TOKYO — Hyundai is casting a wider net with the next-generation Tucson by offering long and short wheelbases and hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.
The U.S., where the redesigned compact crossover goes on sale in the first half of 2021 as a 2022 model, will have the long-wheelbase variant to address regional demand for more cabin space. Hyundai will roll out both hybrids stateside as part of a move to amplify its electrified portfolio.
The changes, with striking styling, will help the fourth-generation Tucson stand out in an increasingly saturated segment, said SangYup Lee, Hyundai Motor Co.'s global design chief.
"It's actually a very avant-garde design," Lee said after the Tucson's unveiling last week. "This segment is overcrowded. I'd rather make a strong statement. For the U.S. market, you've got to have a strong statement to begin with."
The redesign of Hyundai's bestselling U.S. nameplate introduces bold exterior styling with angular sheet metal and fender flares. The design is highlighted by an intricate grille accentuated by daytime running lights that jut from the center like a pair of wings. The lights are integrated into the grille so that when they are turned off, they look like the rest of the chrome garnish.