SEOUL - Hyundai is attacking the sport-utility segment with several projects, including a common-rail diesel engine aimed mainly at Europe, and a new 4.5-liter V-8 engine aimed primarily at the USA.
Hyundai is trying to catch up with the sport-utility boom by developing several projects in parallel. At least one new sport-utility will be launched next year, said Lee Hyun-Soon, Hyundai's head of passenger-car product engineering and research. He indicated that the common-rail diesel engine was further off, but he offered no details.
The V-8 engine uses Mitsubishi's gasoline direct-injection technology. It will be available from early next year, said Lee. It is likely to be fitted into several Hyundai vehicles, including a new large sport-utility and possibly a minivan.
The Mitsubishi technology provides good fuel efficiency.
In an interview at Hyundai's Ulsan, Korea, assembly plant last month, Lee said the company is building the V-8 engine to 'show off our technological capabilities.'
He said Hyundai wants to break into the luxury car market.
Hyundai's biggest selling model in North America is the Sonata. In Europe, the best-selling model is the Accent, with 25,858 units sold through April.