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A prototype for an upcoming Hyundai full-size SUV has been spied this week for the first time.
Looking very much like a Santa Fe on steroids up front, this SUV is much larger than its recently-revealed brother, and features a unique tail-light treatment.
Previously, the large SUV space in Hyundai’s global portfolio was occupied by the long-wheelbase Santa Fe – named the Grand Santa Fe. It was only offered in left-hand drive markets like North America.
There are a lot of black sheets and false body panels disguising key design cues, but we can see some upright tail-lights at the rear, which really goes against the company’s current crossover offerings.
Interestingly, the rear is quite similar to the Kia Telluride prototype spied in South Korea recently – the concept also had upright rear lighting – which will likely have a lot in common with Hyundai’s Grand Santa Fe successor.
Key rivals would include full-size three-row SUVs like the Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Kluger, along with the likes of the Volkswagen Atlas and the GMC/Holden Acadia.
At the global launch of the smaller Kona in Seoul last year, a panel of Hyundai executives confirmed plans to expand the brand’s SUV line-up before 2020. Two models were mentioned – a baby SUV to slot below the Kona, and a larger ‘E-segment’ crossover to sit above the Santa Fe.
Our guess is that this prototype will become the flagship mentioned last year, though it’s unclear whether it will be made in both left- and right-hand drive. The same goes for the Kia Telluride, despite the local arm voicing a keen interest.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates over the coming months. Click the photos tab for more images.
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