Working out the kinks ahead of an imminent debut?

We know the next Kia Sportage is coming, and it's coming soon. We've often seen prototypes of the redesigned SUV out and about, wearing both heavy black coverings and the body-tight camo wrap seen here in this latest sighting from the Nürburgring. For this excursion, the small Sportage is getting an intense workout but the big question is when will the camo finally come off? More on that in a bit.

For now, let's take a closer look at this Sportage and by that, we mean peering inside the greenhouse as it tackles corners at the Green Hell. It's safe to say a roll cage won't be on the options lists when Kia finally goes public with the new Sportage, but this test vehicle has one. That's quite common for prototypes earmarked for more dynamic testing, both for driver safety and to exert a bit more force on suspension components. As such, don't expect the new Sportage to handle as well as this particular machine, which actually looks rather composed considering its plebeian mission as a compact people mover.

Gallery: 2022 Kia Sportage Spy Shots

The rumour mill has the next-gen Sportage sharing the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson. As such, it could share powertrain options that would include everything from gasoline to diesel engines and a hybrid setup. As for styling, it should be a complete departure from the present-day Sportage with spy photos suggesting a long horizontal grille with complex lighting elements housed in a trapezoidal shape at the corners. Unofficial renderings based on spy shots point to a very bold makeover, but we haven't captured clear images of the new model so there's a fair amount of speculation in those interpretations.

As for when we will see the real deal, rumours initially had it debuting in April but that's obviously not happening. More recently, we've heard that production of the new model could begin in June, so a debut for the South Korean market could actually be just weeks away.