An eagle-eyed reader photographed the heavily-disguised version of the all-new seven-seat SUV during peak hour traffic and is the first time the Santa Fe has been spotted undergoing validation testing ahead of its official reveal later this year.
Hyundai has released official teaser images of its upcoming family car already but the Korean maker's local arm would not comment on the presence of the Santa Fe spotted in Sydney, however, a source close to the company confirmed it is undergoing final hot weather durability testing as well as initial work on local suspension settings.
It is understood the Santa Fe will be officially revealed in March and will go on-sale in Australia around the middle of the year, and will be the most significant new vehicle launch for the South Korean brand in 2018.
The grainy spy photo of the camouflaged SUV doesn't give away too much about the Santa Fe's design, but it appears to borrow some of the bold styling cues introduced on the smaller Kona SUV (pictured below), including high-mounted "eyelid" LED running lights, low driving lights, a wide cascading grille topped by a slit in the bonnet and heavy plastic cladding around the wheel arches.
The brand's largest SUV also appears to be even bigger than the outgoing model, with a wider stance and additional length in the rear three-quarter window, which indicates it will offer even more space for seven passengers and cargo carrying capacity.
The new Santa Fe won't deviate too far from its current drivetrain formula though and will likely be powered by both turbo petrol and turbo diesel engine options, with lower grade versions offered with a front-wheel drive configuration while higher grades will have an updated all-wheel drive transmission.
TMR will keep you updated with the latest Santa Fe information as it becomes available and be reporting from next week's Detroit motor show for full coverage of the 2018 Hyundai Veloster.
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