.
Hyundai has simply referred to this conceptual fuel-cell SUV as its … “Next-Generation Fuel Cell SUV.”
The brand made it clear, however, that the concept is a good look at what to expect from the production SUV that will arrive next year, and Hyundai detailed four key areas its next hydrogen vehicle will focus on.
The fuel cell system’s efficiency, performance, durability, and tank storage density received the greatest amount of attention in development, and each facet of the vehicle returns key improvements.
The fuel-cell system boasts an efficiency level 9 percent higher than the Tucson Fuel Cell through reduced hydrogen consumption.
Additionally, Hyundai targets a 580-kilometer (360-mile) range, based on Korean testing standards. A more realistic EPA range rating for the United States would likely hover around 280 miles.
As for performance, Hyundai’s next fuel-cell SUV also sports 20 percent more power with 119 kilowatts (156 horsepower).
Hyundai has also gone to great lengths to ensure the next fuel-cell SUV can also be started in below-freezing temperatures, an issue that plagued earlier prototype fuel-cell vehicles.