What's the news?
The Geneva motor show, coming up in March, will see the unveiling of the new Hyundai Santa Fe, a critical vehicle in the Korean car giant's sales ambitions.
The 2006 second generation model is widely credited as being one of the first major models to move Hyundai away from its bargain bucket roots, while the current car has been positively referenced alongside premium German and Japanese rivals.
You obviously have to take official sketches with a slight pinch of salt (many a slip between sketch pad and reality and all that), but it's enough to show is that the new Santa Fe does indeed get the split-level lighting layout from the recently-launched Kona small SUV, as well as the 'cascading' grille which looks more than a little like what you get on an Infiniti. Around the back, the profile looks very similar to that of the current car.
We're not sure what's underneath this new shape, in terms of a mechanical package just yet and Hyundai is keeping its powder dry in that regard. Its sister car, the Kia Sorento, has recently been facelifted and has retained its 2.2-litre CRDI diesel engine, albeit with slightly lower emissions for some models. The new Santa Fe might well get a new platform and engines though.
We do know that the new Santa Fe will get some advanced safety kit. Hyundai has said that the new model will get rear crossing traffic alert with an automated braking system to stop you reversing out into the path of another car, and a new rear-seat occupant alarm that will warn the driver, when the driver is leaving the car, that someone is still in the back. Given some recent high-profile tragedies, including one that took place here in Ireland, such a system could be a literal life-saver.
We'll find out more at the Geneva show, on the 8th of March