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Hyundai today introduced its technologically-advanced 2019 Nexo fuel cell SUV to U.S. media at the Sunset Marquis hotel in Hollywood, California. Nexo is the new technological flagship of Hyundai’s growing eco-vehicle portfolio and marks Hyundai’s continued momentum with the industry’s most diverse SUV powertrain lineup.

It will be available in California before the end of 2018. Southern California NEXO dealers include Keyes Hyundai in Van Nuys and Tustin Hyundai, while Capitol Hyundai is planned to be added in Northern California in early 2019.

NEXO leads Hyundai Motor’s plans in development of zero-emission vehicles. Hyundai Motor Group plans to introduce 38 eco-friendly models by 2025 and Hyundai Motor Company plans to introduce 18 models by 2025. This new development plan also represents the next step for Hyundai Motor toward realizing a cleaner environment via advanced eco-friendly vehicles.

Hyundai’s NEXO vision

“Hydrogen energy is the key to building a more sustainable society. Hyundai Motor Company has already taken a lead in hydrogen technology with the introduction of the Tucson fuel cell,” said Dr. Woong-chul Yang, Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motor Company. “Yet as another result of this earth-saving effort, I am so proud to introduce to you our second-generation NEXO Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle as a culmination of our cutting-edge technologies.”

Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS)

NEXO offers a number of advanced driver assist systems, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA) and Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA).

Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA)

RSPA enables NEXO to either autonomously park or retrieve itself from either a parallel or perpendicular parking space with or without a driver in the vehicle. The RSPA system can even autonomously back NEXO into a parking spot with a touch of a key fob button by the driver. When faced with any challenging parking scenario, NEXO drivers will be able to park with complete confidence and reduced stress.

Lane Following Assist

Lane Following Assist (LFA) is a new technology for Hyundai, showcased first in the NEXO fuel cell. LFA automatically helps assist steering to help keep NEXO more precisely centered in its current lane of travel. LFA can help keep NEXO centered in its lane at speeds between zero and 90 miles per hour on both highways and city streets. This advanced driving assistance feature is an additional aid helping drivers to traverse long distances with greater ease.

Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM) and Surround-view Monitors (SVM)

Hyundai’s Blind-spot View Monitor is an industry-first technology. It projects the side views of NEXO in the center cluster to the driver using cameras while changing lanes with the turn signal on. The system uses wide-angle Surround View Monitors (SVM) on each side of the vehicle to monitor areas that cannot be seen by a traditional rearview mirror and create various exterior vehicle perspective views. Hyundai is the first automaker to provide drivers video footage from both sides of the vehicle with this feature.

Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist

BCA and RCCA both utilize sensor technologies to help alert the NEXO driver of approaching vehicles in its intended path, whether changing lanes or when backing out of a parking spot. Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance also helps provide steering correction when the turn signal is on and the system detects a vehicle in the blind spot area of the NEXO. This is the first application of blind spot steering assist in a Hyundai vehicle in the U.S. market.

Outstanding Range, Power and Efficiency

Improving upon the Tucson FCEV, the NEXO Blue model has an estimated driving range of 380 miles, 115 more than its predecessor. The NEXO Limited trim has an estimated range of 354 miles. NEXO Blue models have estimated MPGe of 65 city, 58 highway and 61 combined, while NEXO Limited models have an estimated MPGe of 59 city, 54 highway, and 57 combined.

In addition, NEXO refueling time can be achieved in as little as five minutes, allowing a consumer lifestyle very similar to a comparable gasoline-powered SUV in terms of range and refueling speed. NEXO hydrogen storage uses three separate hydrogen tanks in the rear of the vehicle. These are configured to maximize overall interior volume, especially in the rear cargo area, increasing it by 5.8 cubic feet over the Tucson Fuel Cell and allowing for a flatter load floor.

With 161 peak horsepower (120 kW) and 291 lb.-ft. of torque, acceleration and power have also increased to improve NEXO overall performance compared with Tucson fuel cell.

Eco Materials

NEXO uses a number of ecological materials in its construction, including soybean-oil based polyurethane paint, bamboo-thread-based bio fabric, bio-plastic extracted from sugar cane and bio-carpet extracted from sugar cane. Bio-based materials were applied to 47 different parts and reduced CO2 emissions by 26 lbs. during the manufacturing process.

Advanced Aerodynamics

NEXO features a number of aerodynamic design features, including a D-pillar air tunnel, front wheel air curtains, aerodynamic wheel design, auto-flush door handles and hidden front wipers. These contribute to an overall Cd of 0.32, excellent for an SUV of this size.

Structure, Suspension and Handling

To achieve an ultra-rigid structure while maintaining a light weight, NEXO uses Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). AHSS also reduces cabin NVH and gives the suspension a rigid structure from which to precisely articulate body movements.

