The 2012 New York Auto Show is delivering more than a few surprises – notably including Hyundai’s unexpected announcement that it is launching not one but two new versions of the 2013 Santa Fe crossover.
The Santa Fe is one of the most important models in the Korean carmaker’s line-up. An earlier generation signaled the start of Hyundai’s dramatic transformation from econobox maker into a high-quality, stylish brand. But today, it’s a critical entry into one of the U.S. market’s fastest growing segments.
The challenge, said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik, was meeting the needs of both young buyers and empty-nesters who might need just a 2-row crossover-utility vehicle, as well as growing families who want a 3-row CUV with seating for up to seven.
Rather than try to squeeze in the extra seats – as it done previously – Hyundai decided to produce the long-wheelbase Santa Fe and shorter Santa Fe Sport.