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The next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe has been spied this week doing rounds at the famed Nurburgring circuit.

Like the prototype spied in April, the Santa Fe we see in these latest images is heavily camouflaged, though some design details show through the black cladding and flat body panels.

Up front, the new SUV will get Hyundai’s latest ‘cascading grille’ design, which has already made its way to the new i30 and the recently-revealed Kona small SUV.

Also like the Kona, the Santa Fe looks as if it could sport the new two-tier headlight design, with a strip of LEDs around the bonnet line with the main headlight unit in the lower section. It’s expected Hyundai’s SUV line-up will get this design treatment in the coming years.

It looks as if the next Santa Fe will grow a little in size too, likely matching or even surpassing the size of the related Kia Sorento and also to better compete with large SUVs like the Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger.

At the rear, the black camouflage conceals the end of the roofline and the overall tailgate shape, though we can see slimmer LED tail-lights on this vehicle, and a large exposed tail-pipe trim finished to make it look like dual tips.

In terms of powertrains, the Santa Fe is expected to get revised versions of the current engine line-up, which currently includes a 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine, a 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine, and a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are likely to be offered too, like the current model.

There’s also rumours that a plug-in hybrid version could also become available – which would make it one of the 14 new ‘green’ models the company plans to introduce by 2020.

It’s unknown , however, whether the larger next-gen Santa Fe will be offered in two sizes like the current car is in certain markets like the US, though the company did say it is planning a larger full-size crossover at the reveal of the smaller Kona a week ago.

The new Santa Fe should be revealed later this year or early next, with deliveries commencing later next year.

Hyundai’s 2018 releases should also include a new version of the Veloster three-door hatch – including a high-performance N version – along with the Ioniq hatch, though it’s unclear which of its three variants (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric) will be making their way Down Under.

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