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Hyundai-Kia enhances use of AHSS in new platforms and models

The Hyundai-Kia group produced more than 7.2 million vehicles in 2017, making it the third-largest carmaker in the world. The company continues to exploit the strength and lightweighting advantages of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) in its new models.

Their partnership with steel suppliers has already seen the group exploit the strength and lightweighting advantages of AHSS in its vehicles. Now the company is intensifying its use of AHSS to create a range of new platforms and vehicles which are lighter, stronger, and highly efficient.


Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai’s all-new Sonata is the first model to utilize the company’s third-generation vehicle platform. The platform offers the carmaker significant flexibility, allowing it to develop vehicles for multiple segments. It also allows Hyundai to implement sporty and stylish design elements in the new Sonata.

“A key benefit of the new platform is the improvement in collision safety that is delivered through a combination of a multiload path structure, hot stamping, and super-high-tensile steel plate. This increases the amount of energy that the vehicle can absorb in a collision.”

Hyundai Motors website



The new Sonata was launched at the New York International Auto Show in April 2019. Production will begin in September 2019. [Video courtesy World Auto Steel - Hyundai Motor Group]


Hyundai Accent

The 2018 Accent is the fifth generation of Hyundai’s iconic sub-compact vehicle. The latest iteration is composed of 54.5 percent AHSS, up from 41.5 percent in the previous generation. This has helped improve the Accent’s torsional rigidity by 32 percent.

“The new, rigid chassis improves noise isolation and overall driving dynamics. The application of AHSS also enhances collision energy management without adding weight. This reduces fuel consumption and delivers a better driving feel.

“The result is a car which sets a benchmark for driving dynamics and safety while delivering outstanding fuel efficiency. It also helps Hyundai maintain an almost unbeatable value position.”


The fifth-generation Hyundai Accent uses 54.5 percent AHSS [Image courtesy Hyundai Motor Group]

Hyundai Kona

Hyundai’s new Kona Electric is the first fully electric subcompact SUV on the European market. The all-new model combines Hyundai’s cutting-edge style with a zero-emission powertrain. The innovative nature of the vehicle has been recognized with numerous awards including Car of the Year in the Next Green Car Awards.

“The Kona Electric benefits from superior rigidity through the application of high strength steels. Hot stamping and a ring-shaped cabin shell structure, made from ultra high strength steel (UHSS), have enabled the safety zone to be enlarged and improved crashworthiness. The multiload path structure of the cabin disperses energy in various directions in the event of a collision and reduces the effects of an impact on passengers.”

Hyundai Motors website


The Hyundai Kona benefits from improved rigidity thanks to the use of AHSS [Image courtesy Hyundai Motor Group]

Hyundai Tuscon

The chassis of the 2016 Tuscon has been significantly improved by Hyundai and now uses more than 50 percent AHSS. This is up from 18 percent in the previous model.

“AHSS and the use of laser welded blanks (LWB) has also enabled Hyundai to make the entire body shell stiffer and lighter. The LWBs have been used to reinforce key structural members. LWB assemblies combine steels of different thickness and grades using a sophisticated laser welding and stamping process to achieve an optimal stiffness-to-weight ratio. They reduce body weight while enhancing crash energy management.

“The new Tucson also benefits from strategic use of structural adhesives at higher stress points on the chassis and more extensive use of hot-stamping methods for greater rigidity. The structure also uses four-point bushing mounts for improved comfort and reduced road noise.”


The entire body shell has been made stiffer and lighter thanks to extensive use of advanced high-strength steel, and the use of Tailor Welded Blanks (TWB) reinforces key structural members. [Image courtesy Hyundai Motor Group]


Kia Motors Corporation is a part of the Hyundai Motor Company. In its own right, Kia is the second-largest carmaker in Korea. Kia has championed the use of advanced high strength steel (AHSS) to lightweight its fleet and provide the best level of safety for vehicle occupants.

Kia Forte

Kia launched its 2019 edition of the Forte at the North American International Motor Show in 2018. The all-new 2019 Forte has been strengthened with additional hot-stamped components, and 54 percent AHSS.

“The body-in-white (BIW) is 16 percent stiffer than the previous model thanks to an increase in rigidity. The refined compact now offers drivers a better level of comfort, fuel efficiency, and technology.”

Kia Motors' media release - 15 January 2018


The all-new 2019 Forte uses 54 percent AHSS [Image courtesy Kia Motors Corporation]

Kia Optima

In 2016, Kia launched a completely new version of its Optima midsized sedan. The new model features a uniquely engineered body, more than half of which is constructed from AHSS. The body combines various high-tensile strength steel alloys and sits on a chassis that is stiffer and more durable thanks to the increased use of AHSS.

The greater use of structural adhesives (up more than 450 percent over the previous edition) improves noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) and contributes to the vehicle’s structural rigidity. Engineers also added more hot stamped components to the all-new Optima, a 350-percent increase over the 2015 model. This body structure helps provide crash protection, better driving dynamics, and is the foundation for a quieter ride.

In March 2018, Kia launched a refreshed version of the Optima at the New York International Auto Show. Known as the 2019 Optima, the new version continues the strong use of steel and implements new technology and features to enhance safety and passenger comfort.


The 2019 Kia Optima continues the use of AHSS to improve safety and comfort [Image courtesy Kia Motors Corporation]

Kia Rio

The Kia Rio uses more than 50 percent AHSS, up more than 54 percent on the previous model. As the carmaker notes: “This equates to phenomenal body rigidity, enhancing cabin protection as well as dynamic performance.”

The use of AHSS helps to increase the durability, collision test performance, and torsional stiffness of the vehicle while also reducing weight and improving handling and ride quality. For reduced NVH, the Rio uses body sealing and bonding adhesives to dampen sound pathways throughout its construction.

The all-new Rio is targeting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick designation and a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). When announcing the sport-inspired Rio GT model at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, Kia noted that the Rio is: “…the safest B-segment car Kia has ever made.”

The extensive use of AHSS has enhanced the durability and stiffness of the Kia Rio [Image courtesy Kia Motors Corporation]

Kia Sportage

The refreshed 2020 Kia Sportage made its debut at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. The latest model builds on improvements made to the all‑new 2017 Kia Sportage which was first announced in 2016.

The structure of the 2017 Sportage was significantly improved with extensive use of AHSS. Around 51 percent of the Sportage’s body‑in‑white consists of AHSS, up from just 18 percent in the previous model. The use of more AHSS has improved torsional rigidity by around 39 percent.

The improvements saw the 2017 Sportage earn the highest safety designation possible*: The Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

*When equipped with the optional front crash prevention module.

The 2020 Kia Sportage features 51 percent AHSS in the body-in-white [Image courtesy Kia Motors Corporation]


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