Surf's up: Hyundai announces crossover onslaught starting with Kona

November 15, 2017

Hyundai will bring to market eight new or redesigned crossovers to meet booming demand from buyers by the end of the decade, the automaker announced Wednesday in Detroit.

The plan promises to bring to market new body styles, including the subcompact Hyundai Kona that will go on sale in March, but also leans heavily on new powertrains, including hydrogen fuel cells and diesel engines.

“The Kona is only the beginning of our product revolution for Hyundai,” said Mike O’Brien, a Hyundai Motor America vice president. “These vehicles are aimed squarely at the sales leaders in each segment and will emphasize Hyundai’s continued focus on sustainability and efficiency without compromising performance.”

Hyundai didn't divulge many specifics beyond the Kona's launch and said it would announce more details at the Los Angeles auto show later this month and at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit early next year.

Hyundai Crossover Timeline

Hyundai Crossover Timeline

It's highly likely that the new Kona spawns an electrified spinoff, and the slow-selling, limited-market hydrogen-powered Tucson—based on the outgoing body style—is due for a replacement soon.

Hyundai announced plans for a smaller, subcompact crossover to slot below the Kona—likely based on the newly redesigned Accent—by 2020 and a diesel-powered crossover shortly before.

Last year, Hyundai announced that it would be developing a turbodiesel inline-4 to sell in its Genesis luxury sedans overseas, and that the engine could make its way into the larger Santa Fe here in the States. Hyundai was also reportedly planning on offering the turbodiesel in its upcoming mid-size Santa Cruz pickup, which is based on the Santa Fe and may arrive around 2020.

Wednesday's announcement didn't confirm Santa Cruz production or address production constraints that have hampered Hyundai from offering more crossovers in the U.S. The company has shuffled production of its Sonata sedan to make room for more crossovers at its production facilities in Georgia and Alabama, but the automaker hasn't yet sated buyers' booming demand.

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