Hyundai Trademarks the Name "Leonis" but What Will it be For?
Could we see a new Hyundai model in the works?by Kirby Garlitos, on
Hyundai has submitted a patent application of the name ‘Leonis,’ raising suspicion that the Korean automaker may have a new model in the works. The application was filed on April 3, and according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it will be designated for use on “automobiles; sports cars; vans being vehicles; trucks; motor buses; RV automobiles; SUV (sport utility vehicle) automobiles.”
If it’s granted, Hyundai is probably going to use it on a new model
The patent application seems to have a direct purpose. If it’s granted, Hyundai is probably going to use it on a new model. We don’t know what model that’s going to be, but we can look at the Korean automaker’s entire lineup and look at possible holes that Hyundai can fill in with a model carrying the Leonis name.
The most obvious place to start is Hyundai’s crossovers and SUVs. At the moment, the company already has the Kona, Tucson, and Santa Fe in its lineup. That already looks like a full lineup, though Hyundai is expected to add a large, full-sized SUV called the “Palisade.” There’s a trademark application for that name, too. If that’s granted, we can pencil that in as a possible replacement for the discontinued Veracruz. Hyundai also has the Nexo fuel-cell in the pipeline; that’s another crossover that’s going to occupy space in the portfolio. So, as fascinating as it is for a Hyundai crossover to get the Leonis name, it’s unlikely that this is where the automaker is going to use it.
If Hyundai doesn’t use the name on a crossover or SUV, the next likely candidate would be a sedan. The “Leonis” name does evoke images of a sedan, and it’s a little easier to find a spot for it in Hyundai’s lineup. At the moment, it has four sedans on the market, including the Accent, Elantra, Sonata, and Azera. It looks like a full lineup, but a closer examination of what each model offers shows that a flagship sedan sitting above the Azera makes sense. That could be what the company’s plans for the Leonis name. The only possible drawback to that is Hyundai’s new luxury sub-brand, Genesis, which is technically in charge of developing the automaker’s full-sized luxury auto lineup.
The name is often associated in the field of astronomy, specifically used to identify a cluster of stars in the “Leo” constellation.
Suppose the name isn’t going to be used on a crossover, SUV, or sedan, another possibility would be an entry-level hatchback that would lineup beside the Veloster, creating a two-unit strong line of performance hatchbacks. It would make sense, but again, Hyundai already has a new division — the N division — that’s in charge of developing performance machines like the i30 N.
Of the possibilities, I think the Leonis is going to be a new sedan. The name is often associated in the field of astronomy, specifically used to identify a cluster of stars in the “Leo” constellation. It’s hard to imagine Hyundai using the name on a future hatchback or an SUV, so if we’re allowed to guess, my money’s on the Leonis name being used for a future production sedan.
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