Hyundai is about to give large SUVs another go and we've got our first spy shots of a prototype for the Korean automaker's latest attempt.
Hyundai has been burned in the past with vehicles like the Veracruz and the Borrego from sister brand Kia, but given the strong demand for high-riding models with third-row seats, both in the United States and other parts of the globe, the segment is too tempting to ignore.
Hyundai's large SUV will be a full-size offering with seating for eight. It's expected on sale in 2019, as a 2020 model. All Hyundai is willing to say about the vehicle is that it won't be called a Veracruz. Instead, the automaker will introduce a new nameplate.
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
Our spy shots reveal that Hyundai is already at a late stage of development for the new SUV. We can see through the camouflage gear that the vehicle will feature a large, boxy design with the treatment for the grille and headlights similar to what we see on the handsome redesign of the Santa Fe.
Look for a strip of chrome to run along the top of Hyundai's Cascading grille motif. And the headlights will feature a split design, where the main projectors sit at the leading edge of the hood and the daytime running lights, fog lights and indicators are integrated into a separate unit below.
The interior should also feature a design similar to what we see in the new Santa Fe. This means a large infotainment screen tacked onto the center of the dash. We can also expect useful goodies such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, a Qi wireless charging pad for supported mobile devices, and the latest in electronic driver aids.
Underpinning the vehicle is thought to be a new front-wheel-drive platform with transverse engines and all-wheel-drive capability. Kia will get its own full-size SUV based on the platform. The Kia will feature a design based on 2016's well-received Telluride concept.
2020 Hyundai full-size SUV spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
A 3.5-liter V-6 should be the standard option in the Hyundai SUV. Diesel and plug-in hybrid options could also be introduced at some point.
Potential rivals include the Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Subaru Ascent, as well as Hyundai's own Santa Fe, which also offers third-row seats in Santa Fe XL guise.
Note, Hyundai's working on a separate SUV platform for its Genesis brand. This one is thought to be a rear-wheel-drive design with longitudinally mounted engines. The first application will be a mid-size GV80 SUV coming to Genesis showrooms in 2019.