And they’re due relatively soon.
Korean carmaker Hyundai is not relenting in its mission to electrify its wider product portfolio within the coming years. The company has previously asserted that by 2025, it will play host to no less than 16-electrified models under both the Kia and Hyundai marques. To that end, the company has already introduced the 48V mild-hybrid version of the Tucson, and the next up for electrification is the new Santa Fe.
Launched in February, the Santa Fe is the latest addition to Hyundai’s range, and it’s also the largest SUV that they presently make. With up to 7-seats, the Santa Fe is already available with a 2.4-litre direct-injection atmo petrol mill with some 138kW of power, while there’s also a 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo-petrol motor with 173kW. If oilers are more your thing, Hyundai’s trusted 2.2-litre CRDi unit with 147kW and 434Nm is on hand, and while that seems like a decent smattering of engines, it’s not enough for Hyundai.
Reports suggest that in some 18-months time, Hyundai will be launching no less than two electrified versions of the Santa Fe: One mild-hybrid, and one plug-in hybrid. This was confirmed to UK publication Autocar who then went on to detail that the MHEV powertrain will be built around the 2.0-litre CRDi engine that’s employed elsewhere across the range, culminating in a diesel-electric setup that was first seen on the Tucson.
As for the PHEV powertrain, no educated guess can be made. Hyundai presently only has one PHEV system employed in the Ioniq PHEV, and its outputs would be insufficient to power a big SUV like the Santa Fe. The other option, if they intend to use an existing system, is to take the PHEV system from the Kia Optima PHEV, which uses a 2.0-litre 4-banger as primary propulsion. That should be enough to give a Santa Fe PHEV a theoretical range of about 48km per full charge which isn’t bad, but isn’t great either.
What we know already is that the pure-ICE mills will utilise Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system in certain guises, while there’s no confirmation of whether the Santa Fe PHEV or MHEV will offer all-wheel drive. We do hope that it’ll at least retain the multiple drive modes of the ICE cars, with the addition of an ‘Eco’ mode on top of the existing ‘Sport’ and ‘Comfort’ modes to help drivers fully maximise the gains of their electrified powertrains.