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24 Oct 2006 | International News :


Seoul, Korea - Superlative performance and utility meet uncompromising luxury in Veracruz, the new seven-seat sports utility vehicle from Hyundai Motor Co. Richly appointed in standard comfort and convenience features, Veracruz is positioned as a "luxury utility vehicle" and is certain to emerge as a tough new challenger to the established leaders in the segment.

Developed under the EN project codename over a 26 month-long period at a cost of 222.9 billion won (approximately $222 million), Veracruz raises the bar for performance, refinement and most importantly of all, enjoyment. With an aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.35 that rivals the best in the business, its sleek and elegant body was styled at the company's California Design and Research Center in Irvine to ensure maximum appeal in the United States, the most competitive automotive marketplace in the world.

S-Engine

A vehicle as important as Veracruz was deserving of an up-to-date and exciting powertrain and that's exactly what Hyundai engineers delivered in the S-Engine which incorporates a number of important technological firsts for Hyundai:
Hyundai&aucte;s first-ever V6 Diesel
First use of compacted graphite iron cylinder block
First application of piezoelectric fuel injectors
First application of a six-speed automatic gearbox
Electronically controlled semi-active engine mounts


Developed at Hyundai's Powertrain R&D Center in Namyang over a period of 49 months at a cost of 233.2 billion won (approx $233 million), the S-engine sets new standards of refinement and performance for a diesel with its maximum output of 240ps at 3800rpm and 46kg.m of peak torque in the 1700~3500rpm range, figures which equal if not better the best V6 diesels today.

With a bore and stroke of 84mm/89mm and a compression ratio of 17.3:1, the S-engine's six cylinders displace 2,959cc and are banked at 60 degrees, the optimal angle to minimize vibrations in a V6. Leading the list of refinements is the selection of Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) for the cylinder block. Manufactured with SinterCast technology, the CGI block is lighter and quieter than conventional grey cast iron and demonstrates at least 80 percent higher tensile strength, 45 percent higher stiffness and approximately double the fatigue strength of iron and aluminum thus allowing Hyundai engine designers to improve performance, fuel economy and durability while reducing emissions to meet the very latest Euro IV regulations.

The S-Engine breathes through an all-aluminum head fitted with 24 valves in a dual overhead configuration and incorporating hydraulic valve lash adjusters while fuel is delivered by a second-generation common rail injection system featuring 1600-bar piezoelectric injectors. The rapid switching high-pressure injectors rely on newly developed piezoelectric actuation technology specifically tuned to the new combustion process. Piezoelectric injectors allow finer atomization of the fuel ensuring more efficient combustion and enabling more fuel to be injected into the combustion chamber in a shorter time than would be possible with conventional solenoid injectors.

S-Engine turbocharging is accomplished with an electronically controlled variable geometry system. A serpentine belt and steel timing chain lowers noise while raising overall durability and operating precision. An Electronic Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve helps control the engine's emission of nitrous oxides by reducing combustion temperature.

3.8L Lambda Engine

The Lambda engine, applied to Hyundai's luxury sedan Azera/Grandeur, features all-aluminum construction, a variable swirl intake system which optimizes fuel combustion under different engine loads, dual overhead camshafts with Continuously Variable Valve Timing and Mechanical Valve Lash Adjusters for a more compact head design, a crankcase balance shaft for reduced noise and vibration, a maintenance-free steel timing chain plus a single auto-tensioning serpentine belt for driving the water, power steering pumps and other auxiliary systems. The Lambda 3.8L has a maximum horsepower rating of 260ps at 6000rpm (264ps in North American spec) and at 4500rpm delivers 35.5kg.m of peak torque.

To reduce vibration, both the diesel and gasoline engines ride on newly developed semi-active engine mounts consisting of three passive mounts integrated with controllable elements, rpm sensors and solenoid valves. By harnessing engine exhaust gases, the mounts create a dynamic response which offsets engine vibrations. The result is 5~10dB drop in idling vibration and a 3dB drop in noise. The merits of the system are also appreciated when Veracruz is in motion as it helps lower gear shift shock and improves overall shift quality.

Hyundai's First Six-Speed Automatic Transmission

Both the S-engine and the 3.8-Liter Lambda gasoline engine are mated to an Aisin six-speed automatic gearbox Hyundai's first ever six-speed transmission which adopts the Lepelletier gear architecture and an integrated Transmission Control Unit for even finer shift quality. For clutchless manual-style shifting, the popular Shiftronic feature is also included. As the Aisin unit is fully sealed and filled with a long-life automatic transmission fluid, engineers have eliminated the automatic transmission fluid dipstick thus relieving owners of the duty to periodically check ATF levels.

Safety

The advanced performance naturally extends into the realm of safety where standard features include advanced dual front supplemental restraint systems augmented by dual side air bags for the two front seating positions and curtain airbags which extend along the full length of the cabin to the third row passenger seats. Stopping power is provided by nine- plus ten-inch tandem brake booster connected to 17- and 16-inch front/rear discs. Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Vehicle Dynamic Control (Electronic Stability System), Traction Control are provided as standard equipment and ensure maximum braking force and directional stability even under the most adverse road and driving conditions. Active head restraints, a safety optimized steel unibody, LED-type tail lamps and high intensity discharge Xenon headlamps round out the total safety package.


