New Hyundai Tucson in the metal
19 February 2009

These are the first official photos of the replacement for the Hyundai Tucson soft-roader. The Hyundai ix-onic concept, due to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show on 3 March, will be called the Hyundai ix35 when it reaches showrooms in spring 2010.

The ix-onic, overseen by chief designer Thomas Buerkle at Hyundai’s Frankfurt design centre, features a coupe-like roofline, Audi-style daytime-running lights and a concave plastic rear screen.

Larger than the outgoing Tucson, the production Hyundai ix35 will compete head-on with the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga.

The Hyundai ix35 will be offered in two and four-wheel-drive formats.

Hyundai’s UK sales director Guy Pigounakis predicts that up to one third of “pragmatic” customers could opt for the front-wheel-drive system as fuel consumption and CO2 emission ratings move owners away from four-wheel drive, which they rarely use.

The ix-onic sits on 21-inch alloys and features aluminium bodywork trim, a deep nose spoiler and pronounced flared wheel arches. The cabin trim incorporates magnesium alloy trim.

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Although diesel engines dominate the compact SUV sector, Hyundai is using the ix-onic to showcase a new1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection 168bhp petrol unit that's capable of a tax-friendly 149g/km of CO2 emissions.

As we revealed earlier this month, however, the production version will also use a 181bhp version of Hyundai’s new R-engine turbodiesel.

 

The ix-onic also features a twin-clutch six-speed gearbox, and its ISG stop-start technology will appear in the Hyundai i30 in September.

 

Hugh Hunston

 

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