A rival for the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti, this model appears to be in the early stages of development, meaning it's not likely to be seen in final production form until late next year.
This mule was spotted on the roads around the Nürburgring as well as on the circuit itself, where, like many manufacturers, Hyundai has a technical development centre. While the model wears heavy camouflage, it can be seen that the the new ix35 will take a radical styling departure from the current model, which was launched in second-generation form in 2009.
While it looks like the third-generation model will keep Hyundai's six-bar grille, the rest of the front end appears to take its styling cues from the recent ix25 concept, which previews a new compact SUV. The ix25 features a more SUV-like appearance, but its wraparound lights and tapering window line are expected to be repeated on the new ix35. A new twin exhaust can also be seen at the rear.
Reports suggest that Hyundai will offer the new ix35 with a range of petrol engines with outputs ranging from 140bhp to 170bhp alongside a diesel engine line-up with outputs from 116bhp to 184bhp. The Korean firm could in the future offer a version powered by its hydrogen fuel-cell technology. The company has previously said that a production version of the ix35 Fuel Cell car would go on sale in limited numbers, most likely in 2015.
While official pricing has yet to be revealed, a small hike over the current model is expected. That means an entry-level version will likely cost more than the £17,000 asked for the current car. The new ix35 is also expected to be sold as the Tucson in America and other markets.