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Operation LandCruiser Prado: New XRT nameplate hints Hyundai is about to go hardcore in Australia

A new XRT filing suggests Hyundai is about to go hardcore

Hyundai looks set to go hardcore in Australia, with a new trademark filing suggesting the off-road-focused XRT sub-brand is set for a local debut.

That would put Hyundai on a crash-course with brands like Toyota, with the Prado and LandCruiser, Nissan and the Patrol, and Isuzu, Ford and Mitsubishi, all of which have models focused on tackling the tough stuff.

Hyundai has now trademarked 'XRT' and 'Hyundai XRT' in Australia, both of which were filed with our patent office in late September, and which are due for acceptance in January.

And rumours are now growing stronger that an XRT sub-brand is on its way Down Under.

Interestingly, many of Hyundai's trademark applications have been filed by its international HQ, which can mean Hyundai is protecting the nameplates globally, but might not have any intention of launching in a particular market.

But the "XRT" and "Hyundai XRT" filings were both made by Hyundai Motor Company Australia, adding fuel to the fire that the local arm has plans for our market.

There are a couple of options, the first being the introduction of US-spec XRT models, including the Santa Fe XRT, which debuted in concept form as a Prado-challenging off-road SUV complete with lift kit, 30-inch all-terrain rubber, underbody protection, a rough-stuff-ready cargo carrier, exterior cargo boxes, a roof-mounted spare tyre and exterior off-road cameras.

The Santa Fe is due in Australia early next year, and an XRT version could follow it, with Hyundai said to have a "keen interest" in the model, though it has stopped short of confirming it.

It could also mirror its American arm in the USA, which applies the XRT badge - with varying levels of style updates and functional changes - to several Hyundai models, including the Tucson and Palisade.

Or, and this is a maybe, it could even apply to Hyundai's expected LandCruiser rival, long-tipped to share its ladder-frame chassis with Kia's upcoming dual-cab ute.

For now, watch this space.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to...
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