Hyundai to bring turbodiesel, hydrogen to U.S.?

Marking the third time today for Hyundai-based rumors of major powertrain changes, now a report suggests both a diesel and hydrogen fuel-cell are possible too.

Earlier today Hyundai suggested that its upcoming 2011 Sonata Hybrid model may in fact break the 40 mile per gallon barrier with its highway rating, then suggestions surfaced of a dedicated hybrid by 2012 - followed by a plug-in variant for 2013.

Now, slightly more far-fetched, yet still plausible rumors are suggesting that Hyundai is openly considering both a turbodiesel for U.S. consumption, as well as a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle for the near future, according to Inside Line.

Rumors suggest that Hyundai is considering its 3.0-liter, 247 horsepower turbodiesel V6 for its U.S.-bound Veracruz, complete with an advanced selective catalytic reduction system to help reduce harmful emissions. Hyundai has not provided any further details regarding its diesel heading for U.S. consumption, but if it were to bring the oil-burner stateside, it would likely provide for class-leading fuel economy and give the Korean automaker a unique offering in an otherwise crowded market.

In addition to the suggestion of a diesel for the U.S., Hyundai also reportedly has 'tentative plans' to introduce a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle for sale in 2012. Hyundai says the vehicle would resemble the Mercedes-Benz R-Class people mover, albeit in a smaller scale.

In addition to the lack of a hydrogen refueling stations in most markets proving to be an entry barrier, the lackluster sales of the R-Class may also suggest that the styling is less than desirable, making a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle of that style a hard sell in that regard as well.

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