Hyundai Motor Company, South Korea’s largest car manufacturer, has staged the world premiere of the all-new Santa Fe at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, held at the New York Jacob Javits Convention Center.
In its latest form, the popular D-segment SUV is re-styled inside and out, fitted with enhanced features and new technology, and powered by re-tuned engines with improved efficiency – ensuring that it will offer European buyers a visually-appealing, sophisticated lifestyle vehicle when it goes on sale in late summer.
Hyundai is keeping the name, Santa Fe, continuing the heritage of the car manufacturer’s well-established SUV model as it enters its third generation. The Santa Fe has achieved worldwide cumulative sales of almost 2,56 million units, and more than 350.000 in Europe, since its 2000 debut.
Hyundai expects this new-generation model to continue the company’s strong performance in the SUV market, and to capture more than 5% share of its market segment in Europe during its first full year on sale in 2013.
Influenced by Hyundai’s form language, Fluidic Sculpture, the third-generation Santa Fe adopts its own design concept called ‘Storm Edge’, which captures the strong and dynamic images created by nature during the formation of a storm.
Featuring sophisticated and refined lines, which are in harmony with its bold and voluminous surfaces, New Generation Santa Fe presents a more masculine, more aggressive and more characterful SUV appearance than its predecessor.
Three powertrain options will be available to European buyers, including a new, super-efficient, Euro 6- compliant 2.0-litre ‘R’ VGT diesel engine. Producing 150ps, this powerplant emits just 155g/km of CO2. The 2,2-litre diesel unit has been tuned for greater efficiency, making it one of the cleanest offerings in the segment with CO2 emissions of only 145 g/km.
To ensure the newcomer is best suited to the tastes of European drivers, extensive development work has been completed for the European-specification model. This includes modifications to the steering, suspension and brakes, as well as changes to the car’s set-up to aid to high-speed stability and towing ability.
As with all newly-launched models in Europe, the New Generation Santa Fe will come with Hyundai’s industry-best customer care package, Five Year Triple Care – comprising a five-year unlimited warranty, five years of roadside assistance, and five years of vehicle health checks.
Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, Allan Rushforth, commented, “The original Santa Fe has maintained strong sales year-on-year across Europe, thanks to its combination of quality, practicality and value. Now, New Generation Santa Fe retains the earlier model’s key strengths – practicality, roominess and dependability – while also offering consumers much more.
“With its fresh exterior styling, more efficient engines, greater comfort and improved quality, New Generation Santa Fe is a truly attractive proposition that will build on the successes of the previous model by broadening its emotional appeal.”
The company expects the New Generation Santa Fe to appeal to new consumers from a wider demographic range – including some owners of premium-brand SUVs.
STYLING & DESIGN
Strong, dynamic and sophisticated lines
With its modern, urban style, the New Generation Santa Fe looks strong, dynamic and refined, with the vehicle’s body shape making a clear promise that this vehicle is safe and practical, but also sophisticated.
The new model’s designers drew inspiration from the shapes created by nature during the formation of a storm – a creative approach referred to as ‘Storm Edge’. Evidence of the significance of Santa Fe to Hyundai’s product portfolio, it is the first model to have its own interpretation of the Fluidic Sculpture design language which has modernised the appearance of the Hyundai range in recent years.
In line with the full Hyundai product range, the latest Santa Fe features the hexagonal-shaped grille, finished on Santa Fe in sophisticated dark chrome. Large, tear-drop headlights above the bumper are matched in shape by fog lights below. The deep, two-tone underbody offers generous ground clearance, and the silver underbody panel visible at the front smoothes the vehicle’s aerodynamics and provides reassuring under-floor protection.
Longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, with the same 2700 mm wheelbase, the New Generation Santa Fe has a stronger presence. The conventional two-box SUV architecture is spaciously accommodating but, more than that, the new body shape also suggests great strength, with an imposing front-end and muscular upper flanks. The vehicle’s profile is complemented by the dark chrome finish of the alloy wheels – now offered as factory equipment up to 19-inch in diameter, for the first time on a Hyundai SUV. The deep doors cover the side sills, ensuring the sills stay clean and that dirt is not transferred to occupants’ clothes on entry or exit.
A dynamic stance is achieved by the lowered roofline, swept-back windshield, upswept lower edges to the rear side windows, and rakish rear windshield angle.
A sharp crease in the new Santa Fe’s side panels sweeps along the car from the front wheel arches to the trunk, setting the level of the front and rear door handles and sharply defining the upper edge of the wrap-around tail-lamps. Above the lamps, the rear windshield is set beneath a small roof-level spoiler, further enhancing the dynamic stance of the new Santa Fe. Twin tailpipes and a hexagonal mesh set into the lower sections of the front and rear bumpers, add a sporty finishing touch.
Both the front and rear wheel arches are deep-set, so that the tyres are visible almost to their uppermost edges, the swelling of the bodywork over the wheels adding to the car’s muscular sense of purpose.