Hyundai fuel cell SUV spotted ahead of CES reveal

New spy shots reveal a prototype FCEV being tested in Germany prior to its grand unveiling in January’s CES exhibition.

Spy shots have revealed Hyundai’s new fuel cell SUV undergoing testing in Germany ahead of its official unveiling at January’s CES exhibition.

Hyundai revealed a concept version of the unnamed SUV in August, hinting at the styling of its upcoming hydrogen powered model before it arrives early in 2018. It is expected to be significantly cheaper than the previous ix35, which was priced around £50,000 and sold in tiny numbers.

The test mule is almost identical to the FCEV, baring the same front end and unique wheel design. The same svelte, low drag shape of the concept is inherited, but introduces a modernised version of Hyundai’s latest design language, including the thin LED headlights similar to the ones seen on the new Kona. Recessed door handles are a nod towards the car’s aero efficiency credentials.

While there are no shots of the interior of the test mule, the cabin of the FCEV concept gives us a thinly veiled glimpse of what we can expect to. Dual screens behind the steering wheel and on top of the dashboard will feature.

The production car will debut Hyundai’s fourth-generation fuel cell when it goes on sale. Compared with the current set-up in the ix35, the concept’s set-up is 20 per cent lighter and nine per cent more efficient. The stack itself gets a 20 per cent power boost too, taking output up to 161bhp. Hyundai claims it’s capable of supplying a driving range of 497 miles, while a new tank layout means that the hydrogen is stored in denser capacities.

Alongside the hydrogen tech, Hyundai promises “advanced driver assistance technologies”, of which we’ll hear more about at CES when the car is unveiled.

The spy shots follow news that Hyundai is plotting to launch an electric version of the new Kona crossover in the first half of 2018, with a range of at least 242 miles. A luxury Genesis EV is touted to launch in 2021, while an unspecified long-range EV with at least 311 miles of range is also in the pipeline for 2021, along with a dedicated EV platform.

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