Is one of the three Hyundai pickups planned for launch.
Hyundai displayed its ambitions for entering the light truck segment with the introduction of the Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. Last year reports suggested a 2018 debut for this concept's production version.
Then there was the Hyundai Creta STC concept at the 2016 Sao Paulo Auto Show, the production version of which is expected to arrive next year to take on the Renault Duster Oroch and the Fiat Toro. A third pickup is also planned, sandwiching the two, which would compete with the 1-1.5 ton payload global pickups Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.
According to a new report from Caradvice, the Toyota Hilux rival is not arriving before 2020. Speaking to the Australian publication, Hyundai Australia COO Scott Grant said: "The official word is that ute is developing now, but in the HMC world, six months or next year is a long way out." "It's not this side of 2020," he added.
As for the Hyundai Santa Cruz, that's a model not on the cards for Australia. "Santa Cruz is a different proposition, we don’t have any interest for it, even if it happens at all, and in right-hand drive, Mr. Grant said. "We're focusing on proper 4x4 and 4x2 truck," he added.
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No information about the Australia-bound Hyundai pickup is available yet, but it's safe to assume this model would ride on a body-on-frame platform which will be an all-new project. While this model will target the likes of the Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max, Nissan Navara and the Mazda BT-50, the Hyundai Santa Cruz will aim for the customers looking for a lifestyle vehicle. It will utilise the Hyundai Tucson's monocoque platform and compete with the Honda Ridgeline in the U.S. market.
With Nissan developing an SUV on the Navara platform, and all other pickups in that class having an SUV top-hat, Hyundai would miss out if it doesn't deliver a rugged SUV that could complement the Santa Fe.