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 |  Apr 30 2009, 1:56 AM

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Photos: Jason Bauer and Colum Wood

First off, we apologize for the terrible photos. We can blame Blackberry for the poor quality, but we should be so lucky the pics turned out at all.

We just happened upon this this undercover vehicle while cruising north on Highway 1 (PCH) after leaving Huntington Beach, CA. The Hyundai team did a great job disguising the crossover, which we have deduced is the next generation Hyundai Tucson.

At first it’s not clear what the vehicle is and the Michigan plates certainly threw us for a loop. After all, it does have some resemblance to the Dodge Journey.

The real give-away, however, was the Hyundai Sonata (also sporting Michigan plates) we caught following it.

It certainly doesn’t look as striking as the ix-35 ix-onic concept that was first unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in March but there are some undeniable resemblances. For instance, the roof line is similar, as is the general shape and layout of the windows. The rear haunches also have a slight bulge in them – although that detail is quite well hidden on the test-mule we spotted. Importantly the front end is extremely well disguised, as it would be a clear give-away with Hyundai’s new hexagon front grille.

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The Blackberry camera flash did, however, pick up that the crossover is sporting Kumho tires and it’s well-known that the Korean automaker outfits its vehicles with rubber from the Korean tire manufacturer.

GALLERY: Hyundai ix-onic Concept

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