MUNICH -- Hyundai Motor Co. is giving the Tucson a new name for Europe as well as more sweeping contours and upscale features, hoping the overhaul will help boost global sales to 300,000 units a year from 250,000 in 2008.
The medium SUV will be called the ix35 when it goes on sale in European markets next spring but will keep the Tucson name in other global markets.
The revamped SUV has more streamlined styling, courtesy of designer Thomas Buerkle, who led the overhaul at the company's European studio in Russelsheim, Germany. It is based on the ix-ONIC concept unveiled at the Geneva auto show earlier this year.
The ix35s new features include skid control, downhill brake control, a panoramic sunroof and rear-view camera.
Hyundai will debut the ix35 at the Frankfurt auto show in September. The car went on sale in Korea on August 26.
The company says the redesigned vehicle showcases its distinctive new "fluidic sculpture" design language.
Design cues on the ix35 will be carried over to other new Hyundai models, most notably the pronounced hexagonal grille which will become a recognizable family attribute, Hyundai says.
Hyundai calls the ix35 a crossover and is aiming it to compete with car-like SUVs such as the Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai.
The company says the ix35 also has a smaller footprint than lower-medium hatchbacks and medium minivans so it hopes to win buyers who are seeking a more stylish alternative to those types of models.
In Korea, the ix35 is offered with a 2.0-liter gasoline or diesel engine. The diesel has front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive options, while the gasoline engine wil be available only in front-wheel drive.
Hyundai will announce details of European powertrains, trim levels and option packages on September 3.
Hyundai is targeting global sales of 300,000 units in 2011, the vehicle's first full year of worldwide sales. About 260,000 of those will be sold overseas, the company predicts.
Hyundai has sold more than 1 million Tucsons since its launch in 2004. It was named after the city of Tucson in the U.S. state of Arizona.
Kia will build the European ix35 at its factory in Zilina, Slovakia, alongside the Kia Sportage while global models will be produced in Ulsan, Korea.
Hans Greimel contributed to this report.