Hyundai’s new Santa Fe flagship model, the sports-tuned SR, is now on sale in Australia.
The Santa Fe SR is based on the Highlander, the previous top-shelf model, but its bag of sports goodies adds a $6750 premium for a before-costs price of $59,990.
Announced in October, the SR adds a handful of styling tweaks, new wheels and a locally calibrated sports tune to the chassis.
Standout visual changes include blacked-out 19-inch OZ Racing alloy wheels, a front lip spoiler, skirts at the side and a compact diffuser at the rear.
The new matte-black 19x8 ‘Versilia’ wheels are wrapped in 235/55 R19 Michelin Latitude Tour rubber, and a full-size spare is included.
Behind those new wheels is a Brembo braking set, including fixed two-piece four-piston callipers at both ends, with 340x28mm discs at the front and 302x22mm discs at the rear.
The top-shelf Santa Fe is also upgraded to include locally-tuned H&R performance springs and revised dampers.
Hyundai Australia’s product planning chief, Andrew Tuitahi, said the SR team evaluated 64 different spring and damper combinations, along with 85 distinct damper settings across the front and rear.
Rear spring rates were increased by four percent, with a big part of the evaluation focused on load carrying ability, a primary duty for any SUV.
Tuitahi says the most significant changes were made to the damper setup.
“We focussed mainly on damper flow characteristics: how we could best achieve a very similar force to what we already had, while making it smoother, calmer, and more comfortable,” he said.
“We concentrated on making the transition changes - when the damper changes from compression to rebound - as smooth as possible.”
A revised motor-driven power-steering (MDPS) system is also featured, offering the same enhancement from a 16- to 32-bit processor that has recently been added to the updated i40 passenger and Veloster sports models.
Hyundai says the chief improvement there comes in the form of greater differences in weight and feel between the three modes of the Santa Fe’s Flex Steer system.
Power in the SR is provided by Hyundai’s 145kW/436Nm 2.2 litre four-cylinder diesel, matched to a six-speed auto. This is the same combination found in the Highlander, with no SR-specific changes.
2015 SANTA FE SR FEATURES
Standout features of the Highlander-based Santa Fe SR include:
- 12-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Heated second row seats
- Rear-door sunshades
- Twin-panel, auto-closing panoramic glass roof
- Dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning (with vents on all three rows)
- Automatic dusk-sensing HID Xenon headlights
- LED Daytime running lights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Rear-view camera
- 7-inch Touchscreen satellite-navigation system with SUNA traffic updates and a three-year of HERE MapCare subscription.
- Bluetooth iPod connectivity
- 10-speaker premium audio system
- Underfloor rear cargo storage
- Proximity smart key with push-button start
- Power tailgate with hands-free opening
UPDATED 2016 SANTA FE
Hyundai has also recently revealed an updated Santa Fe range in Korea, introducing lightly revised styling and new features.
Australian timing for that model is still to be confirmed, although Hyundai Australia's Bill Thomas told TMR today that a fourth-quarter debut is likely.
2015 SANTA FE PRICING (excludes on-road costs)
- Active - 2.4 petrol AWD - 6spd manual - $38,490
- Active - 2.4 petrol AWD - 6spd auto - $40,990
- Active - 2.2 diesel AWD - 6spd manual - $41,490
- Active - 2.2 diesel AWD - 6spd auto - $43,990
- Elite - 2.2 diesel AWD - 6spd auto - $48,490
- Highlander - 2.2 diesel AWD - 6spd auto - $53,240
- SR - 2.2 diesel AWD - 6spd auto - $59,990