The new face of Hyundai

* New corporate look * First used on all-new ix35 * On sale in March 2010...

The new face of Hyundai

Hyundai's all-new ix35 SUV will introduce a new look for the company.

The ix35 will replace the Tucson when it goes on sale in March 2010 and Hyundai says that a version of its hexagonal front grille with a horizontal bar will feature on its future models. Facelifted versions of its current models may not receive the treatment, however.

The ix35's front styling is expected to stick closely to ix-onic concept car that was unveiled at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. Changes are likely at the rear, however, because the high-tech materials used for the concept car aren't yet viable for production cars.

Lower and sportier
While the ix35 will be fractionally longer than the Tucson, it will also be lower and sportier. Hyundai views it as a rival to the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Kuga and Volkswagen Tiguan and says it will be well equipped and keenly priced.

A small-capacity petrol engine is likely to provide the entry-level point to the range. The ix35 is also likely to use new 2.0-litre diesel engines and Hyundai's 'Idle Stop and Go' (ISG) engine stop-start system should be available.

Front- or four-wheel drive
Both front- and four-wheel drive versions of the ix35 are expected to be available from launch, but four-wheel drive is likely to be reserved for high-spec models. Most buyers are expected to go for cheaper two-wheel drive models.

Prices have yet to be confirmed, but we expect them to start at around 15,000. The ix35 will be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in September.