The Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series could be about to get some Korean competition, with Hyundai's executives confirming they are monitoring the segment after noticing its "dynamism".
Hyundai's sudden interest in large off-roaders has likely stemmed from its, and sister brand Kia's, work on a ladder-frame dual cab ute that will compete with vehicles like the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.
A launch date is yet to be confirmed for the duelling dual-cabs, but both brands have confirmed work has begun. That would leave Hyundai and Kia with a new ladder-frame chassis with which to build a genuine rival to the LandCruiser.
Hyundai's Head of Global Product Management, Lorenz Glaab, today used a media briefing for the all-new Tucson SUV to confirm the brand was monitoring the off-road SUV space.
"I mean, from a brand perspective, obviously that is thinkable," he said.
"Now whether it makes sense and what region and what concepts remain to be seen. But nothing can be excluded.
"We monitor, and there is some dynamism in that segment... we are very much aware of that.
"We monitor very closely, and if we believe there is an opportunity for us, we can move pretty fast."
His comments comes as the world continues to countdown to the unveiling of the new LandCruiser 300 Series, with the new off-road icon expected to launch in Australia next year.
The new LandCruiser is expected to be offered with a bevy of engine choices - none of them with eight cylinders - that is expected to begin in Australia with a V6 diesel with enough power to meet or exceed the 200kW and 650Nm on offer from the current V8 diesel.
Not to beat, Hyundai too has revealed a punchy straight-six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, currently used in the Genesis GV80, telling CarsGuide that the new powerplant had "so many applications", including commercial use.
It is capable of 205kW of power and 588Nm of torque - outputs large enough to hassle the likes of the VW Amarok V6 (200kW/580Nm) and Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 (190kW/550Nm), as well as the Ford Ranger Raptor and Toyota HiLux.
“With this engine we can have so many applications. As you know, we make commercial vehicles and so on, so this engine will be out there for quite some time. You don’t need to worry about that engine,” said Group R&D Chief Albert Biermann.