Frankfurt Preview: Hyundai officially teases the new Tucson *UPDATED
We've been seeing spy shots of the next generation Hyundai Tucson for several weeks, but we now have the first official teaser from the Korean automaker. The new Tucson and a refreshed Santa Fe will both debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, and according to Hyundai spokesman Dan Bedore, the shot above was released from the home office in South Korea. Unfortunately, the badging shows two elements we won't be getting in North America: Hyundai has no current plans to offer a diesel in the Stateside Tucson, but on the upside, the automaker won't be spreading its alphanumeric nomenclature to U.S. shores with the European ix35 nameplate.
The Tucson was designed at Hyundai's new Frankfurt studio and will launch first in Korea next month, while the European version launches later this fall and then in the U.S. early next year. The Santa Fe will benefit from some styling updates along with powertrain and suspension upgrades, including a rumored direct injected gas engine. More to follow from Frankfurt next month.
*UPDATE: We've just received a pair of official renderings from Hyundai that lend much more definition to the next-gen Tucson crossover. Check them out in the high-res gallery below.
Hyundai to reveal the new European SUV range at Frankfurt Motor Show
Offenbach, August 17th 2009,
Hyundai will strengthen its position as one of the leading brands in the European SUV sector when it presents an all-new addition to the brand's SUV line-up at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The ix35 joins the C-segment to replace the very successful Tucson, and will receive its world premiere at the Show on the 15th September. Alongside the ix35 will be the significantly-revised Santa Fe, which benefits from a wide range of engineering and cosmetic changes to fine-tune the driving experience and make it even more competitive versus rival D-segment SUVs.
These debutants will reach showrooms during the next six months, enhancing Hyundai's offering in the SUV sector. Throughout the decade Hyundai has regularly ranked among the top five brands for SUV sales in Europe. A strong product range and high levels of customer loyalty boosted the company's share of the European SUV market from 5,6% in 2000 to over 18% by 2002.
Since then Hyundai has consistently demonstrated its strength in the sector, notably in the popular – and growing – C-segment. The Tucson has been a top-10 SUV in this segment since 2004, selling 63.000 units across Europe at its peak and taking over 20% of sales in the class. Its bigger brother, the Santa Fe, has reached similarly high peaks, with 62.000 sales and 16% market share, and has also placed in the segment's top 10 every year since 2004.
"SUVs have been a cornerstone of our success for many years and have helped to raise awareness of the Hyundai brand in Europe," says Allan Rushforth, Vice-President of Hyundai Motor Europe. "With Tucson in particular we have demonstrated our expertise in producing SUVs which not only meet consumer expectations but also help to shape the sector itself."
Mr. Rushforth added, "Building on these strong foundations, we expect to capitalize on the growing market demand for compact SUVs with the introduction of the new ix35 – an efficient, Europe-focused model with real showroom appeal. It will join the ix55 and revised Santa Fe in a new-look range of SUVs, supporting the significant growth in market share we have achieved this year."
The ix35 represents a major step forward for Hyundai in Europe. It is the first SUV to be conceived and engineered in Europe at the company's Frankfurt-based design and technical centers. The newcomer embodies Hyundai's new design language – 'fluidic sculpture' – and carries over much of the confident, sweeping styling of the ix-onic concept car, which starred at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.
The upgrades for Santa Fe include revisions to the powertrain, steering and suspension. Mated to the recently-launched diesel engine, codenamed 'R', these modifications have created a balanced and refined model, well suited to on-road and off-road demands.
Further information about ix35 and the new-look Santa Fe will be announced nearer the time of the Show.
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