It has Recaro racing seats and everything.
Right about now you might be asking the same questions we are. Hyundai Santa Fe? With Recaro buckets? At the Nurburgring? The spy shots are all we have, but clearly Hyundai is serious about exercising its forthcoming Santa Fe sport utility vehicle before unleashing it onto the world, which will likely happen for the 2020 model year. Furthermore, a longer variant to carry more people is also reportedly in the works, though it’s unclear exactly what we’re looking at here (note that Canada currently has two Santa Fe models - the Sport and larger XL). The thick camouflage on the rear certainly conceals some activity which could be a raised roof. Or it could just be a red herring.
What’s fairly clear is that the next Santa Fe will feature split headlamps like its new baby brother, the recently-revealed Kona compact crossover. We can also discern a similar grille design behind the camo, suggesting the two people movers will have more than just a Hyundai badge in common. That wouldn’t be a bad thing – we recently had a brief visit with the Kona and though our seat time was limited, we found it to be a solid, well-rounded performer. So perhaps it’s no surprise to see the larger Santa Fe prototype getting flogged around the Green Hell.
Another fantastic possibility would be that we’re seeing a new Santa Fe Sport model with more emphasis being placed on sport. The current Santa Fe Sport is all well and good as a family crossover, but its sport cred leaves much to be desired. Such a thing is highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened. If nothing else, Hyundai is certainly exploring the lateral arts with the next-generation Santa Fe, which can only be a good thing.
Since the current Santa Fe just received a refresh for the 2017 model year, it will likely be a while before we find out more about Hyundai's next-generation sport ute.