NEXO utilizes a fully-independent McPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension for both sporty cornering feel and superior ride comfort. Steering uses a motor-driven system tuned for smoothness and responsiveness. Michelin® tires are fitted on both the 17-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels for excellent handling and good ride comfort.

Extreme Temperatures

Designed to handle extreme temperatures and environments, NEXO testing has proven that the vehicle is capable of starting after being subject to overnight temperatures of -20 degrees Fahrenheit. NEXO boasts cold-start capability within 30 seconds, an industry-leading benchmark, and the fuel cell system warms up quickly for maximum performance. The NEXO also has excellent cooling performance on steep grades with temperatures exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Improvements in the air supply system, performance at high altitudes and refueling times, along with overall efficiency and fuel economy, put the NEXO in a class all its own. In addition, the NEXO has improved power density and durability comparable with gasoline-powered vehicles of a similar class.

Convenience and Audio

NEXO features a number of advanced comfort and convenience features, including a sunroof, electric parking brake, smart power tailgate, Qi wireless smartphone charging pad, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth, heated and ventilated front seats and split-folding rear seats. Audio and navigation display is via a large, high-resolution 12.3 inch touchscreen, while the center cluster supervision display is a full seven inches. Transmission control is via a push-button shift-by-wire design on a floating center console bridge, freeing up valuable center console storage space directly below the control console.

NEXO features two available audio systems. The premium system is branded Krell, and features a 440-watt, eight-channel premium amplifier, premium Krell speakers and a custom-developed live dynamic algorithm for superior audio performance.

Blue Link

The NEXO Blue Link remote-start function includes a Hyundai-first: remote heated and cooled seats. It also includes a hydrogen fuel station locator, real-time range, fuel level and a monthly vehicle health report with on-demand diagnostics of the hydrogen system. Blue Link services are complimentary for three years.

Trims and Color

NEXO will be offered in two trim levels: Blue and Limited. The Limited model adds 19-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, power liftgate, and remote smart parking assist. NEXO colors include white pearl, cocoon silver, copper metallic and dusk blue. Interior environments include stone gray and meteor blue and use a vegan-based leatherette seating surface.

Dedicated Architecture

Hyundai’s NEXO fuel cell vehicle is built with exclusive dedicated vehicle architecture. This architecture has many benefits including:

  • Lighter weight
  • Improved power-to-weight ratio
  • Faster acceleration from 0 to 60 mph than the Tucson FCEV
  • Increased rear cargo volume of 29.6 cubic feet; 5.8 cubic feet more than Tucson FCEV
  • Allows battery to be relocated to the trunk
  • Improved fuel cell system layout with better space efficiency

NEXO vs. Tucson Fuel Cell System Architecture

  • NEXO’s fuel cell stack and battery have more net power to supply a more powerful motor
  • NEXO’s powertrain is lighter and has improved packaging
  • NEXO uses three tanks for improved platform packaging vs. Tucson Fuel Cell

Powertrain Improvements

  • NEXO’s powertrain is lighter and takes up less total space compared with Tucson FCEV
  • More efficient fuel cell stack
  • Better module integration
  • Smaller
  • Lighter

Drivability

  • Peak acceleration is increased by 25 percent compared with Tucson FCEV
  • It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph a full 20 percent faster than Tucson FCEV
  • NEXO has more torque than the Tucson FCEV

Range

  • Has 40 percent more range than the Tucson FCEV
  • NEXO Blue has an estimated range of 380 miles compared with Tucson FCEV at 265 miles

Quiet Driving Characteristics

  • All moving parts are inside the engine bay which isolates the noise to one area of the body architecture

Durability

  • NEXO has the same level of durability as internal combustion engine vehicles

Hydrogen Storage

  • NEXO’s storage system is lighter than the Tucson FCEV
  • NEXO’s storage system has world-class storage density
  • NEXO can be refueled within five minutes or less

Overall Summary

NEXO Difference Tucson FCEV
Spec. Length(in.) 183.9 10.3 in. 173.6
Width(in.) 73.2 1.5 in. 71.7
Height(in.) 64.2 (1.0) in. 65.2
Wheelbase(in.) 109.8 5.9 in. 103.9
Power 135 kW

Fuel Cell : 95kW

Battery :40kW

11 kW

(5 kW)

16 kW

124 kW

Fuel Cell : 100kW

Battery : 24kW

Motor 120 kW

291 lb.-ft. of torque

20 kW

70 lb.-ft.

100 kW

221 lb.-ft. of torque

0 to 60 mph 9.5 seconds (3.0) sec. 12.5 seconds
MPGe Blue: 65/58/61 Combined

Limited: 59/54/57 Combined

Blue: 16/7/11

Limited: 10/3/7

49/51/50 Combined
Range 380 (Blue) / 354 (Limited) (estimated) 115 / 89 265 miles
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Jose Antonio López

Passionated about Korean cars from Kia & Hyundai. Photographer. I love being in nature, hiking. Tech lover.

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