Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski announced a little over two years ago plans to introduce a B-segment crossover in 2017 with “edgy, dynamic styling” to act as a direct competitor for the polarizing Nissan Juke. At that point, he made the promise it won’t look like a mini-Tucson, and it’s easy to see from the adjacent spy images the new high-riding model from Hyundai won’t have much in common with its bigger brother.
As with previous prototypes, there’s something weird go on with the headlights. The thin upper strip on the driver’s side appears to be missing the entire cluster noticeable on the passenger’s side. Instead, it only has an amber piece mounted in the middle, and that likely serves as the turn signal. As you would imagine, the production-ready car will have the slender lighting strip on both sides to give the subcompact crossover a Citroën-esque and Cherokee vibe.
The back of the prototype is also heavy camouflaged, but even so we get to check out the taillights, which appear to be significantly different than those of the larger Tucson. You’ll also notice the third brake light is missing from the roof-mounted rear spoiler, while the other lights mounted to the left and right of the trunk’s bottom section appear to be provisional.
Overall, the styling of Hyundai’s Juke fighter will likely share many cues with the Intrado pictured above. Revealed in 2014, the concept had a rather bold design and was likely created to provide a sneak preview of the new road-going crossover.
Details about the hardware are scarce at this point, but most likely it will ride on a modified platform adapted from the i20 supermini with three- and four-cylinder turbocharged engines taken from the third-generation i30. It will be interesting to see whether Hyundai has plans to give its new crossover an all-wheel drive layout, or it will sell it exclusively with a FWD setup.
It’s unclear when Hyundai will reveal the production version, although we might see it at a major auto show in North America next year taking into account the crossover is destined to be sold in U.S. likely as a 2018MY.