Hyundai HG350 Ready to Take on Europe's Transits and Sprinters
30 September 2014 - Autoblog
Hyundai has been historically known as a purveyor of affordable, content-laden everyday cars and crossovers. More recently, it's also been pushing upmarket and attempting to gain respect for its sporting joneses.
In other parts of the world, however, the Korean automaker is a major force in commercial vehicles, providing everything from chassis cabs and dump trucks to fullsize motor coaches. Now, it's looking to push further overseas, squarely into Europe's already mature van business with this new HG350, a new commercial vehicle that will form the basis for a cargo van, passenger transport and flatbed truck.
This three-pronged approach will see Hyundai fighting directly against the new Ford Transit, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and models like the recently overhauled Fiat Ducato/Peugeot Boxer twins. The rear-drive, six-speed manual-equipped range is available in 3.5-ton cargo or flatbed spec, or in 4.0-ton guise with as many as 15 seats. The cargo version, incidentally, can hold up to 456 cubic feet of stuff. Regardless of configuration, power comes from a common-rail diesel displacing 2.5 liters with either 148 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque or 168 hp and 311 lb-ft.
So, no HG350, but rumors persist that Hyundai is actively investigating the possibility of marketing a different sort of truck: a fullsize pickup. About this, Trainor is understandably cagey, but he did offer this tantalizingly open-ended response: "While our focus is on our lineup of cars and CUVs, we never say never to any segment."