Behind the scenes at the Hyundai SUV Driving Experience

- Europe's motoring media jetted into Barcelona for the Hyundai SUV Driving Experience and got to drive the New Tucson, All-New Santa Fe and New Kona Diesel for the first time. Here’s how they got on.

Situated on the east coast of Spain next by the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is the country’s second-largest city and the capital of Catalonia. Founded as a Roman city, today it is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic and cultural centres and is home to Europe’s busiest passenger port.

Barcelona also features some fantastic roads, with a mixture of urban and scenic routes. All of these attributes made the Catalonian metropolis the perfect destination for Hyundai’s SUV Driving Experience.

The Hyundai SUV Driving Experience

After landing at Barcelona-El Prat Airport, located 12 kilometres from the centre of Barcelona, the reporters were given the chance to drive one of Hyundai Motor’s latest SUVs: a New Tucson, an All-New Santa Fe or a New Kona diesel.

Picking up their cars in the airport car park, the reporters made their way north to a contemporary location on the outskirts of Barcelona. They were given a choice of two routes to get to grips with their choice of Hyundai SUV: a direct route that largely consisted of motorway driving, and a scenic route that featured more country roads.

The following video is a film from the event, featuring footage of the three new models taking to Spanish roads.

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Feel unlimited ability

After the first test drive, the journalists assembled at Campus La Mola. The site is set in the heart of the Sant Llorenç del Munt nature reserve in the city of Terrassa. While here, they experienced a series of detailed product briefings about the most exciting features in the New Tucson, All-New Santa Fe and New Kona Diesel.

The event slogan was “feel unlimited ability”. Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President Marketing & Product Hyundai Motor Europe, explained what the reasoning behind this was.

It’s not really a claim, ‘feel unlimited’ is more of an attitude, a direction, we wanted to go in. When we went back into history, our founder Mr Chung always challenged his engineers to invent new things. Sometimes they came back and said it was not possible, but he said: ‘Have you tried?

This spirit of trying again and again – if we are unlimited in our doing, our customers should feel unlimited.

Andreas-Christoph HofmannVice President Marketing & Product Hyundai Motor Europe

After lunch, the guests were invited to drive two more routes that consisted mainly of country roads that demonstrated the SUVs’ versatility.&nb

The evening press conference

In the evening, the journalists returned to Campus La Mola for a powertrain presentation from Dr Michael Winkler, Head of Powertrain at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center. This focused on the new Smart Stream Engine for the New Kona Diesel, and the 48 Volt mild hybrid engine that is available in a Hyundai for the first time in the New Tucson.

This was followed by a talk from some members of Hyundai Motor Europe’s Brand and Design departments, including Hofmann and Chief Designer Hyundai Design Center Europe Thomas Bürkle. They discussed the success story of Hyundai’s SUVs in Europe, and how the design of each model has evolved over time.

The New Tucson

The Tucson has been Hyundai’s best-selling car in Europe since it premiered on the continent. The latest generation model boasts a fresh, head-turning design, revised powertrain lineup and more advanced technology than ever before.

The New Tucson is Hyundai’s first model with a diesel mild hybrid powertrain system supported by a 48 Volt electric motor. This new technology contributes to the brand’s commitment to a cleaner future.

It is also packed with infotainment and connectivity features, including a premium sound system by Krell and a wireless QI standard based mobile phone charger.

The All-New Santa Fe

Hyundai has sold more than 400,000 units of the Santa Fe in Europe over the past 17 years. The fourth-generation iteration combines premium design, luxurious space, advanced technology and best-in-class safety features.

The All-New Santa Fe’s design highlights include Hyundai’s signature Cascading Grille which is complemented by the Composite Light, which comprises of LED Daytime Running Lights positioned on top of the LED headlights.

It also offers a number of industry-first safety features, including the innovative Rear Occupant Alert – an ultrasonic sensor that monitors the rear seats to detect the movements of children or pets and alerts the driver when leaving the car.

The Kona diesel

The New Kona diesel features a newly developed, efficient Smartstream 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. It offers improved real-life fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions.

The high efficiency of the engine is achieved due to a significant reduction in friction, a highly efficient turbocharger and a parallel intake port.