If you take a look at Hyundai's North American lineup, you'll find four models that look outdated and worn out compared to the rest of the range.
These include the Elantra Touring, which could be replaced by the next generation of the European market i30 Touring, the Azera, whose successor will be shown in LA later this year, and finally the Santa Fe and its larger sibling, the Veracruz.
Similarly, in Europe, the outcasts include the i30, a new version of which will debut in Frankfurt and again, the Santa Fe. Leaving aside the Veracruz, which is essentially a byproduct of the Sante Fe, on both continents, Hyundai is missing a modern proposal in the popular mid-size crossover segment.
But that's about to change soon as the South Korean automaker is developing a successor to the Santa Fe, which will probably carry the iX45 moniker in Europe following the example of the new Tucson that was renamed to iX35.
Different names aside, the European and North American Santa Fe will share the same basic styling with some minor trim variations and mechanical hardware. They will however, be offered with different engines as Europe will certainly get a four-cylinder diesel unit.
As you can see in the close-up picture, the European specification Santa Fe prototype nabbed by our scoop photographers was equipped with a 2.0-liter engine hooked up to a manual transmission.
While still under heavy camouflage, it's obvious that the next generation Santa Fe will feature a modern look heavily influenced by the latest Tuscon / iX35. The same goes for the interior that sports a double binnacle design for the instrument panel.
We expect to see Hyundai's new crossover model making its debut either late next year or in early 2013.