Hyundai is showing off their latest concept car to a select group of journalists today. Called the Hyundai ix-onic, it will be the second generation of the Tucson.
The new concept features a new, production-ready engine as well. Hyundai will start building an incredibly clean 173 horsepower 1.6-liter engine later this year. Producing only 149 grams of CO2 per kilometer, the new engine will make its way into the market version of the ix-onic. This engine could also be built into other Hyundai models, like the i30.
Currently, the Tucson also has a 140 hp 2.0-liter in-line four petrol engine, and a 173 hp 2.7-liter V6 petrol. Some countries also got access to a very efficient, 140 hp 2.0-liter diesel. Hyundai did not say if these engines would still be available.
Once it hits production, the new crossover will be called the Hyundai iX35. The company says it will look very similar to the latest concept car, with the exception of a few details. Lights, bumpers, and materials will likely be changed, but the lines and shape will remain the same. The five-seater concept measures 4.4 meters long by 1.85 m wide by 1.65 m high. A seven-seat iX35 is not expected to go on sale.
Styling cues are similar to that of the i10 and i30. Completely brand new, the ix-onic and iX35 were designed by Hyundai's European operation. Despite declining demand for SUVs and crossovers in Europe, Hyundai believes this vehicle will be sought after.
The new iX35 will be built in a Slovakian Kia factory, according to the company. One company rep told a Dutch newspaper, "In light of the technical connection with the Kia Sportage, which is already coming off the assembly line in Slovakia, it is logical that the two models will be assembled side by side."
The next Sportage is due out in February 2010, he said.
Hyundai also has plans to build two new compact MPVs at their new plant in the Czech Republic.
You can see the Hyundai ix-onic concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March.