2010 Hyundai Portico crossover spied

Hyundai has managed to keep its minivan replacement under tight wraps, but our spy photographers caught Hyundai's upcoming crossover, the Portico, testing in an almost undisguised fashion. The Portico will be more along the lines of a tall wagon than true as SUV, and will be taller than the company's Kia Sorento SUV.

First shown as a 2005 "concept" in Chicago, Hyundai is hoping their Mercedes-Benz R-Class-like crossover will fill all the niches where Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler's Pacifica failed.

Flexible seating for the Portico means two rows of seating with seating for four or six passengers - depending if the center seat is folded down or upright. With six passengers in two rows - the Portico will offer more cargo area than similarly sized vehicles.

Several possible engines have been suggested for the Portico, and they all may make it to production. The smallest is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder option, next would be a 3.3-liter V6 rated at around 240 horsepower and finally a range-topping 3.8-liter V6 rated at about 280 horsepower could provide motivation for the Portico.

No matter which engine(s) make it to production, you can count on Hyundai's new six-speed Shiftronic transmission to be routing the power to a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive setup.

While the Portico was slated to be built in Alabama, production has now shifted to Korea and will start in the third quarter of this year. Expect the production Portico to be unveiled at the upcoming 2010 Chicago Auto Show.