Hyundai Staria hybrid spotted in South Korea
The Hyundai Staria could be the car-maker’s next model to add the option of hybrid technology, after a test vehicle was photographed in South Korea.
A hybrid version of the Hyundai Staria has been spotted testing in South Korea.
Images uploaded online by South Korean website Motorgraph show a Staria test vehicle identical to the standard Hyundai peoplemover on the outside – but under the skin it now features a battery linked to a hybrid system.
The sighting comes months before the unveiling of a hybrid version of its twin under the skin, the Kia Carnival, at the end of this year or early next year.
It is unclear when the Hyundai Staria hybrid in development in these photos will come to showrooms, however it may be timed to arrive with the vehicle’s mid-life update, which is expected next year or in 2025 – based on Hyundai’s typical model schedules.
However there is no guarantee it will be sold in Australia, as plans for a right-hand-drive version of the hybrid Carnival are not locked in.
While the photos don’t show what is powering the Hyundai Staria test vehicle, it is expected to use the same turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor combination fitted to hybrid variants of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento SUVs in Australia.
In the hybrid SUVs, the turbo-petrol engine produces 132kW/265Nm, which is supplemented by a 44kW electric motor and a 1.5kWh battery pack to achieve peak outputs of 169kW/350Nm.
Confirming the hybrid technology are ‘US4 HEV’ tags on the vehicle, denoting the people mover’s internal codename, ‘US4’, and its Hybrid Electric Vehicle power.
The mention of ‘6AT’ on one of the stickers denotes a six-speed automatic transmission, as used by the aforementioned 1.6-litre hybrid models.
In Australia, the Hyundai Staria is sold with the choice of a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel and 3.5-litre V6 petrol engines – both of which are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and drive either all four wheels or the front wheels only, respectively.
The two engines are also shared with the Hyundai Santa Fe, which consumes a claimed 6.1L/100km of fuel in diesel form, and 10.5L/100km in petrol guise.
For comparison, the Santa Fe Hybrid has a claimed fuel consumption of 6.0L/100km on the Australian test cycle – slightly less than the turbo-diesel, but a significant saving compared to its V6 petrol counterpart.
While the Santa Fe Hybrid is exclusively sold in Australia as an all-wheel-drive (though a front-drive version is sold overseas), the hybrid Hyundai Staria test car appears to be front-wheel-drive – a layout available locally in the Sorento.
Previous reports from South Korea have suggested the Carnival cannot support an all-wheel-drive system due to the lack of space under the rear floor – so its new hybrid variant is set to be front-wheel drive only.
Given all-wheel drive is available with the diesel Staria, the option may be available on the Hyundai hybrid.
Motorgraph did not speculate when the Hyundai Staria hybrid will launch in South Korea. The electrified Kia Carnival has previously been linked to a January 2024 showroom arrival in its home market.