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by Tim Beissmann

A prototype of the forthcoming Hyundai ix25 has been spied undergoing winter testing in Europe, giving us our first clear look at the South Korean car maker’s first sub-compact SUV.

Snapped by CarAdvice’s spy photographers, the ix25 test car wears heavy black camouflage across most of its body, though beneath the plastic cladding lies production body panels, suggesting development of the all-new model is well advanced.

Hyundai’s new baby SUV (the ix25 name is expected, but not confirmed) will slot into the car maker’s line-up beneath the top-selling compact ix35 SUV and the larger Santa Fe.

Hyundai ix25 2

The ix25 is understood to share its platform with the second-generation i20 city car, which our spies captured last August ahead of its 2014 Paris motor show debut in September and Australian launch in 2015.

Our spy photographers believe the Hyundai ix25 could debut as early as April’s Beijing auto show and may initially be built and sold exclusively in China.

Hyundai’s South Korean head office is refusing to comment on the new model. Hyundai Australia says it’s interested in the vehicle for our market, but says it has no information about it at this stage.

Hyundai ix25 6

The spy shots reveal the ix25 will take styling inspiration from the Santa Fe. Swept, angular headlights sit high at the front end either side of a broad radiator grille with horizontal chrome slats.

A rising sill line and angled roofline give the SUV a wedge-shaped profile, while horizontal tail-lights sit just beneath the rear windscreen, spanning the tailgate and rear quarter panels.

Measuring slightly longer than four metres from nose to tail, the ix25 will rival the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax and Peugeot 2008, and would likely start with a low-$20K price tag if sold in Australia.

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