Hyundai’s next-gen Tucson adopts 2 wheelbases with bold makeover

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TOKYO — Hyundai’s next-generation Tucson crossover will feature a new design language, a “waterfall” inspired center stack and two wheelbase options, short and long.

Teaser images of the redesigned vehicle — Hyundai’s best-selling nameplate in the first half — depict angular exterior styling with fender flares that cue off the Vision T concept shown at last year’s Los Angeles auto show. Hyundai dubs it an “avant-garde ‘Parametric Dynamics’ design theme.”

“We want our customers to feel moved,” SangYup Lee, senior vice president and head of global design for Hyundai, said in a statement. “With the all-new Tucson, we are introducing its ultimate evolution and a definitive statement about Hyundai’s unstoppable forward momentum.”

Hyundai said the fourth-generation Tucson will be the first nameplate in the compact crossover segment to be offered with two wheelbase options.

(From 2013-18, Hyundai sold two versions of its midsize crossover — the two-row Santa Fe Sport and the three-row Santa Fe.)

U.S. sales of the Tucson rose 1.2 percent to 57,941 units in the first half, ranking it No. 8 in the compact crossover segment behind such heavyweights as the Toyota RAV-4, Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Equinox.

The exterior design aims to convey a “kinetic jewel-like surface,” highlighted by an intricate grille accentuated by a daytime running light signature that juts out from the center like a pair of wings.

The updated Tucson is bigger and wider than the outgoing version. The long hood and short overhangs lend a coupe-like profile. Designers aimed for a taut, athletic look.

Inside, the Tucson receives a striking flying-buttress center stack with a large digital touch screen. Hyundai says the console descends from the dashboard ridge like a “mighty waterfall.” The company also did away with a traditional gauge cluster and moved the instrument display lower.

Hyundai will fully unveil the next-generation Tucson in a Sept. 15 online global premier.

The redesigned crossover is expected to land in the U.S. next year for the 2022 model year. A hybrid version could also be on tap, as Hyundai moves to further electrify its lineup.

The Tucson topped the compact crossover segment in J.D. Power’s latest annual report card on new-vehicle quality. It edged the Kia Sportage and Equinox in the closely watched Initial Quality Study, which measures the number of problems reported over the first 90 days of ownership.

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