Hyundai NEXO and Kona Electric land on 2019 Wards 10 Best Engines List

- Hyundai has earned two out of the ten coveted spots on the internationally renowned WardsAuto 10 Best Engine List for 2019 for the All-New 2019 NEXO and 2019 Kona Electric SUV.

The recognition highlights the compelling qualities of both powertrains realised through Hyundai’s sophisticated fuel-efficient architecture and everyday usable performance of the engines. This marks the tenth time Hyundai has earned a WardsAuto 10 Best Engine recognition since the awards’ inception in 1995.

It is a true honour to have two of our all-new eco-friendly engine applications receive this prestigious award as it underscores Hyundai’s momentum toward having the industry’s most diverse SUV powertrain lineup. The endless hours of research, evaluation and real-world analysis by our engineering community has effectively raised the bar for alternative fuel applications. We are very proud of what has been achieved in this highly competitive marketplace. We are committed to providing smart, alternative fuel solutions for car buyers, and look forward to continue growing our eco-vehicle portfolio.

John JurigaDirector, Powertrains, Hyundai America Technical Center, Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Company plans to introduce 18 ‘Eco’ models by 2025. NEXO leads Hyundai Motor’s plans in development of zero-emission vehicles. This new development plan also represents the next step for Hyundai Motor Group toward realizing a cleaner environment via advanced eco-friendly vehicles.

The NEXO is Hyundai’s flagship vehicle and improves upon the ix35/Tucson FCEV. NEXO (in Europe, WLTP) has an estimated combined cycle driving range of 666kms (414 miles) for an efficiency rating of 0.95kg of hydrogen per 100kms.

The fuel-cell race is heating up and Hyundai’s fun-to-drive NEXO leads the pack with a range of up to 666kms, fuel tank packaging that does not compromise legroom or cargo space and a component strategy that will enable Hyundai to scale up production volumes at lower cost in the future.

Drew WinterSenior content director at WardsAuto

In addition, the NEXO’s refueling time can be achieved in as little as five minutes, allowing a consumer lifestyle very similar to a comparable gasoline-powered SUV in terms of range and refueling speed. NEXO hydrogen storage uses three separate hydrogen tanks in the rear of the vehicle. These are configured to maximise overall interior volume, especially in the rear cargo area, increasing it by 164 litres and allowing for a flatter load floor. With 163 PS peak horsepower and 395 Nm. of torque, acceleration and power have also increased to improve NEXO overall performance.

Hyundai finds success with its all-new 2019 Kona Electric featuring a leading 449kms of range in 64kWh spec, 289kms in 39.2kWh spec. The new electric SUV offers youthful design, sporty driving character, leading safety technology and advanced infotainment features in an affordable, compact footprint along with an abundant suite of standard safety equipment. Additionally, the Kona’s electric battery is covered by Hyundai’s industry leading Lifetime Battery Warranty.

The Hyundai Kona’s neck snapping power and torque make it a blast to drive, whether accelerating from a stoplight or passing on the expressway. And with 449kms or 289kms of WLTP all-electric range, the Kona is among the longest-range, non-Tesla battery-electric vehicle available, making it attractive to those who want gasoline-engine-like range in a popular crossover body style. The icing on the cake is it’s very affordable.

Drew WinterWardsAuto

The Kona Electric top powertrain employs a high-efficiency 150 kW (204 PS) permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor supplied by a high-voltage 64 kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor develops 395 kW of torque distributed to the front wheels. The powertrain inverter has a power density of 25.4 kVA per liter. The battery system is liquid cooled and operates at 356 volts. Battery pack energy density is 141.3 Wh/kg (greater than Opel Ampera-e), with a total battery system weight under 450 kgs. In addition, Kona Electric WLTP combined rated efficiency is 15.4kWh/100kms.

This is the 25th year for WardsAuto 10 Best Engines, a competition created to recognize outstanding powertrain achievement, world-class technologies and those rare engines or electric propulsion systems that are so compelling that they help sell the vehicle. This year, 34 entries were competing for the prestigious recognition and were chosen from 2018 and 2019 model year vehicles. To be eligible, a new or significantly modified engine or propulsion system must be on sale in a production vehicle during the first quarter of 2019, with a base price capped at US$64,000 (€57,700 at time of this release).

WardsAuto 10 Best Engines is the ultimate list that defines the industry’s outstanding powertrains. Since the list began in 1995, Hyundai has been honored ten times: the Tau V-8 was in 2009 (4.6-liter), 2010 (4.6-liter) and 2011 (5.0-liter); the Gamma I-4 in 2012; the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain in 2015; the Nu (2.0-liter plug-in Hybrid) in 2016; the four-cylinder Turbocharged DOHC (1.4-liter); and the (3.3-liter) in 2018. The 2019 awards ceremony will take place at a banquet during the North American International Auto Show on January 16, 2019, in Detroit.