These are the first undisguised images of the Hyundai ix35, a C-segment crossover that showcases Hyundai's distinctive new "fluidic sculpture" design language.

We told you about the car a week or so ago and that it will replace the popular Tucson - one of Europe's best-selling SUV's - and will have its world debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September.

It's due in SA in March 2010.

Design cues seen on the ix35 will be carried over to other new Hyundai models, most notably the pronounced hexagonal grille which will become a family signature.

The ix35 also has a smaller footprint than C-segment hatchbacks and MPVs and the maker says it's aimed at buyers looking for a more stylish alternative to conventional cars.

The sleeker styling contributes to enhanced aerodynamics, says Hyundai, enabling it to deliver better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions than rival SUVs and compete head on in terms of running costs with mainstream hatchbacks.

More information about ix35 will be made available when the Frankfurt Motor Show opens on September 15.