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Future models - Hyundai - HDC-2 Grandmaster

Hyundai hopes high for ‘Grandmaster’ SUV

Master plan: The HDC-2 Grandmaster was revealed at the Busan motor show earlier this month, previewing an all-new full-size SUV as well as the latest ‘design DNA’ that will flow through Hyundai’s entire line-up.

HMCA chief sees strong potential for full-size flagship SUV and ute on same platform

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Hyundai logo22 Jun 2018

HYUNDAI Motor Co Australia (HMCA) chief executive JW Lee has revealed there is strong potential for an all-new full-size SUV previewed by the recently revealed HDC-2 Grandmaster concept to be sold in Australia, sitting above the Santa Fe as a flagship model for the South Korean brand. 
 
GoAuto understands that development of the upper-large three-row SUV is well underway and that the vehicle will be aimed primarily at the US market, leaving a question mark at this stage over right-hand-drive production.
 
But when asked this week whether he thought there was a strong chance a production version of the Grandmaster would come to Australia, Mr Lee said: “Yes, I think so. Yes, absolutely.” 
 
The big new wagon is expected to share platform and key mechanical components with the forthcoming confirmed production version of Kia’s Telluride concept.
 
The Telluride-based SUV will be shown in road-going form later this year and is expected to be built using a ladder-frame chassis – underpinnings that point to genuine off-road ability and, crucially for Australian interests, the basis for a long-awaited one-tonne pick-up.
 
Mr Lee said he was confident Hyundai would do well in Australia with a full-size SUV that would be positioned above the new fourth-generation TM-series Santa Fe that reaches showrooms early next month.
 
 “I have always wanted to include a bigger SUV in Australia,” he said. 
 
“As you said, there is the (Toyota) Kluger, Prado – size-wise they are bigger than this current TM (Santa Fe), even though the new TM is bigger than the earlier DM. And this bigger-size SUV market has quite strong demand, I think, in Australia.
 
“Not only in Australia but also in some other markets too, especially the Middle East and also the United States. They also need a bigger-size SUV.”
 
Mr Lee said he was unable to confirm whether the Grandmaster-based vehicle would use a more rugged body-on-frame chassis – last seen with the 2001-2007 mid-size Terracan that borrowed its ladder-frame chassis from the second-generation Mitsubishi Pajero – or a monocoque design as seen with Santa Fe. 
 
“I hope that it would be similar to a more rugged one, something that is more of a so-called ‘authentic’ SUV model,” he said.
 
“Currently, in our line-up there is no frame-based SUV. Earlier, we had the Terracan, and that was our last one, and personally I hope, I want, to see some real rugged and strong frame-type model.”
 
HMCA marketing director Oliver Mann was also enthusiastic about the prospect of a larger SUV joining the local stable.
 
“We’d love to see a big Hyundai four-wheel drive,” he said. “There are certainly still some gaps in the range where we think there’s a great opportunity for Hyundai to expand.
 
“Pick-ups is the obvious one, but large four-wheel-drive frame-based vehicle is the other, no question.”
 
As for the potential of a much-needed ute coming off the same platform, Mr Lee said: “I don’t have the exact figures or information about that, but that is my personal anticipation and personal hope to see a frame-based SUV as well as a frame-based ute. 
 
“I desperately want this!”
 
Mr Lee said Hyundai Motor Company in South Korea was “seriously working on” the utility program.
 
“If everything goes well, maybe by 2022, I hope we will see ute vehicles in this market,” he said.
 
“Nothing is concrete, nothing is finalised, but I’m really looking forward to seeing this car in this market.”

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