Gasoline-Powered Hyundais Are Here To Stay

Industry News / 2 Comments

These ICE vehicles will serve key regions that aren't ready to switch over to electric-only.

Earlier this year, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said something rather brave (and refreshingly honest): he warned against a premature ban on ICE engines, noting "It would be harmful to simply give up a technology in which you have a global market position. I don't think that would help the climate or anyone else."

Despite this, the German company is ensuring it will have something for everyone, be it gasoline-powered, electric, or hybrid. And it seems Hyundai is heading in the same direction if Albert Biermann's comments are anything to go by. The company's executive technical advisor told CarExpert that Hyundai will continue to develop ICE engines alongside EVs and hydrogen vehicles.

"We are continuing for [the] next emission levels [in internal combustion development]. We have no other choices. I mean, we are not giving up on combustion engines, right, we are [a] global player," he confirmed.

2022-2023 Hyundai Kona N Driving Front Angle Hyundai

While this may outrage some environmentalists, the reasoning behind Hyundai's decision is sound. "There is no infrastructure available for EVs for quite some time in several regions," added Biermann. This makes plenty of sense. While Europe, some regions of the United States, and more developed parts of Asia can accommodate EVs, the greater majority of the world markets cannot.

What's more, electric vehicles are costlier than their ICE contemporaries, placing them out of reach for many. So, will Hyundai continue to improve existing engines, or has the company invested in next-generation ICE powerplants? Biermann kept his cards close to his chest but alluded to the former.

"We [will] keep going with combustion engines but will we set up a whole new combustion engine family? Yeah, I mean, you have to follow the emission regulations and that requires sometimes intense development. Euro 7, for example, is quite challenging. So that's on the agenda."

2023 Hyundai Palisade Forward Vision Hyundai

Europe's stringent emissions legislation will make it difficult for the company, with stricter standards expected to kick in as soon as 2025. The intricacies of Euro 7 regulations are still unknown, but several ideas are currently at play. It's the consumer that will bear the brunt, though. VW's Thomas Schaefer has said the proposed regulations will exacerbate development costs and threatens popular ICE vehicles like the Golf.

"We will have to see whether it is worth developing a new vehicle that does not last the full seven or eight years. [It is] extremely expensive," he added. Let's not forget the European Union is looking to ban gas-powered vehicles in the coming years, too. Consumers may even be hit with added costs as a consequence of purchasing an ICE vehicle.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N Driving Back View Hyundai

So does this mean exciting performance vehicles such as the Kona N are here to stay? As much as we wish that was the case, it's unlikely. Hyundai N has already unveiled the hydrogen-powered N Vision 74 and we've seen an Ioniq 5 N strutting its stuff on the Nurburgring. The future of Hyundai's performance cars is almost certainly all-electric.

This is merely speculation at this point, but we're guessing these future ICE engines would serve markets that are unable to make the switch to EVs. As such, we can expect economical, well-priced vehicles for the masses. While that's not what enthusiasts want to hear, it would make sense. After all, Toyota has said something similar, with Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda noting the automaker has to cater to all of its clients.

2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Rear Angle View Hyundai
Source Credits: CarExpert

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