Undisguised pictures of Hyundai’s new iX35 have leaked out ahead of its official unveiling at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.
The iX35 was first seen as the ix-onic concept at the Geneva show in March and the car pictured here is the model for Asian and American markets.
This version of the Tucson replacement gets a less dramatic front end with less aggressive headlamps and no lower set of lights, but a Hyundai source told Autocar the European version was likely to more closely resemble the ix-onic concept.
“The European car will get a more dramatic front end and will have a ‘bling’ factor that isn’t present in the US and Korean version,” said the source. “Although it won’t be as extreme as the ix-onic concept, it will have a different, more extreme front end.”
The only interior shot leaked shows the concept’s deep-set dials remain and the source confirmed the interior would have a “high-quality” feel.
The source said the Hyundai ix35 will compete head-to-head with the Nissan Qashqai and will be offered with both front and four-wheel drive. Hyundai expects around 95 per cent of the car’s sales to be in front-wheel drive and it is being pitched as a car for on-road use, rather than as an off-roader.
“We want people to look at a mid-spec Focus or Golf and think that they can get a better equipped, higher-quality and more spacious product for the same money,” said the source.
“We’ll be pricing it at much less than the Ford Kuga and want to offer lots of equipment to tempt people away from buying a Nissan Qashqai.”
“The ix35 will have similar emissions and running costs to rivals like the Focus, but we think people will opt for an ix35 because they’re getting more equipment and interior space than our rivals.”
The Hyundai ix-onic showcased a new 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection 168bhp petrol unit that's capable of a tax-friendly 149g/km of CO2 emissions, and a non-turbocharged version of that engine is likely to make the production car.
A new “low emissions, high-powered” 2.0-litre diesel engine will also feature in the ix35’s line-up, according to the source.
The European version will be built at Hyundai/Kia’s Slovakia plant.
UK sales kick off in spring 2010 and prices are likely to start at around £16,000.