2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson) Previews The Next Generation of Korean SUV Design

The second generation Hyundai ix35 (also known as the Tucson in America) is just around the corner. Multiple prototypes are currently testing across Germany and Korea, as Hyundai tries to find the best compromise to suit a highly competitive compact SUV market.
2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson) 14 photos
2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)2016 Hyundai ix35 (Tucson)
These latest images were taken at the Nurburgring, where an ix35 took to the famous track, wearing a new design of extra-large five-spoke alloy wheels. Could the company be looking for a keener driving experience? We think so, especially since the design is peppered with sporty details.
All-New Hyundai Design
Thanks to the work of Peter Schreyer and his team of designers, the new ix35 will look much better than its predecessor. All clues point towards a visible improvement in build quality, with thinner panel lines and clearly defined premium features. Looking at the front grille, its outter shape is similar to the current ix35 but three large and clearly defined bars create the impression of bird wings, just like on some Opels.

This German influence is not coincidental, since Hyundai Motors Europe has its test and development center located in Russelsheim, the spiritual home of Opel. Sizing up the competition is only natural. But ironically, Opel doesn't have a compact SUV that's as modern and competitive as the ix35.

While the grille is Opel-like, the headlights appear to be LEDs with repetitive circular design, like a Lexus RX and some Acuras.

Something else worth noting on this prototype SUV is the exhaust. Two triangular pipes are visible round the back and they have 3D-effect tips, something we see on more premium vehicles. Rivals like the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V hide their basic systems underneath the bumper.
New Engines and Technology
Technical details remain unknown, but the Tucson/ix35 is expected to carry over some of its current mills, including a 1.6 GDI and various 2.4-liter four-bangers. Diesel options should include a 1.7 and a 2.2 with all-wheel drive.

Turbocharging for petrols is also very likely. The ix35 will share its platform with the i30 compact, known as the Elantra GT in America. That car's 1.6-liter, also featured on the Veloster Turbo, looks very likely to be adopted, since it offers superior fuel efficiency. A 1.2-liter turbo engine has also been confirmed by Hyundai for use in compact cars, though not SUVs.

Kia's next Sportage will benefit from all the new technologies, engines and features developed for the ix35 and should come a year later, in late 2016.
Sizing Up the Competition
The ix35 is still a relatively new to the game. It was launched in 2009 as a replacement for the Tucson in Europe and has been well received, especially as a family car. The marketing formula for this new model will follow pretty much the same rules as the bigger ix45 (Santa Fe): more premium features and a larger boot than all its competitors.

It should go on sale in the fall of 2015 after debuting somewhere between March's Geneva and April's New York Auto Shows.


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