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2019 Hyundai Nexo Quick Spin Review

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2019 Hyundai Nexo Quick Spin Review

PYEONGCHANG, S. Korea — Once we travelled to South Korea to test out the brand new Hyundai Santa Fe, we additionally received an opportunity behind the wheel of the brand new hydrogen-powered Nexo fuel-cell SUV. Hyundai unveiled the Nexo at CES in January as a alternative for the Tucson Gasoline Cell, which logged miles and gathered knowledge in 18 nations over the course of its era. The Nexo is an enchancment: It is extra environment friendly, full of smarter driver help applied sciences and, in our opinion, is extra engaging.

With a clear an uncluttered exterior, it has a well-known crossover profile, however the entrance finish, is a bit more distinctive with a big grille and über-skinny lighting tucked excessive underneath the entrance of the hood. The rear finish gives plenty of clean sheet metallic, which seems fetching in white. Aerodynamic vents behind the rear quarter home windows open up behind the car beneath a sporty-wanting spoiler.

However it’s the clear, sustainable future that its hydrogen fuel might present that is most necessary. Which isn’t to decrease the advantages battery electric automobiles supply within the interim — and certain for the foreseeable future — however renewable electrical energy is intermittent. So how does one retailer large quantities of unpolluted electrical energy for lengthy durations to make use of when it isn’t available? Hydrogen electrolysis – utilizing an electric present to decompose regular water into oxygen and hydrogen.

The gorgeous factor concerning the ample aspect is that it may be transformed again to electrical energy, both on a grid-scale, or within the fuel cell of a passenger vehicle. (The much less lovely factor is how you can retailer hydrogen safely, however that is one other story.)

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Our first stint contained in the vehicle occurred within the again seat, the place we had loads of legroom and clear environment. The interior was white and gray with matte silver metallic trim. The plastics within the Nexo aren’t notably mushy, however by some means Hyundai makes them look premium with high-quality grains and patterns — one of many tips Hyundai makes use of to make its reasonably priced automobiles really feel like larger-finish cars. We have been snug again there, particularly with rear seat heaters to ward of the winter chill within the Korean mountains as we drove previous the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

When it got here our flip to get behind the wheel, we felt proper at house within the snug driver’s seat. The steering wheel was engaging in its two-tone leather-based, and clean to the contact. The digital instrument panel and touchscreen extending to the suitable of it provided excessive definition photographs, crisp colours and extremely-fast response. The overwhelming variety of buttons on the middle console threw us off, although. It reminded us of a management panel for some kind of spaceship.

Driving throughout a overseas nation, we have been put comfy by the strong navigation system. Not solely did it present and inform us the place to go, it tell us what the velocity restrict was, and even recognized the places of velocity cameras, one thing the Santa Fe was type sufficient to do for us as properly. Distances have been within the metric system, which took some getting used to, however a shrinking bar on the nav display helped us rely down the precise distance to our subsequent flip. We discovered to give attention to that slightly than the voice telling us to “Flip now,” which was all the time a bit of too early.

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The Nexo wasn’t fast, nevertheless it was clean, and the quiet, linear acceleration was satisfying. Most of our driving occurred on the freeway, so there wasn’t of lot of acceleration or braking or cornering. We simply aimed forward, prevented different automobiles, and checked each every so often to ensure we hadn’t taken a fallacious flip towards the northern border. For this kind of driving, the quiet, calm Nexo was a pleasing companion.

Nexo is provided with quite a lot of driver help features which we discovered useful. Adaptive cruise management helped us hold to the velocity restrict (these cameras are in all places) and keep following distance, whereas the lane minder stored the car secure and centered. Once we did go to modify lanes, touching the sign pulled up a digital camera feed on from the aspect of the vehicle, displaying our blind spot within the middle of the instrument, cluster. That is just like Honda’s system, however this covers each side, the show is best positioned, and the picture is extra clear and full. Within the Nexo, we discovered it much more useful than distracting, and we might wish to see it come to extra automobiles.

Once we completed our drive and exited the car, we heard a sound come from beneath the car that was not in contrast to the hatch of the Millenium Falcon’s hatch opening, solely quieter. Our eyes have been drawn to the bottom as a number of small puddles of water trickled downhill towards the sting of the driveway. That water — unadulterated H2O — was the one “emissions” amassed throughout our quiet drive by means of the mountains of S. Korea.

2019 Hyundai Nexo

The day after our freeway jaunt, we have been again in PyeongChang. This time, we have been truly on the Olympics, not simply cruising previous them. In the midst of all of it, Hyundai was providing individuals — gathered media and the curious public alike — rides in a Degree four autonomous model of the Hyundai Nexo. We hopped within the again for a quick loop.

We reached a sure level, the drive loop started and the engineer within the driver’s seat took his arms off the wheel. We watched the display that displayed the sensor knowledge because the car acknowledged stationary objects, curbs, lane markings buses pulling out in entrance of it, pedestrians ready to cross the road. The quantity of knowledge it processed was spectacular to see in actual time, even when driving by way of a tunnel meant it misplaced its GPS mapping for a quick interval.

The automated system drove safely, shifting over gently when an oncoming vehicle crossed the centerline, navigating a roundabout and stopping for alerts and not using a hiccup. The car responded so easily, we solely observed a distinction later when the driving force took over once more and drove like a human. Underneath automation, the Nexo noticed far forward, predicting future strikes like a chess pc. People wrestle to function at this degree of consciousness. It was a sunny day with clear roads, however the visitors was slightly unpredictable. The roads have been slender, with numerous automobiles, buses and pedestrians round. As a human, it would not have been an issue for us, however we will think of people we all know who would have been uneasy driving in these circumstances, even when the road indicators have been posted of their native language.

2019 Hyundai Nexo

It isn’t good tech but (and no one must be faulted for considering automated driving has a option to go earlier than it’s). For one factor, the car cannot but distinguish emergency automobiles from another, however Hyundai is engaged on incorporating sound into the sensor suite to acknowledge sirens. Nonetheless, we witnessed no failures, and even much less-than-nice driving throughout our temporary experience. The truth is, we have been impressed with the best way the system was capable of account for the imperfect driving of different automobiles on the street. We’ll should have much more seat time in much more circumstances as guinea pigs in AVs earlier than we’re able to cancel our child’s driver’s ed courses, however that seat time is coming quickly.

The automotive world is altering, and Nexo is a superb instance of that, whether or not pushed by a human or AI. A day when the typical individual can drive a fuel cell vehicle (no matter area) or an autonomous one should be far off. Even Korea continues to be lagging far behind locations like Japan and California, however promising initiatives are deliberate for the Northeastern U.S. and swaths of Europe. For reference, California presently has over 30 hydrogen stations in operation, a quantity anticipated to double by the top of subsequent yr. Japan is planning an enormous push to showcase hydrogen — and autonomous automobiles — on the Olympics in 2020.

Whereas these concerned with creating the hydrogen financial system are convincingly sure of its eventuality, the remainder of us have little selection however to tinge our wait-and-see angle with optimism. We’re glad, although, to see how the know-how is advancing, whatever the timeline. Much more importantly, corporations like Hyundai are placing thought and energy into truly making these automobiles good to make use of. As a lot because the Nexo is an indication of the longer term, can also be a reassurance from Hyundai that that future does not should suck.

– 2019 Hyundai Nexo Quick Spin Review –

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