We've known this CUV existed for some time based on spy shots of the vehicle being tested. Once thought to be called the "Mesa", the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spilled the beans on the name "VeraCruz" when it uploaded a place for the vehicle on its Safercar.gov site in anticipation of crash testing it.
Hyundai already markets a seven-passenger SUV in Asia and Europe, the Terracan, but with the market for full-on, body-on-frame 4x4s shrinking daily, developing a new model probably looked like a better bet.
John Krafcik, Hyundai's VP of Product Development and Strategic Planning, made the announcement today and said we'll see the production VeraCruz for the first time at the North American International Auto Show in January.
Of note: Krafcik also said Hyundai would be launching four new vehicles by 2010, some in new segments.