We keep asking ourselves why is Hyundai testing the next generation Santa Fe with sports seats. The South Korean company is back on the Nurburgring with the same prototype of the SUV we spotted back in June this year and it keeps using Recaro buckets.
One thing is for sure though - when it arrives on the market later this decade, the new Santa Fe will feature split headlamps like the Kona small crossover, as well as a large radiator grille with similar shape. The new people carrier, judging by this new spy video, will be slightly larger than the current model with even more muscular appearance.
One possibility for the test prototype here is that Hyundai is preparing a sportier version of its large SUV. Seeing the vehicle being pushed to its limits through the corners of the famous German track tempts us to believe the automaker is working on some performance upgrades for the regular model, but nothing can be confirmed at the moment.
However, we already know Hyundai will offer a larger Santa Fe, which will be able to accommodate up to eight passengers. This new variant is expected to receive a new name, because managers in the manufacturer believe customers confuse the five-passenger Santa Fe Sport and seven-passenger Santa Fe.
Unfortunately, at this point we have no information as to what will power the new Santa Fe. We expect to see versions with all-wheel drive and FWD layouts, but Hyundai is not giving any indications regarding the engine lineup.
The Santa Fe was refreshed for the 2017 model year, so the truly new generation of the model should debut sometime in 2019 as a 2020 model year vehicle.