Production

Hyundai partners with Canoo to develop EV platform for upcoming Hyundai, Kia models

Canoo is a young company. It has only been around for just over a year.

Photo courtesy of Canoo

Rivian has developed a large electric vehicle skateboard platform that can be used for a variety of vehicles. The company is using it on their own R1T and R1S and has sold it to Ford for use as the underpinnings for an all-electric F-150.

Hyundai Motor Group has announced a partnership with Canoo to jointly develop an electric vehicle (EV) platform based on Canoo's proprietary skateboard design for upcoming Hyundai and Kia models.

Cannoo skateboard Canoo's skateboard is designed to be suitable for mass market adoption.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

"We were highly impressed by the speed and efficiency in which Canoo developed their innovative EV architecture, making them the perfect engineering partner for us as we transition to become a frontrunner in the future mobility industry," said Albert Biermann, Head of Research & Development, Hyundai Motor Group. "We will collaborate with Canoo engineers to develop a cost-effective Hyundai platform concept that is autonomous ready and suitable for mass adoption."

The skateboard will be fully scalable all-electric platform to meet Hyundai and Kia specifications. It will fit a range of models from small-sized EVs to purpose built vehicles.

Platforms currently made by Canoo are designed to house most of the critical powertrain components of an electrical vehicle. Because the company focuses on minimalist functionality, they are able to create lower-cost skateboard than their competition. This design strategy fits into Hyundai's budget-focused business model.

Hyundai Motor Group recently committed to invest $87 billion over the next five years to foster alternative powertrain growth. As part of this drive, Hyundai plans to invest $52 billion in future technologies through 2025, while Kia will invest $25 billion USD in electrification and future mobility technologies, aiming for eco-friendly vehicles to comprise 25 percent of its total sales by 2025.

Canoo is relatively new to the market. The company unveiled its first electric vehicle (for subscription only) on September 24, 2019, just 19 months after the company's founding in December 2017. Canoo's first vehicle will launch in 2021.

Healthcare workers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment check in with people waiting to be tested for COVID-19 at the state's first drive-up testing center on March 12, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. The testing center is free and available to anyone who has a note from a doctor confirming they meet the criteria to be tested for the virus

Photo by Getty Images

Hyundai Hope on Wheels (HHOW), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported by Hyundai Motor America and its U.S. dealers, has announced that it has donated $2 million for COVID-19 drive-thru testing centers in partnership with children's hospitals across the U.S. HHOW has supported health and well-being initiatives for children with cancer since 1998.

"Hyundai is a company committed to improving the well-being of society and the health of children," says Jose Munoz, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America. "In the last few weeks, our society has been challenged with a major pandemic that has had significant consequences to life, safety and well-being. Children who are diagnosed with cancer are particularly at high risk. Through our Hyundai Hope On Wheels program, we are committed to being a strong partner on behalf of children's health and assisting during this time."

The following children's hospitals are the first three of ten to receive a $200,000 donation to support their Drive-Thru Testing Centers (additional hospitals to be announced):

  • CHOC Children's (Orange, CA)
  • UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital (Cleveland, OH)
  • Children's National Hospital (Washington, D.C.)

"This is an unusual time in our nation as we combat the ravages of COVID-19 coronavirus," says Scott Fink, HHOW Board Chair and Hyundai dealer-owner, Hyundai of New Port Richey and Hyundai of Wesley Chapel. "Hyundai dealers across America unite with Hyundai to serve humanity, as we come together in this time of national crisis. Through our involvement with Hyundai Hope On Wheels, we know that children who are fighting cancer have weakened immune systems and are at a high risk for COVID-19. Together, we have directed additional resources to the various hospitals, who are arranging COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Centers at their facilities across the U.S."

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For more information about Hyundai Hope On Wheels COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Centers, and to get the most updated list of partnering hospitals, visit www.hyundaihopeonwheels.org.

Hyundai has revealed a new Elantra, the seventh-generation of the model.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai's Elantra isn't known for being anything more than a competent commuter car. The Korean automaker wants to change that. Enter the completely redesigned 2021 Hyundai Elantra. It's dynamic, fuel-efficient, and takes the connectivity to a new level.

The seventh-generation Elantra is built on a new vehicle platform with a longer wheelbase, wider stance, and lower roofline than the sixth-generation model. It's the second Hyundai model that features the company's Sensuous Sportiness design identity - the first was the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.

Designers have make the Elantra look like a fastback car.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Elantra slots between the larger Sonata and smaller Accent in Hyundai's lineup. It sees direct competition from the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

It's a sedan with a fastback-like roofline, holding true to modern design trends. It has a cascading, jewel-patterned grille; bold fascia; gem-like shapes on the side panels; and available 15-, 16-, and 17-inch wheels.

At the rear, there's a wide horizontal line that goes the width of the car. Its "H-Tail Lamp" design creates a Hyundai lying H logo-like shape, which should make the model instantly recognizable at night. Black accents edge the rear glass while the lower bumper has gotten a wing-type treatment.

Hyundai's PR team is using the words "nimble" and "respond quickly" to describe the Elantra's driving dynamics and powertrain. Those aren't two words that would have been associated with the Elantra in the past so it's a clear push in a more engaging direction.

The car has a wing-like rear.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

However, the model comes with the same engine as the last generation and it has the same output. Buyers of the Elantra SE, SEL, and Limited get a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with Hyundai's version of a continuously variable transmission.

Hyundai has added an Elantra Hybrid to its lineup for the 2021 model year. It has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an electric motor and a 32 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery to generate 139 horsepower and up to 195 pound-feet of torque. That engine is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. All in all, that model may be the most efficient and most fun to drive of the lot and Hyundai says that it will get over 50 mpg.

Designers have made the new Elantra what they're calling an "immersive cocoon". It's made to have an airline cockpit-like aesthetic with low, wide structures that span the width of the car and give the feeling of spaciousness.

The design of the car's cabin emphasizes its width.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The tech innovations start right up front where a single interface houses two 10.25-inch screens, one for driver information and the other for traditional infotainment functionality in higher trim levels. Standard equipment includes an 8.0-inch infotainment display, HD radio, and Bluetooth. Drivers can opt for 64 mood lighting color options, a sunroof, Blue Link connected services, wireless charging, voice recognition services, and an eight-speaker Bose sound system.

There's also smartphone as a key functionality, something the Sonata has and one of the features that shown off during the company's Super Bowl "Smaht Pahk" commercial. It does not have the vehicle movability (sans driver) that the Sonata does. Users are able to remote start, unlock, lock, and find their car using the Blue Link app.

The cloud-based navigation system includes a bird's-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get connected routing. Connected routing provides multiple navigation options and real-time route updates. Server-based routing makes the onboard navigation experience similar to current smartphone navigation apps. Three years of navigation system updates are included.

2021 Hyundai Elantra driver infromation screen Hyundai has made the Elantra available with twin screens that are over 10 inches corner-to-corner.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available through wireless connectivity. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time.

Buyers will get the Elantra with a good list of standard safety technologies including forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, and rearview camera with guidelines.

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is slated to begin production in Ulsan, Korea and at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama this autumn. Sales will begin in the fourth quarter. Pricing will be announced closer to the car's on-sale date.