As a novelty that’s increasingly becoming popular, large panoramic sunroofs present a looming danger that could see passengers get thrown out of the roof of their car in the event of an accident. One automaker, Hyundai, has come up with new way to mitigate this risk.
The Korean automaker has introduced the world’s first panoramic sunroof airbag, one designed to keep passengers inside the vehicle during an accident and prevent injuries, especially to the head.
Resembling a curtain airbag, the innovative airbag is installed inside the sunroof and deploys from the rear of the vehicle. It features a sensor that detects when the turning angle of the vehicle is changed due to a rollover, activating the inflator to deploy the airbag.
Its cushion is inflated by gas and covers the vehicle’s entire roof surface in a hasty 0.08 seconds.
According to Hyundai, test on dummies showed that the panoramic sunroof airbag prevented the occupants from being flung out of the car and cushioned the impact on the head.
The company hasn’t announced when the airbag will be offered, but it can’t come soon enough.
No More Same Old, Boring-Looking Hyundai Cars
The ‘boring’ Russian doll styling trend that has plagued the automotive industry is coming to an end at Hyundai.
Nowadays, all BMWs, Mercedes-Benzs, Audis, Toyotas, Chevys, and the cars of just about every other automotive brand look the same, just different sizes. Hyundai’s new design boss Luc Donckerwolke, the same guy responsible for the stunning Genesis Essentia Concept (pictured above), revealed to Australia’s that he plans to overhaul the company’s design philosophy by giving each of its models more personality.
We think the former Lamborghini stylist has a good eye, a very good one, and claims to have been inspired to take this approach after living and working in South Korea, where Hyundai and Kia dominate domestic sales. He stated:
“Imagine 65 percent of the cars on the road being from two different producers. If the cars have the same design, I mean you are creating a really boring landscape. I don’t want to do that.”
Donckerwolke wants to see to it that Hyundai’s next generation models are more distinctive, featuring designs that are more specific to the segments they compete in and more tailored to the customer. Expect to see cars that show off the company’s change in design direction in late 2018 or early 2019.
Fortunately, unlike Lexus and Infiniti, Hyundai will not go for a provocative and polarizing design to stand out. Donckerwolke added:
“I find that making a really provocative statement is a bit counterproductive because you are creating something … at one point you have to go back because you are polarizing … you are creating attention, but at the same time you are aging faster.”
While the Hyundai brand will see more differentiation, the Genesis brand will adopt a new design language previewed by the Essentia, which Donckerwolke hopes gets the green light with the belief that “every brand [needs] an icon.”
Apparently, the low volume of Genesis justifies a more consistent design philosophy.
Hyundai Tucson Gets A Facelift, More Tech For 2019 MY
The Hyundai Tucson, one of Hyundai’s most important models, benefits from a revised exterior and interior and more tech for 2019.
Unveiled at the 2018 New York Auto Show, the updated Tucson adopts the brand’s signature cascading grille, Daytime Running LED headlights, revised taillights, and a new shark-fin antenna.
Inside, the Korean crossover gets Qi wireless charging for cell phones and a slightly tweaked center stack and instrument panel.
Buyers have the choice of two engines. The first is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates 164 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque; the second is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 181 hp and 175 lb-ft, acting as a replacement for the turbocharged 1.6-liter four of the previous model.
On the safety front, the 2019 Tucson comes standard with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, while Smart Cruise Control, High Beam Assist, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Surround View Monitor, Driver Attention Warning, and Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go can be had for a bit more money.
Five trim levels are available, starting with the Value and moving up with the SE, SEL, Sport, and Limited. The Value and SE models are sold exclusively with the 2.0-liter engine, while the SEL, Sport, and Limited make due with the more powerful 2.4-liter.
New, 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Charges Into Action With 292-Mile Range
Hyundai has taken its promising new Kona subcompact crossover, removed its internal combustion engine and jammed a full-electric drivetrain into it — meet the new Hyundai Kona Electric!
Looking more high-tech and futuristic than the gasoline-powered Kona, the subcompact EV is distinguished by a revised front end with a closed grille, new 17-inch wheels, and a cleaner-looking interior with paddles behind the steering wheel for adjusting the regenerative braking settings.
- 2018 Hyundai Kona Brings More Funk to Small SUV Segment
- Hyundai Nexo Fuel-Cell SUV Shoots For Hydrogen Car Future
Two different powertrain options are available. Models with the base 39.2-kilowatt-hour battery pack produce 132 horsepower and deliver 186 miles (300 km) of electric range on the WLTP cycle, while those with the longer range 64-kWh battery boast 292 miles (470 km) on a single charge and can accelerate from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a respectable 7.6 seconds.
The Hyundai Kona Electric isn’t exactly a Tesla Model X or Jaguar I-Pace rival, but that just means it will cost half as much. Plus, unlike Tesla, there is no reason to believe that Hyundai can’t build them according to plan.
Do you like what you see? Would you consider buying one?