What is it?
The twitching wheel is intriguing, and so is your grandstand view of the Hyundai Nexo crisply steering itself through a motorway bend at 80mph. Just as surprising is a door mirror’s image appearing in the centre of the instrument cluster when you signal a direction change and, should you be following another cruising Nexo, the sight of roiling plumes of water vapour dancing from its twin exhausts.
The Nexo might be yet another medium size crossover – though a subtly handsome and appealingly detailed specimen – but it is also the standard-bearer for Hyundai’s autonomous driving and low-emission ambitions.
Powered by a hydrogen fuell-cell, the Nexo is a replacement for the Hyundai ix35 FCEV crossover, of which a small number were leased in 18 countries since 2013 (Autocar ran one on its long-term fleet). With this all-new FCEV Hyundai hopes to achieve sales in the thousands, while acknowledging that the patchy hydrogen infrastructure and the Nexo’s high price will limit its appeal.
Unlike the ix35, the Nexo will be offered with right-hand drive and has been engineered around a dedicated platform allowing its motive hardware to be packaged more economically. The result is a good-sized boot, and generous space in the rear