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by Tim Beissmann

Hyundai will launch an “edgy, dynamic” sub-compact crossover to rival the Nissan Juke as early as 2017, according to the brand’s American boss.

Speaking with US publication Edmunds, Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski revealed the South Korean manufacturer’s baby SUV would be “designed for Gen Y, for new first-time younger buyers”.

“Think of maybe something that looks like a Juke or something that has edgy, dynamic styling,” Zuchowski said.

He said the pint-sized model would need to be more than simply a “mini Tucson” (ix35 in Australia), given the cars’ unique target markets.

The car maker gave an insight into its sub-compact crossover vision in 2011 when it revealed the funky Curb concept (pictured above) at the Detroit auto show, and followed that up with the Intrado concept SUV at the Geneva motor show in March this year (below).

Hyundai-Intrado-Concept-1

At that show, Hyundai Motor Europe senior vice president and chief operating officer Allan Rushforth hinted that Intrado offered some clues towards a potential baby SUV for the Genesis sub-brand. Given the differences between the two demographics, it seems unlikely the two vehicles being referenced are one and the same, though it is possible a Genesis SUV could be spun off from the new entry-level SUV.

Further to the baby SUV, Zuchowski also revealed some early details of the next-generation Tucson/ix35, which will go on sale in 2015.

“You will see really elegant, taut, athletic, aggressive styling that is very, very attractive,” he told Edmunds. “It looks bigger but it’s not. It is just the way it is styled.”

Zuchowski says customers can also expect new technology and safety features in the new ix35, as well as improved steering and handling and a more solid feel.

The American boss also shed some light on the updated Elantra, also due in the second half of 2015, which he says appears much more premium.

“The easiest way to describe that without going into any detail is that it looks more Audi-esque, to me it looks more European.

“It is beautifully styled and it does not look like a [lower-priced] compact car. It looks like a richer-segment car. It looks elegant, more premium [than the current model].”




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