U Spy: New 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe / iX45 SUV Takes to the Heat of Death Valley

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We really love it when our readers go (literally in this case), the extra mile to snap some pictures of future models testing out.

Today, we're happy to share some excellent photos of the next generation of the Hyundai Santa Fe, which will be renamed to iX45 in Europe and other markets around the world that follow the South Korean maker's alphanumeric nomenclature.

The man behind the camera was Carscoop reader Landoni Corrado from Italy, who during a visit to the USA, caught a bunch of 2013 Santa Fe prototypes hot-weather testing in California's Death Valley.

Albeit still in heavy camouflage, the prototypes suggest that the new Santa Fe will sport a more daring and sharper design with styling influences from the most recent crop of Hyundai vehicles including the Tucson/ix35 as well as the European market i40 and i30 hatchback.

The photos also reveal a prominent front grille with layered bars that resemble the one found on the Hyundai Genesis and Equus saloons.

It's still a bit too early to know precise details about the engine range, but it is expected that the Santa Fe will launch with a new generation of four-cylinder engines, with Hyundai possibly offering the choice of both naturally aspirated and turbocharged variants.

The South Korean automaker is expected to show the new Santa Fe next year with sales to starting either towards the end of 2012 or early 2013.

Grazie for the scoop photos Landoni Corrado!