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Stylish and compact, Hyundai’s next concept is tailor-made for Los Angeles

Hyundai caught our attention by releasing a pair of dark preview images that give us an early look at its next crossover. The yet-unnamed model will make its official debut during the upcoming 2019 edition of the Los Angeles auto show.

As is often the case, the teaser images ask more questions than they answer. We don’t even know what the model will be called yet, and where it will be positioned in Hyundai’s growing range of models remains up in the air. What’s clear is that the high-riding soft-roader will continue advancing the South Korean firm’s design language. The grille stands out with a light-up logo — a styling cue seemingly worn by every single concept car unveiled in 2019 — and an insert with a three-dimensional look. Closed when the car is stopped, the grille gradually opens up as speed increases.

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Viewed from the side, its roof line peaks above the driver and slopes towards the rear end, so the model looks less utilitarian than, say, the Palisade positioned at the top of the Hyundai lineup. It’s difficult to gauge the crossover’s size by simply looking at the teaser images, but Hyundai pointed out it’s a compact model. It was developed with urban driving in mind, still according to the automaker, so it has to fit in tight spaces and dash through traffic.

Hyundai’s powertrain palette includes gasoline-, diesel-, electric-, and hydrogen-powered units, plus standard and plug-in hybrid systems. It chose the latter to power the concept, but it hasn’t released technical specifications yet. The drivetrain should allow the concept to drive on electricity alone for relatively short distances, and rely on its internal combustion engine for longer drives. It might be related to the technology found in the plug-in Ioniq.

The 2019 Los Angeles auto show opens its doors on November 22, so Hyundai will release additional information about its next crossover in the coming weeks. We’ll also hear from over a dozen other automakers planning to unveil a new car, an updated model, a futuristic concept, or all three during the event, which is one of the biggest dates on the auto show circuit.

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