Hyundai’s Chinese-market ix25 compact SUV could soon spread beyond those borders, according to reports out of Europe this week.
Revealed in Beijing earlier this year, the ix25 had been billed as a potential rival to Nissan’s popular Juke crossover, although it has so far been confirmed for a Chinese launch only.
However, industry paper Automotive News reports that Hyundai is preparing to introduce a version of the ix25 in the US and Europe - the latter having been a hugely successful market for the Juke.
Importantly, with the next-generation ix35 expected to grow in size, the new ix25 would keep Hyundai playing in Europe’s roaring small SUV segment.
Sales of small SUVs in Europe are expected to top 500,000 by the end of this year, or about half of the entire Australian market’s annual result.
For its part, Hyundai has yet to confirm plans for a wider ix25 launch, but it is clear that there is room - and a need - for a new model below the growing ix35.
If not the ix25, we could instead see a version of this year’s Intrado concept, styled as a more obvious rival to the quirky Juke.
A production version of the Intrado would also be more in-line with other recent reports, including comments from Hyundai US boss Dave Zuchowski that hinted at plans for an edgier model focused on ‘Gen Y’ buyers.
The Intrado picked up another vote over the ix25 when Zuchowski added that the new model could not look like a “mini Tucson” (ix35 in Australia), claiming that younger buyers would prefer a more radical design.
Whatever Hyundai is planning, it likely won’t hit market until around 2017 - just in time for a new Nissan Juke to defend its title as the edgiest of compact SUVs.