Hyundai's replacement for the Tucson is unveiled at Geneva
3 March 2009

Hyundai gave Geneva showgoers a taste of what to expect of the replacement for the Tucson with the Hyundai ix-onic concept, a compact four-door family 4x4. The Hyundai ix-onic is a much more sophisticated design than we’ve seen from Hyundai before, and gets a richer, more upmarket cabin.

According to Hyundai Europe’s head of design, Thomas Buerkle, the ix-onic is a 90 per cent match for the finished Tucson replacement, which, as we reported last month, will be called the ‘ix35’.

See more pics of the Hyundai ix-onic concept

“The ix-onic concept has a much stronger design identity than the Tucson, as well as a much more mature evolution of our ‘dynamic sculpture’ form and surface language,” said Buerkle. “It has the hexagonal front grille that appeared on our Hygenius concept of 2006, which will become a common design feature of many of our models, and pronounced feature lines on its body side that, for me, give the car great attractiveness and dynamism.”

Inside, the material richness of the ix-onic concept suggests that Hyundai is ready to take another big step forward towards the standards of major European players such as Ford and VW. Swathes of soft leather give its cabin a tangible upmarket feel, and swish combinations of colour and trim add to the effect.

Under the bonnet the Hyundai ix-onic has a new 168bhp, 1.6-litre turbocharged four-pot petrol engine, complete with stop-start technology, a six-speed twin-clutch gearbox and ‘intelligent’ four-wheel drive. A similar powertrain is expected to be offered on the production Hyundai ix35, alongside a family of advanced diesel engines with class-leading emissions.

Most noteworthy of all, though, is the Hyundai ix-onic’s unexpectedly mature and expensive look. “We feel that we’ve convinced people that we can make solid and reliable cars,” said Buerkle. “Now is the time for us to add some genuine desirability into the mix.”

Geneva homepage - see all the cars from the Geneva motor show 2009

Matt Saunders

Geneva cars: news and images

Chery DR, Ferrari 599XX, Ford Iosis Max, Frazer Nash Namir, Hyundai ix-onic, Infiniti Essence, Kia No3, Lagonda Concept, Lamborghini Murcielago SV, Land Rover Freelander TD4_e, Mazda CX-7, Mini JCW Cabriolet, Mitsubishi iMIEV Sport Air, Nissan Qazana, Renault Megane RS, RUF Greenster, Skoda Fabia vRS, Skoda Yeti, Tata Nano Europa, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Polo see Mike Duff's in-depth Geneva show coverage

Lagonda Concept, Skoda Yeti, Rolls Royce 200 EX, Vauxhall Ampera, Nissan Qazana, Infiniti Essence, Bentley Continental Supersports, Ford Iosis Max

Video blogs from the show floor

Audi TT RS, Ferrari 599XX, Hyundai ix-onic concept, Kia No3, Lamborghini Murcielago SV, Mercedes E-class coupe, Peugeot 3008, Renaultsport Megane, Subaru Legacy, VW Polo

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out