Hyundai has teased an upcoming all-new light SUV/crossover called the Bayon, aimed directly at the likes of the Toyota Yaris Cross, Mazda CX-3 and Ford Puma.
Set for a full unveiling soon, before going on sale in Europe in the first half of next year, the sub-Kona Bayon will most probably be produced in the Czech Republic or Turkey for the European market, where it is expected to replace a model sold there known as the ix25.
However, that sourcing potentially presents pricing issues for Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA), as it could make the Bayon too expensive in a very price-sensitive end of the SUV market.
"We'd love to have the Bayon in Australia, but it is too early to say," according to HMCA general manager of marketing and PR Bill Thomas. "Right now, we are concentrating on the Venue small SUV for Australia."
Sharing many components with the Turkish-made i20 supermini, the Bayon is also a cousin to the Venue and Kia Stonic as well as a number of other B-segment-sized SUVs and crossovers in the Hyundai-Kia world.
The difference here is that the Bayon will be engineered to meet maximum European market requirements in terms of safety, low emissions, performance, comfort and refinement, since it has to take on other European competition such as the Volkswagen T-Cross, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008.
To that end, even the name is meant to conjure up Europe, since it is a derivation of Bayonne, a city in southern France.
Being i20-based means the Bayon is expected to include a 1.2-litre four-cylinder and 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol units, driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Note that the Venue is aimed mainly at Asian, Indian, American and Australian consumers, and isn't available in Europe, meaning that the newcomer has a hole to fill in Hyundai's model portfolio in Europe and some other parts of the world.
According to Hyundai Europe vice president of marketing and product Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, the Bayon is designed expressly for European consumer tastes.
"Hyundai is strongly established in the European SUV market already, in terms of our model range as well as our sales success," he said in a statement.
"By launching a new, additional B-segment model as the entry point into our SUV line-up, we see a great opportunity to cover European customers' demand even better and to increase our offering in a highly popular segment."
Stay tuned for more information on the Bayon – as well as any potential Australian release info – as it comes to hand.