Although the significantly refreshed 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe was revealed last month, the company left out a number of details concerning how it would change mechanically. This month, Hyundai has revealed details on the conventional and plug-in hybrid engines it will be offering. Though the engines haven’t been confirmed for the U.S. market, we have reason to believe they will be available here.
The regular hybrid powertrain combines a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a 44-kW electric motor. Total output for the unit is 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The plug-in hybrid uses the same gas engine, but gets a bigger 67-kW motor along with a 13.8-kWh battery. Combined power for the plug-in is 261 horsepower, and torque remains the same at 258 pound-feet. Both engines are coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. The regular hybrid can be had with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive while the plug-in is all-wheel-drive only.
These engines have only been announced for Europe, but they make sense for the U.S. For one thing, they seem to be using the same 1.6-liter turbo engine with continuously variable valve duration that we get in the Hyundai Sonata. Of course the Sonata’s engine doesn’t have any electrical assist. Additionally, the compact crossover segment the Santa Fe competes in is quickly becoming hybridized. The Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape all now have hybrid variants, and the latter two are getting plug-in versions this year. The regular Santa Fe hybrid would also boast more power and torque than those other crossovers, and the plug-in hybrid would slot neatly between the Escape plug-in and the RAV4 Prime in terms of output. The Hyundai might have shorter electric range than the Ford and Toyota as it has a smaller battery than those two.
Hyundai has also announced it will offer non-hybrid gas and diesel engines in Europe, too. We’re sure we’ll get non-hybrid gas versions in America, but there’s no chance for the diesel option. We should get more details closer to the Santa Fe’s launch in the U.S. at the end of this year.