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Chicago show: Hyundai Santa Fe could get V6 in Oz

Keep up: The facelifted US market Santa Fe Sport reflects changes made to the Aussie version last November, but has five seats and sits alongside a larger seven-seat Santa Fe not sold here.

Aussies still denied 2.0 turbo-petrol for Hyundai Santa Fe but V6 on the cards

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Hyundai logo12 Feb 2016

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

HYUNDAI won’t admit it, but Australian Santa Fe customers with a need for speed could soon be sated by a beefy 199kW 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine option.

The powerful V6 should make up for the local lack of a 179kW 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, which is offered in the popular large SUV range overseas including the United States, where a facelifted Santa Fe range was unveiled at the Chicago motor show overnight.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) public relations general manager Bill Thomas confirmed the turbo-petrol is ruled out for this market, but was not in a position to confirm plans to introduce a V6.

GoAuto understands the door remains open for a six-cylinder Santa Fe – and given the current trend of plunging petrol prices, it could arrive here sooner rather than later.

Documents relating to Australian Design Rule (ADR) approval for the seven-seat SUV line-up clearly show Hyundai has gone to the trouble of getting government go-ahead for the big V6 paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Interestingly, the performance-oriented Santa Fe SR does not appear to be the recipient of a six-cylinder engine, with the ADR documents suggesting the new engine will be bundled alongside the existing 2.2-litre turbo-diesel and 2.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol drivetrains in the mainstream line-up.

Changes to the US market Santa Fe line-up as unveiled at the Chicago show reflect the facelifted version launched in Australia last November, comprising cosmetic exterior and interior upgrades, active safety technology additions and boosted infotainment functions including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

In the US what Aussies know as a Santa Fe is badged Santa Fe Sport and comes with five seats, while the Santa Fe is slightly larger and more traditionally SUV-shaped to better accommodate its third-row seating.

Owing to its popularity stateside, the facelifted Santa Fe Sport will receive a production boost when it joins the Sonata and Elantra assembly lines at Hyundai’s Montgomery manufacturing plant in Alamaba.

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