It looks like Hyundai has been busily working on a sportier Santa Fe.
Just days after it teased the face of the comprehensively facelifted fourth-generation Santa Fe seven-seat crossover, photographers have snapped a prototype believed be the new sporty N Line version of the facelifted SUV.
Published to KoreanCarBlog, the spy images show a covered-up Santa Fe development vehicle with some distinguishing features that hint at a more performance-focused model.
Behind the blacked-out alloy wheels we can see bright red brake calipers which also seem to be wearing Hyundai’s N performance logo.
The second picture shows the rear of the vehicle as it drives away, and the photographer said to the publication this Santa Fe had dual exhaust outlets too.
At this stage, given Hyundai hasn’t revealed a ‘Sport’ or ‘Performance’ face for the new Santa Fe, it’s unclear whether an N Line version would be available globally or specific to the domestic Korean market.
Earlier this week Hyundai released two images showing the new face of the Santa Fe, in both ‘Luxury’ and ‘Standard’ guises (above).
Despite still being being dubbed as the ‘fourth-generation’ model that only went on sale a couple of years ago, this updated Santa Fe is believed be getting a comprehensive overhaul inside and out, as well as under the skin, in line with its corporate cousin the Kia Sorento – due in new-generation form in July.
The Korean brand’s European arm has confirmed the new Santa Fe will be offered in that region with electrified powertrains, hybrid and plug-in hybrid, for the first time.
While specifications for these powertrains are to be announced, it’s more than likely we’ll see the new Sorento’s 1.6-litre turbo hybrid system carried over.
Just this morning, Hyundai Motor Europe also confirmed a new available feature for the upgraded Santa Fe – the Blind-Spot View Monitor.
First seen in models like the Nexo fuel-cell vehicle and the Palisade flagship SUV for North America and South Korea, the Blind-Spot View Monitor projects a live feed from side-mounted cameras into the instrument cluster (above) when the indicator is on to show the vehicle’s blind spot.
While we’ve seen a similar piece of technology in the form of Honda’s LaneWatch camera, Hyundai’s system was first to show video footage from both sides of the vehicle.
The new Hyundai Santa Fe is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks, which should translate to an Australian market launch before the end of the year.
It’s unclear whether Australia will get the new hybrid engines or technologies like the Blind-Spot View Monitor, though using the new-generation Sorento as a guide, expect carryover diesel and petrol powertrains with some of the new safety technology features brought over from launch.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest.