Santa Fe: A New Lifestyle Platform – The SUV that Breaks Down BoundariesSep 21th, 2023
Hyundai Motor Company finally unveiled The All New Santa Fe. The large tailgate and its cabin space were captivating.
On July 18, Hyundai Motor Company unveiled The all-new SANTA FE (hereinafter referred to as the new Santa Fe). It is a full-change model introduced 5 years after the 4th generation Santa Fe launched in 2018. The image of the new Santa Fe, which was released, attracted public attention with a very different, boxy design. Of course, the buzz of the new Santa Fe isn’t just because of its design; In addition to that, various changes have been incorporated into Santa Fe. The new Santa Fe has changed the SUV trend, which has been focused on the urban lifestyle, and has evolved to embrace both the city and the outdoors.
The All New Santa Fe: Back to the basics of the SUV
This orientation of the new Santa Fe is most evident in the exterior design. It gives a strong image to suit the outdoor lifestyle, which is the essence of SUVs. The new Santa Fe emphasized its grandeur with a straight body, high bonnet, and fenders with sharp edges. On the sides, the bold roofline, roof rack, and the hidden type assist handle of the C-pillar that help you use it comfortably stand out. In addition, the rear part created a neat image centered on the huge tailgate. Another important design element is the incorporation of Hyundai Motor’s ‘H’ motif throughout the body, including the front and rear lamps and bumpers.
The interior is a combination of ample living space for outdoor activities and various convenience specifications for passengers. The large tailgate with the terrace concept is one of the key changes of the new Santa Fe that extends the sense of space and openness not only to the interior but also to the exterior. Through this, the utility of the wider interior space than the previous generation was expanded, and the practicality of the new Santa Fe increased in auto camping.
All over the cabin space are ideas for occupant comfort; For example, the interactive multi-console applied for the first time by Hyundai Motor Company can be opened from both the front and rear so that both first and second row passengers can use it. In addition, a digital center mirror, dual wireless charging system for smartphones, and a UV-C ultraviolet sterilization multi-tray are housed.
The powertrain types of the new Santa Fe include 2.5 turbo and hybrid. The maximum output of the 2.5 turbo engine is 281 horsepower, and the maximum torque reaches 43.0 kgf m. The hybrid, which has a 1.6 turbo engine and the drive motor assists power, has a maximum output of 235 horsepower and a maximum torque of 37.4 kgf m. In addition, e-motion drive technology is used, which effectively integrates drive motor control technology to provide excellent ride comfort and handling. E-Ride, one of the e-motion drive technologies of the new Santa Fe, relieves pitching by generating an inertial force in the opposite direction of the motor’s motion when passing a speed bump. E-Handling, another e-motion drive technology of the new Santa Fe, controls the motor to secure tire grip during emergency steering to minimize vehicle slip and improve steering response and cornering stability.
The All New Santa Fe released to the media
Prior to the launch of the new Santa Fe, a pre-release event was held for media and influencers at the Mimesis Art Museum located in Paju, Gyeonggi-do, from August 8 to 9. The new and colorful Santa Fe, harmonized with the white building, attracted many media channels and influencers. Hyundai Motor Asia Vice President Yu Won-ha, who kicked off the event, spoke about the core of the new Santa Fe, saying, “The Santa Fe, the first SUV independently developed by Hyundai Motor Company, has evolved into the 5th generation. This model has become an SUV that encompasses both urban and outdoor life”.
Jeong-woo Hong, head of the MLV project team in charge of vehicle development, introduced the features of the new Santa Fe. What he emphasizes most is the size of the car; The new Santa Fe has grown its body to a level that goes beyond the limits of a mid-size SUV to match its boxy and strong image. The overall length, height, and wheelbase have been extended to 4,830mm (+45mm compared to the previous generation), 1,720mm (+35mm compared to the previous generation), and 2,815mm (+50mm compared to the previous generation), respectively, and the interior space also boasts the highest level in its class. The load capacity is 725L (based on VDA), and the large tailgate and opening with a width of 1,275mm and a height of 812mm are unique advantages of the new Santa Fe that redefines the SUV space. In addition, various technologies and powertrains that enhance Santa Fe’s safety and driving performance, as well as convenience specifications for passengers, were also revealed.
Of course, many noticed the design of the new Santa Fe most; The exterior design with a solid and strong image boasts original styling centered on the large tailgate. Simon Loasby, Head of Hyundai Style at Hyundai Motor Company Design Center, explained this innovative change, which is different from the urban SUV design trend that has dominated the market so far:
“Through big data analysis, we figured out that outdoor lifestyle is now the mainstream. Accordingly, we had to change, taking inspiration from the first-generation Santa Fe, which brought an outdoor-focused SUV to the city. With this new Santa Fe, we want to move the city-centered SUV into the outdoor world again. To do this, we wanted to change the traditional design process and define the vehicle’s character through space. Through a strong design, we tried to create a Santa Fe with a balanced style suitable for both outdoor and urban environments.”
After a presentation on the design of the new Santa Fe, Loasby also introduced the XRT concept, which enhances the off-road sensibility of the new Santa Fe. The XRT concept of the new Santa Fe is a design concept that strengthens its off-road image, and is characterized by adding exclusive parts, wheels, and roof rails, and plans to deliver the ultimate outdoor lifestyle to customers through these changes.
In the Q&A session that followed, many questions were raised from the attendees. Due to the high popularity of the Santa Fe, there were questions on various topics – reasons for inspiration from past models, vehicle configuration, and comparison with other SUV models – and the faculties of Hyundai Motor Company answered these questions. And among various topics, people were mostly interested in design, and Hyundai Motor Company officials explained that the innovative change of the new Santa Fe was the result of numerous reviews.
After all the sessions of the new Santa Fe media preview event, a tailgate party was held where everyone enjoyed together. At the party, people enjoyed simple food and learned about Santa Fe’s outdoor lifestyle. In particular, thanks to the various concepts presented by the new Santa Fe’s huge tailgate and spacious interior space, attendees watched more vividly what the new Santa Fe is pursuing. Some people admired the spacious cabin space while lying in the Santa Fe, while others tried to climb onto the car by grabbing the handle hidden in the C-pillar.
Unlike the vehicles exhibited with various outdoor lifestyle concepts in the yard of the venue, inside the building, a black ink version and a tailgate view concept were displayed so that people could experience purely Santa Fe. The new Santa Fe Black Ink is characterized by a unique charisma and sense of luxury by finishing everything from the body to the wheels in black. People got into the car and talked about the interior space, the quality of materials, and various equipment. In particular, it showed a positive response to the wider third-row space than before. Walking past the Black Ink model was the tailgate view concept, allowing people to experience the scenery while sitting in the back of the vehicle. The special experience provided by the huge tailgate of the new Santa Fe made them imagine special moments it could offer in the future.