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2010 Hyundai Portico – Spied

Hyundai may already have three SUVs in its lineup, but that's not stopping it from developing yet another. The 2010 Hyundai Portico, spotted here testing in Death Valley, will slot in below the Veracruz in terms of size, and just above the Santa Fe in terms of price.

2010 Hyundai Portico-12010 Hyundai Portico-2Now, the Santa Fe isn't much of an off-roader, but the Portico will take the crossover idea one step further. Built on the same front-wheel-drive platform as the Santa Fe, the Portico will have a sportier calibration that's intended to make it feel more like a tall sedan than a compact SUV.

For instance, notice the wheels and tires on these prototypes. Compared to the Santa Fe, the Portico's setup uses what look like larger wheels and lower-profile tires. The overall roof line of the Portico is lower as well, another difference that should improve its handling compared to the Santa Fe.

Straight-line performance should be solid, as the 2010 Hyundai Portico will most likely stick with V6s in a bid to position it slightly above the Santa Fe. Expect to see the same 3.3-liter V6 found in the Sonata as the base engine for the Portico, while Hyundai's larger 3.8-liter V6 will be offered on higher trim levels. Expect to see all-wheel drive as an option, too.

Unlike many other crossovers in the category, the Portico will only feature seating for five. Hyundai figures that buyers who really need the extra room will upgrade to the Veracruz, so the Portico can concentrate on making the best of the room it has. Hyundai even toyed with the idea of sliding doors on the concept, but judging by these prototypes, it decided to stick with a more traditional setup for the production model.

Sales of the 2010 Hyundai Portico should start by the fall of 2009, so look for an official unveil early next year.

© Source: edmunds
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