Hyundai has released new teaser images of its much-anticipated entry into the pickup-truck segment in North America. The Korean carmaker had first showcased the Santa Cruz concept back in January 2015. Now, more than six years later, the production model is a couple of weeks away from its global debut. Hyundai has, however, not adhered to the standard pickup truck layout with this new Santa Cruz. In fact, Hyundai says the Santa Cruz “shatters both SUV and truck segments, creating an entirely new vehicle category.”
While the production-spec Hyundai Santa Cruz will look nothing like the concept from six years ago, these surprisingly revealing teaser images confirm one thing for sure - the Santa Cruz draws heavy design inspiration from the new-gen Tucson. The front fascia with its intricate grille and light modules and even the front doors are very similar to the Tucson. From these teaser images, the Santa Cruz looks like it will be a compact vehicle that will be a shade smaller than other midsize pickup trucks in the US like the Chevrolet Colorado or the Toyota Tacoma.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz also ditches the separate cab/bed design of the typical pickup truck in favor of a sleeker, more-integrated body design. Given the huge similarity in styling with the Tucson, it is being speculated that the Santa Cruz will be underpinned by the same platform as the Tucson. As opposed to traditional body-on-frame pickup trucks, the Hyundai Santa Cruz will boast of an unibody construction. Compared to the Tucson, the wheelbase could be extended in case of the Santa Cruz.
The teasers confirm it will be offered in a practical crew cab configuration. The Santa Cruz concept, meanwhile, had shorter rear-hinged "suicide" doors that were only befitting a concept. The bed, however, appears to be on the smaller side, as can be expected given the Santa Cruz's compact footprint. So this is definitely not going to be used as a workhorse vehicle. This Hyundai pickup has been designed in North America and it will also be manufactured at Hyundai's plant in Alabama.
Hyundai has, however, not gone in-depth with the technical specifications of the Santa Cruz. Hyundai has promised "powerful and efficient powertrain options" and we expect the 2.5L petrol and 1.6L turbo-petrol engines from the Tucson to be carried over. It must be noted that although the new Tucson sits on a front-wheel-drive based platform, Hyundai promises all-wheel drive for the Santa Cruz. The vehicle is set to make its official debut on April 15, and should go on sale later this summer or by third quarter of 2021.