The Hyundai Tucson compact SUV has been a decent performer for the Korean automaker, but its unconventional styling and five years on the road without major updates have kept sales volumes down. To remedy this, Hyundai is pulling out all the stops for the all-new 2011 Tucson, which may end up adopting its European name, the ix35.
There will be no confusing the new Tucson with the outgoing model. The styling has been radically altered to fit Hyundai's new "fluidic sculpture" design motif and features major changes to the sheetmetal all around. The most noticeable changes are to the front end, where the current Tucson's bug-eyed styling is gone in favor of pulled-back headlights, sharp creases and Hyundai's corporate hexagonal grille. Changes to the front and rear fascias as well as the side skirts make the Tucson look lower and more car-like, making it more like a crossover and less like an SUV, as is the style these days.
So far, Hyundai has only announced powertrains for the Korean market, though these will likely carry over to some world markets. The new Tucson will be powered by a 2.0L gas or diesel engine, with both promising more power, better fuel economy and fewer emissions. They'll be mated to the company's new six-speed automatic transmission. There has been no word yet on whether the Tucson will retain its V-6 engine option for the U.S. and other markets. Other features will include hill hold, downhill brake assist, a panoramic sunroof and a back-up camera with its screen embedded in the rearview mirror.
After its recent debut in Korea, the new Tucson will make its world debut in Frankfurt followed by its U.S. debut in Los Angeles. It's expected to hit dealerships next spring worldwide.