Hyundai Interested in Premium Three-Row Crossover Segment
Hyundai just discontinued the underperforming Veracruz, but the automaker may take another shot at the premium, three-row crossover segment, according to WardsAuto. While the extended-wheelbase 2013 Santa Fe serves as Hyundai's sole three-row crossover, it leaves room for a larger premium offering.
Hyundai Motor America CEO Jon Krafcik told WardsAuto to "stay tuned for future details on a potential premium crossover," and called the segment "an intriguing space."
Although Hyundai spokesman Miles Johnson tells us that he can't comment on future product, the automaker has expanded the Santa Fe line for 2013, renaming the two-row the Santa Fe Sport and adding a third-row to the extended-wheelbase Santa Fe, so in the short-term, former Veracruz owners will be covered in the Hyundai lineup.
The three-row 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe shares its transverse, 3.3-liter V-6 engine with the front-drive Azera sedan, but the crossover gets the automaker's new all-wheel-drive system, which can distribute torque to each individual wheel as needed to control understeer or oversteer. It also features a new Driver Selectable Steering Mode system that provides three levels of steering effort adjustment.
Other premium amenities available on the 2013 Santa Fe and two-row Santa Fe Sport include a panoramic sunroof, blind-spot monitoring system, and heated steering wheel.
A large, premium Hyundai crossover could potentially use the rear-drive Genesis sedan architecture as well as the sedan's 3.8-liter V-6 and 5.0-liter V-8 engines. The theoretical crossover could compete with other three-row vehicles such as the Infiniti JX, Acura MDX, and Buick Enclave as well as loaded versions of the mainstream crossovers like the Ford Explorer.
Should a Hyundai Genesis crossover be built to realistically challenge the Infiniti JX, Acura MDX and others? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Source: WardsAuto, Hyundai