Hyundai will mark its 30th anniversary of operations in Australia with a pair of limited edition SUVs.
It’s been a long road for the Korean company since the Excel launched in 1986 through the Bond Group in Perth, with the million-car milestone passing in 2012.
Now, it regularly battles for a spot in the top three sales spot locally, with its parent company the fifth largest automotive company in the world.
And it’s Santa Fe and Tucson buyers who will get the anniversary gifts, with Hyundai dropping its new V6 into the larger Santa Fe SUV for the first time.
The all-new 3.3-litre V6, which makes its local debut in the Santa Fe ‘30’ edition, makes 199kW and 318Nm, and is mated to a traditional six-speed automatic transmission.
The limited edition Santa Fe would be a “toe the water” exercise for the return of the V6.
The engine is an all-alloy affair, with twin overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and a clever dual-mode air induction system to help reduce fuel consumption without nobbling power.
Hyundai claims the V6 will return 7.4 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, and will emit 229 grams of carbon per kilometre.
Based on the Active variant, it also scores leather seats, heated rear view mirrors, an exclusive Mineral Blue metallic paint finish, chrome door handles, tinted rear glass, 19-inch grey alloys and a tyre pressure monitoring system, along with bespoke badging.
It’ll be offered at $40,790 before on-road costs, a $2300 uptick on the $38,490 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol-powered 138kW/241Nm Active. Hyundai says it’ll return 6.5L/100km on the combined cycle and emit 178g of CO2 per kilometre.
Hyundai Australia spokesperson Guido Schenken told CarsGuide.com.au that the limited edition Santa Fe would be a “toe the water” exercise for the return of the V6, which was dropped for the second generation Santa Fe in 2012.
“We haven’t had anyone asking for a V6, but we are going to gauge the reaction from customers and dealers, and it may become a line model going forward,” he said.
The smaller Tucson 30 Special Edition, meanwhile, is powered by Hyundai’s 1.6-litre 130kW/265Nm turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine paired with Hyundai’s own seven-speed dual clutch gearbox.
It’s based on the ActiveX variant, and scores grey side steps and matte black 19-inch RAYS alloy wheels, along with a new twin-outlet exhaust and rear diffuser trim piece. It’s finished in Ash Blue paint, and will go on sale at $37,750, making it the cheapest AWD Tucson in the range underneath the $38,240 Elite.
The Tucson not only marks the 30th anniversary of the brand in Australia, but the first anniversary of the launch of the ix35 replacement. It’s the company’s second best seller of the year to date, behind the i30 hatch.
Its other point of difference? It’s the first all-wheel-drive turbo Tucson sourced from Hyundai’s Korean factory for the Australian market; the majority of the company’s AWD cars come from the Czech Republic.
Have you bought a Hyundai in the last thirty years? Will the Santa Fe or Tucson be your first? Tell us what you think in the comments below.