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Brand New Hyundai Santa Fe

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Mike Stevens | Jul 17, 2009

THE FACE OF The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe was unveiled to the South Korean press back in June, but so far only the one image has been offered by Hyundai.

These new spy photos offer a glimpse of the Santa Fe's facelift, revealing the simple but stylish alterations Hyundai's designers have brought to the company's excellent SUV. (see TMR's road test here)

It’s clear from these new photos that the main focus of the facelift has been to the fascia, with a sportier grille and more aggressive fog-light housings surrounding the bottom centre air intake, while the headlights appear unchanged.

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The rear end has undergone the slightest of cosmetic changes, with the taillights now featuring a mostly chrome-effect appearance, similar to the previous generation Mazda6.

Further down, a sharper and more angled character line runs along the top of the restyled reflectors, while reshaped exhaust tips protrude from the untouched bottom skirting.

As expected, the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe benefits from the addition of Hyundai’s new ‘R’ range of diesel engines, consisting of two four-cylinder engines weighing in at 2.0 and 2.2 litres, the first developing 137kW and 392Nm of torque, while the second produces 149kW and 436Nm of torque.

Both engines are paired with a new six-speed automatic transmission that Hyundai claims will improve fuel economy by more than 12 percent. Hyundai is only the third manufacturer in the world to develop its own six-speed automatic transaxle, with Toyota and a GM/Ford joint venture rounding out the trio.

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The new transmission, which weighs in at 12kg lighter and with 62 fewer parts than the company’s current five-speed automatic, has been developed for transverse engine application in passenger vehicles.

The European market version will likely debut at Frankfurt before going on sale in the last quarter of this year, with other markets, including Australia, to follow.

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