Be­neath the Shine: 2016 Hyundai Tuc­son pow­er­train

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - AUTOS -

HYUNDAI’S new 2016 Tuc­son compact cross­over fea­tures two en­gine choices and a firstin-seg­ment seven-speed dual clutch trans­mis­sion. Aimed at offering top ef­fi­ciency, the Tus­con en­gines come in 2.0 litre and 1.6 litre turbo ver­sions. The 2.0 litre en­gine is the base en­gine and is part of the Nu en­gine fam­ily. We may be fa­mil­iar with en­gine fam­ily names such as Small Block Chevy, Hemi, or Big Block Ford to des­ig­nate a type of en­gine avail­able in a va­ri­ety of dis­place­ments. Hyundai also has many en­gine fam­i­lies and Nu is one of them. The 2.0-litre four-cylin­der en­gine fea­tures direct fuel-in­jec­tion to pro­duce 164 horse­power and is cou­pled with a six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with over­drive and a lock-up con­verter for im­proved fuel econ­omy at high­way speeds. To keep ev­ery­thing smooth and quiet, hy­draulic trans­mis­sion mounts have liq­uid-filled cham­bers to damp vi­bra­tion and the en­gine mounts have been re-cal­i­brated to fur­ther en­hance this.

New for 2016 in the Tuc­son is the 1.6-litre turbo en­gine, part of the Gamma en­gine fam­ily. The Gamma en­gine was in­tro­duced in the 2011 Ac­cent. The new 2016 Tuc­son in­cludes a turbo to the en­gine for even greater per­for­mance. Horse­power is rated at 175 but it is the 195 pound-feet of torque at only 1,500 r.p.m. that makes this en­gine per­form. The di­rect­in­jected 1.6 litre en­gine’s tur­bocharger has low-in­er­tia turbo spool­ing re­sponse, which means the tur­bocharger can quickly in­crease its speed to pro­vide boost pres­sure rapidly. This is cou­pled with an elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled waste­gate for pre­cise con­trol of in­take man­i­fold pres­sures.

Turbocharging in­creases the ef­fi­ciency of the en­gine by push­ing more air into the cylin­ders. Add more fuel to that air and you have more power. How­ever, if you were driv­ing un­der boost all the time, fuel econ­omy would suf­fer, so gaso­line tur­bocharged en­gines op­er­ate with min­i­mal or no boost dur­ing nor­mal driv­ing and in­crease the boost pres­sure when power is needed such as ac­cel­er­a­tion from a stop or pass­ing an­other ve­hi­cle. The 2016 Tuc­son does ex­hibit a small amount of turbo lag, which means there is some­times a slight de­lay in ac­cel­er­a­tion un­til the tur­bocharger can pro­vide boost, but this is min­i­mal and only hap­pens dur­ing slow speed cruis­ing if you sud­denly de­mand max­i­mum ac­cel­er­a­tion. Dur­ing most driv­ing you would not no­tice any turbo lag.

Other fea­tures of the 1.6-litre en­gine in­clude pis­ton-cool­ing oil spray jets and a new wa­ter jacket insert that di­rects more coolant to the up­per level of the cylin­der block. This low­ers cylin­der head tem­per­a­ture, which in turn al­lows the pro­gram­mers to build in leaner air/fuel ra­tio pro­gram­ming into the en­gine com­puter for bet­ter fuel econ­omy.

The 1.6-litre Turbo Gamma en­gine is also cou­pled with a seg­ment-first seven-speed dual clutch trans­mis­sion. For those not fa­mil­iar with dual clutch trans­mis­sions, the gear­box is a man­ual trans­mis­sion that is shifted au­to­mat­i­cally us­ing com­puter con­trols. Two clutches couple the en­gine to the trans­mis­sion, with one clutch driv­ing the odd num­ber gears while the other clutch drives the even num- ber gears. Dur­ing op­er­a­tion, when driv­ing in first gear, the com­puter pre­s­e­lects sec­ond gear in­ter­nally in the trans­mis­sion and when the shift is de­sired, it will release the first gear clutch and ap­ply the sec­ond gear clutch. The process con­tin­ues as the trans­mis­sion shifts through the other gears, al­ter­nat­ing the ap­ply of the re­quired clutch. In higher gears, the com­puter will de­cide what gear to pre-se­lect us­ing the en­gine and ve­hi­cle in­puts to de­ter­mine driv­ing style — so it de­cides if you want to up­shift or down­shift.

With no clutch pedal to worry about and the fuel econ­omy of a man­ual trans­mis­sion, the dual clutch trans­mis­sion works very well. As a driver, you may no­tice the tachom- eter nee­dle jumps from one r.p.m. to an­other dur­ing a shift rather than a smoother tran­si­tion found with con­ven­tional au­to­matic trans­mis­sions, but the shift still feels very smooth to the pas­sen­gers. The most no­tice­able dif­fer­ence with dual clutch trans­mis­sions is when pulling away from a stop and com­ing to a stop. Some­times a lit­tle firm­ness in the op­er­a­tion can be felt in­side the ve­hi­cle and the Tuc­son trans­mis­sion is no dif­fer­ent. It seems to be more no­tice­able when coast­ing slowly to a stop; when the clutch sud­denly dis­en­gages it re­minds me more of the feel of driv­ing a man­ual trans­mis­sion — with­out the has­sle of a clutch pedal.

HAND­OUT / HYUNDAI

For 2016 Hyundai Tus­con en­gines come in 2.0-litre and 1.6-litre turbo ver­sions. The 2.0-litre en­gine

(inset) is the base en­gine and is part of the Nu en­gine fam­ily.

JIM KERR

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