Exclusive: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe SWB-only For Aus, Seven Seats Expected Photo:
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Malcolm Flynn | Aug, 17 2012 | 3 Comments

New details have emerged on Hyundai’s new Australian-delivered 2013 Santa Fe large SUV, courtesy of a company brochure seen exclusively by TMR.

A dealer guide obtained by a TMR reader reveals most of the model’s local specifications, but curiously omits any mention of a seven-seat layout.

First unveiled at the New York Auto Show in April, US models will be available in both short and long wheelbase form - with the long wheelbase model expected to be produced in left hand drive only.

In the US market, the short wheelbase version is badged ‘Santa Fe Sport’, with seating for five occupants.

The long wheelbase version - due in the US early next year - will be badged simply ‘Santa Fe’, and features a seven-seat layout.

The leaked Hyundai document however appears to confirm that Australia will get only the short wheelbase version, with no mention of the longer bodystyle.

Our source nevertheless confirms that at least one Australian Hyundai dealer has been assured that local versions will continue to offer seven seats as standard, with the third row integrated into the shorter wheelbase platform.

Either way, you would have to think that seven-seat capability is crucial for the Santa Fe’s 'family SUV' segment in Australia.

Despite this omission, the leaked brochure confirms the new Santa Fe’s model breakdown, plus engine and driveline options.

The current entry model’s SLX moniker will be replaced with ‘Active’ - following other recent Hyundai passenger models - while Elite and Highlander versions still fill out the upper tiers.

All models will use on-demand all wheel drive, but the current 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine will be dropped.

The 2.2 litre turbodiesel will however continue, with outputs of 145kW and 436Nm unchanged.

A 141kW/242Nm version of the 2.4 litre Theta-II four cylinder engine found in ix35 and i45 will become the petrol alternative.

Other markets see the availability of turbocharged 2.0 litre petrol and diesel engines, along with a 3.3 litre V6 option.

Transmission choices for both Australian engines will be either six-speed manual or torque converter automatic, with the manual option available only on Active models.

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Active models will benefit from a dashboard-integrated 4.3 inch touchscreen display, with a reversing camera standard for the first time - previously only offered on the Highlander and limited-edition Trail models.

Elite and Highlander models will see this screen enlarged to seven inches, while also gaining Hyundai’s acclaimed SUNA-aided satnav system.

All models will come with ‘Flex Steer’ electromechanical power steering, giving the driver a choice of three levels of steering assistance.

The document also confirms that the new model will benefit from Hyundai’s local suspension tuning, recently hinted at with the sighting of a camouflaged pre-production model in Sydney.

Hyundai Australia is yet to confirm a local launch date or pricing, but we’d put money on the Santa Fe making a star appearance at the Australian International Motor Show in October.

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