Hyundai is continuing to spearhead the development of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles with a follow up to the Tucson FCEV it launched in 2014. Unveiled at CES 2018, the Next-Generation Fuel Cell Vehicle (NEXO) brings updated styling and technology, increased power and torque, improved fuel economy, a five minute refueling and a range of 370 miles.
The NEXO's funky styling is the most noticeable change compared to its predecessor thanks to a split headlamp setup similar to the Kona, sleek silhouette, large multi-spoke wheels and flush, pop-out door-handles.
The NEXO has a host of electronic driver aids to help improve safety. It features an industry-first Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM) that uses wide-angle cameras on either side of the car and a display in the cluster to provide a video feed of areas around the car that wouldn't be visible through a traditional rear-view mirror.
Lane Following Assist (LFA) makes its debut on the NEXO, and combined with Highway Driving Assist (HDA) this enables the NEXO to maintain lane positioning and a safe distance from the vehicle in front between 0 and 90 mph (145 km/h).
The NEXO's final party-piece is Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), which will allow it to park or retrieve itself from a parking space autonomously.
Significantly improved over its predecessor, the NEXO's drivetrain includes a lighter and more powerful fuel-cell stack and battery, which brings output up from 124 kW to 135 kW. Hyundai is also developing the NEXO so that it can be used as a mobile energy station to provide power to camper vans.
The electric motor's power and torque has been increased from 100 kW to 120 kW, and 221 lb-ft to 291 lb-ft, respectively. Zero to 60 mph (0-97 km/h) takes 9.5 seconds, which is 3 seconds less than the Tucson. Hyundai also says the new powertrain is more durable and can withstand temperatures ranging from -20º F (-29º C) to 120º F (49º C).
Thanks to these updates the range figure has now increased to an estimated 370 miles (596 km), compared to the Tucson's 265 miles (427 km). The NEXO also supports 350 bar and 700 bar refueling systems, meaning it can be refueled in 5 minutes.
The sleek, luxurious feel continues on the inside with a large digital cluster, infotainment screen, flush-mounted buttons and a floating center console.
The NEXO is set to be available in dealers late 2018. There is no word from Hyundai on price, but it could follow in the footsteps of the Tucson FCEV which was made available through a $499 per month lease agreement that included free hydrogen fuel.
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