Hyundai has an all-new and all-big SUV prototype driving around in the snow, and we have no idea what to call it.
Full-size SUVs are having a bit of a renaissance from their peak in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Sure, crossovers and compact SUVs are still all the rage, but luxury still demands size, and Hyundai doesn’t have anything that can truly compete with the Toyota Sequoia or Chevy Tahoe.
Hyundai must have finally gotten the memo that big is back in, so now we’re lookin’ at an all-new full-size SUV. And what we see is quite intriguing.
According to sources speaking with Car and Driver, Hyundai’s new SUV is an all-new front-wheel-drive platform with all-wheel drive as an available option. It’s likely based on the Kia's Telluride concept which debuted at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. That SUV was significantly smaller than what we see in the photos, so if they share the same chassis it definitely got elongated somewhere in the meantime.
For a power source, it’d only make sense for Hyundai to use their Lambda V6 family of engines along with their 8-speed Hyundai Powertech transmission. The Santa Fe’s 3.3-liter V6 makes 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque, which seems like a good start, but we could also see the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 from the Kia Stinger if we’re really lucky. More likely as a higher trim level than at the base, but you never know with Hyundai.
As for what we can tell just by looking at the pictures, it’s not a whole lot. Vinyl is covering most of the front fascia, although we do see what appears to be a slightly redesigned grille in comparison to other Hyundais. It looks more like a chain-link fence than the elegant cascading grille we’re used to.
The back end might have a bit of a spoiler judging by the way the covering is held out a bit further at the top than at the bottom, and it’s got a quad of big frickin’ tires.
Timelines are a difficult thing to predict with this car. Hyundai has already announced the redesigned 2019 Santa Fe, and that they’ll be retiring the Santa Fe XL name by 2020, We could see this car take up the moniker by then, or we could see this big honkin’ SUV bust out sometime in 2019 with a completely new name and advertising campaign. Given how much this car likes the snow, it’d be weird to give it a Californian name, anyway.