4WD Capability

To deliver maximum traction regardless of weather and road surface conditions, the torque-on-demand 4WD system automatically apportions power between the front and rear axles through a multi-plate clutch. The driver-selectable 4WD Lock Mode puts Veracruz into full-time four wheel drive and is used for climbing or descending sharp grades, driving off-road or over sandy and muddy surfaces where maximum traction is demanded. At speeds above 30 km/h (19 mph), this mode begins to automatically deactivate and shifts to 4WD AUTO mode at speeds above 40 km/h (25 mph). If the vehicle decelerates to speeds below 30 km/h (19 mph), however, the transfer case automatically shifts back to 4WD LOCK mode again.

The LUV's solid offroad credentials are evidenced by its ability to climb grades of up to 35.5 degrees (S-Engine 7-seater), its ground clearance of 205mm, approach angle of 24.8 degrees, departure angle of 22.7 degrees and ramp breakover angle of 17.9 degrees.

NVH

Because silence is golden, virtually every part and component of the Veracruz have been carefully scrutinized for impact on Noise, Vibration and Handling (NVH). The dash design features a new multi-curved structure with cross-shaped reinforcement to better shield the cabin against noise intrusions from the engine bay. Underneath the floor pan, the main drive shaft receives its power through an innovative pillow-type tripod joint which helps absorb vibration and shuddering during idling.

And with the application of foam padded doors, electronically controlled semi-active engine mounts, quadruple-layer floor carpeting, a hood insulation pad and a noise abatement shield covering the engine under-carriage, Veracruz matches or betters its Japanese, European and US rivals in the NVH department to deliver a stunningly quiet and peaceful driving experience.

Chassis

In the ride and handling department, Veracruz engineers aimed for the ride of a luxury sedan: supple and smooth throughout. To achieve this gold standard, they specified a MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and reverse L-shaped lower arms that are optimally positioned to provide superior steering sensitivity and improved dynamic control. Gas shock absorbers and enlarged sub-frame bushes play important contributing roles in improving comfort and suspension feel. Finally, the increased caster angle translates to improved stability and all around handling performance.

In the rear, a multi-link system fitted with independent coil springs contributes to a stabler ride and better handling characteristics with solid resistance to lateral forces and improved roll efficiency while reducing NVH in all major areas through its optimized structure. Gas shock absorbers, enlarged sub-frame bushings, a stiffer body and improvements in the suspension geometry all contribute to the improvement in ride comfort and handling characteristics. helps isolate the cabin from road harshness for better ride comfort.

Finally, an enhanced self-leveling system automatically controls the vehicle's rear height to adjust to changes in load or weight distribution whether the vehicle is fully loaded or pulling a trailer. And with a turn radius of just 5.6m, Veracruz proves more agile in a tight spot than its rivals.

Comfort and Convenience

Aiming higher than ever, Hyundai's newest flagship boasts the finest craftsmanship and materials. Third row seats feature a 50:50 split and fold-into-the-floor HideawayTM functionality plus they are just a simple step away thanks to a handy walk-in device fitted on the second row seats which slide forward to permit easy entry and egress for the third row passengers.

Generous cabin dimensions have endowed Veracruz with 2457/1133 liters of cargo space (1st/2nd rows), SAE standard. By VDA 211/214 guidelines, the volume measures 598/1746 liters. The addition of the optional roof racks further expand cargo carrying capacity.

Other highlights include:
Self-leveling suspension for optimal handling and headlight aiming
Power-operated tailgate
Smart Key entry and engine starting (keyless)
Anti-theft engine immobilizer device
Rear distance warning system
10-way power adjustable driver's seat with a handy Integrated Memory System
Two-stage seat warmers (1st and 2nd rows only)
Steering wheel with audio and cruise controls plus tilt and telescopic power adjustment
Power windows with anti-pinch safety and driver side one-touch down features
Multi-functional trip computer and Supervision gauge cluster with Hyundai's signature blue backlighting
Power adjustable brake/accelerator pedals
Xenon high intensity discharge headlamps
Auto light control
Jet-spray headlamp washers with power retraction
Front rear door sill scuff plates in stainless steel with Veracuz logo in blue electro-luminescent backlighting
Electro-chromic side view mirrors with integrated heater elements, puddle lamps and turn signals
Electro-chromic rear view mirror with built-in compass
Power sunroof with tilt & retracting feature (6-way adjustment)
Overhead console with blue mood lamps, storage for two pairs of sunglasses and convex conversation mirror
New single structure wiper blades with rain sensing activation
Premium Infinity sound system with external amplifier and 8-inch subwoofer
Rear seat DVD entertainment with 8-inch LCD and 5.1 Dolby surround sound audio system
Built-in GPS navigation system
Roof-mounted micro-antenna
Variable output air compressor uses only energy required to cool down cabin
Dual zone temperature control for front seats with Air Quality System
Separate rear temperature controls for second row seats
Front center console storage box with built-in cooling duct
Integrated roof rack with crossbars
Solar control front windscreen, windshield wiper deicer
18-inch alloy wheels
Tire pressure monitoring system


Manufactured at the company's Ulsan plant, Veracruz will be sold in all left hand drive markets outside of Korea with the exception of the EU where no sales are planned. Overseas models will be available in 2WD and 4WD versions and in two trim levels: GL and GLS. Diesel engine availability is limited to select markets.

In 2007, Hyundai aims for worldwide sales of 85,000 units with the Korean market accounting for 20,000 of the total. Retail prices in Korea start at 31.8 million won (approximately US$31,000.) for the entry level 300X Value 2WD model and top out at 42.7 million won for the fully loaded 4WD 300VXL Premium.

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