Despite only having arrived on the local market in 2010, it now appears that Hyundai’s popular ix35 compact SUV has already undergone its first facelift.
This particular vehicle was spotted by a spy photographer in Korea and leaked via Czech motoring website autoforum.cz. A number of heavily camouflaged examples have been spotted doing the rounds in and around the firm’s Namyang R&D facility near Seoul, but this Fuel Cell example is delightfully bereft of cladding, swirly paintwork and bin-liners.
The ix35’s new face incorporates more swept-back headlamp units with projector-style lens dividers flanking a gaping one-piece grille with chrome louvres. This facelift gives the 2013 Hyundai ix35 a more aggressive look – something that may have been missing from its slightly more effeminate predecessor with its grille divided by a body-coloured trim strip – similar to that of the 2013 model year Santa Fe.
The previous ix35 Fuel Cell model featured a hydrogen-fed fuel cell powerplant that developed 100 kW and 270 N.m of torque while emitting nothing more than a trace of water vapour from its exhaust pipe.
We can expect to see the facelifted Hyundai ix35 on the local market next year, possibly during the first half. For the moment there is no official comment on powertrain changes, but we know Hyundai SA is working hard to get its latest-generation direct-injection engines cleared for local introduction.