Hyundai has committed to its local ride-and-handling program following the launch of the redesigned Hyundai Tucson and all-new Genesis GV70, neither of which feature a bespoke Australian tune.

    However, not every Hyundai and Genesis model will receive a local suspension tune moving forward.

    “The local program is still absolutely in full effect, of course very heavily impacted by COVID,” said Hyundai Australia product general manager Andrew Tuitahi.

    “When we test a car, if we’re really comfortable and happy with it, if we know the team the car is coming from in terms of its development globally, we will more than likely be 90 per cent happy with it based on the experience that we’ve had over the last 18-24 months.

    “I think that what you’ll see is a combination in the future, where cars are coming from a team that has spent time here, where they will perform exceptionally well without any local modifications. But we will still absolutely be involved in providing feedback and tuning where necessary.”

    He added some cars have come here where Hyundai Australia has insisted on a local program as they haven’t performed to the standards the local arm expects.

    That doesn’t apply to the Genesis GV70, which Mr Tuitahi calls “exceptionally good”.

    With COVID-19 impacting Genesis Australia’s ability to get anybody from R&D or the company’s damper suppliers out to Australia, the company was unable to tune the vehicle to the same extent it usually would.

    “Basically, we evaluated all the settings that were available globally. So essentially we received all those parts, fitted those parts locally, evaluated that, and put together a package that suited our roads the most,” said product planning manager Chris Saltapidas.

    Engineers on the global development team had previously spent time in Australia.

    “If we were able to tune it, I’m not sure we would have been able to do a much better job,” said Mr Tuitahi.

    The Hyundai Tucson has missed out on a bespoke tune with its latest generation, though the global set-up was subject to a wide range of tests by the local division.

    COVID-19 hasn’t just affected Hyundai and Genesis models’ local tuning.

    Corporate cousin Kia has also felt the sting of travel restrictions, with its redesigned Carnival using the Korean-market steering tune due to time constraints.

    “There’s nothing wrong or terribly wrong with the current set-up. I think the Korean domestic steering map is actually pretty good, it’s got good differentiation and gives you good feel and feedback,” said Kia Australia product planning head Roland Rivero.

    “Nevertheless, we still want to create our own.”

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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