24.08.2020 Press release

New Terrain Mode Selector on the new Santa Fe

  • New Terrain Mode Selector in the new Santa Fe features settings for driving in snow, sand and mud
  • Integrated Control of engine torque, gear shift pattern, traction control and all-wheel drive torque distribution to optimise driving on a variety of challenging terrains
  • This feature comes in addition to Santa Fe’s existing driving modes – Smart, Eco, Comfort, and Sport – making the new Santa Fe a true SUV
  • New Santa Fe the first Hyundai model in Europe to feature new Terrain Mode Selector, technology will also be integrated in future Hyundai SUVs

Press material

Hyundai Motor has revealed more information on the new Terrain Mode Selector. The new Santa Fe is the first Hyundai SUV in Europe equipped with this Integrated Control technology.

The feature will allow drivers to optimise driving performance on a variety of different surfaces, including sand, snow and mud, at the turn of a rotary knob. Building up on Hyundai’s HTRAC four-wheel drive performance technology, the new Terrain Mode Selector delivers an even more comfortable driving experience, even on challenging terrain. HTRAC, which is a combination of the words “Hyundai” and “traction”, autonomously distributes front and rear wheel torque in connection with the drive and terrain modes according to driving conditions.

At Hyundai, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of our vehicles and deliver our customers an even more premium product. With new features like the Terrain Mode Selector, Santa Fe is competitive in terms of technology and convenience, while staying true to its rugged SUV heritage and remaining a reliable car for a variety of terrain.

Andreas-Christoph Hofmann Vice President of Marketing & Product at Hyundai Motor Europe

Drive and Terrain Mode selection at the turn of a knob

The new Santa Fe features a rotary knob in the centre console where drivers can choose from four drive and three terrain modes. To switch between drive and terrain modes, the driver simply needs to push the button in the middle of the knob. The driver can see which drive or terrain mode they are using on both the digital cluster and the AVN screen.

Drive modes:

  • Comfort: regular driving performance with good efficiency
  • Sport: enhanced performance with modified steering effort, gear shift points and throttle response
  • Eco: improved fuel efficiency for eco-friendly driving with modified acceleration, gear shift points and air conditioning performance
  • Smart: system switches automatically between Eco, Comfort and Sport depending on the driving style

Whereas the drive modes are focused on improving performance and efficiency depending on the driving style, each terrain mode optimises driving for the selected surface by adjusting engine torque, gear shift pattern, traction control and all-wheel drive torque distribution.

Terrain modes:

  • Snow: Optimises relevant control by minimizing wheel slip in order to drive in slippery and snow-covered road conditions.
  • Sand: Optimises smooth take off and performance in order to drive in soft and high-resistant road conditions.
  • Mud: Optimises relevant performance in order to drive in slippery and high-resistant uneven road conditions.

About the new Santa Fe

The new Santa Fe, the enhanced version of Hyundai’s flagship SUV in Europe, offers a range of premium updates. For the first time, it can be paired with a hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrain. In addition, it is the first Hyundai vehicle in Europe to utilise the company’s all-new third-generation vehicle platform, resulting in improved performance, efficiency and safety. It features a bold and distinctive new design as well as a range of new technology and safety features.

These enhancements arrive just in time for the 20th anniversary of Hyundai’s longest-running SUV. Sold in Europe since 2001, the D-segment SUV has been praised for its comfort and roominess, comprehensive standard features and functional cabin design. The latest series of improvements makes the new Santa Fe an even more premium choice for its customers, while keeping its true SUV heritage with new features like the Terrain Mode Selector.

The new Terrain Mode Selector will also be featured on future Hyundai SUVs to be announced in the coming months.


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