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by Tim Beissmann

Spy shots of a camouflaged van emerging from Hyundai’s European headquarters have fuelled rumours the South Korean manufacturer is preparing to enter the large commercial vehicle segment.

CarAdvice’s spy photographers spotted the Ford Transit-style high-roofed van leaving Hyundai’s facility and driving on public roads in Russelsheim, Germany.

The spied model features similar front door and window lines to the Hyundai iLoad commercial van, though the disguised van clearly features a unique front end with new headlights, a significantly higher roofline, and a longer wheelbase and larger rear overhang creating a more spacious cargo area.

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Sliding doors provide access to the load space, while the back features conventional tail-light towers and barn doors split evenly down the middle.

There’s little information about the camouflaged vehicle at this stage – even Hyundai Australia says it knows “nothing of it”, though admits the images are “interesting”.

If Hyundai is planning to launch a large commercial model to rival the Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, it’s likely to offer a range of related vehicles. Ford and Mercedes, and many others, offer vans of varying lengths, wheelbases and roof heights; cab-chassis utes; and buses based on their large commercial models.

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Hyundai’s iLoad is the second-best-selling van in Australia’s 2.5- to 3.5-tonne segment behind the Toyota Hiace, claiming a 26 per cent share of the market in 2013.

With 97,006 sales in 2013, Hyundai was the fourth-highest-selling brand in Australia, though had the lowest commercial vehicle sales of any inside the top eight. While most other brands benefit from offering a ute, an expansion of Hyundai’s van range with a larger model could potentially help close the gap to its rivals.

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