2021 Hyundai Santa Fe spotted, gets Palisade headlight design

Hyundai has been spotted test driving a prototype version of the all-new 2021 Santa Fe in Korea, with some revealing design details poking through. The new model is set to introduce a range of new technologies, including a hybrid for the first time and a turbo-petrol engine.

Following on from the reveal of its sister car, the 2021 Kia Sorento, the 2021 Santa Fe is set to be offered with the new 1.6-litre turbo-petrol hybrid powertrain. After all, Hyundai has previously confirmed the Santa Fe and indeed the Tucson will soon be offered with hybrid power.

The setup in the Sorento consists of a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder paired with a 1.49kWh lithium-ion battery and 44.2kW electric motor. Combined, the system develops a healthy 169kW and 350Nm. Surprisingly, this isn’t matched up to a CVT auto but instead a six-speed automatic. It’s believed the same specification will be carried across to the new Santa Fe.

Also new is a 2.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder. It develops 207kW and 421Nm, paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. This engine is expected to replace the current 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6 that is available in the current Santa Fe, even if in some markets only, at least initially.

Dynamic Display Ad(Long Version)

The 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, albeit slightly revised, is set to continue. It now produces 148kW and 440Nm. In the Sorento this updated unit is matched, rather interestingly, to the new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

As for the design of the new model? These images, from an Auto Post report, do show and confirm an interesting detail. The headlights appear to be quite similar to those on the Palisade (above). What do we mean exactly? Well, if you look closely you’ll notice a unique twin-stripe vertical LED light sequence on the prototype, with the main beams located on the outer edges. This is very similar to the layout on the Palisade.

Inside, we’re expecting the latest 10.25-inch touch-screen media interface for even the base model, with a 12.3-inch digital screen for the instrument cluster. This setup has been applied with the new Sorento. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are a given, with more USB and connectivity points likely. There’s also set to be a digitised/button gear selector system introduced, as well as a relocated climate control module to be placed down on the forward-most lip of the centre console.

A full debut for the 2021 Santa Fe has been confirmed by Hyundai for later this year, with market entry in Australia possibly taking place very late this year or early next year.

Brett is the editor and founder of Performance Drive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.