The South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai has been working on a new type of crossover vehicle for more than five years and many have been wondering if the concept pickup truck will ever hit U.S. shores. But Hyundai is determined to deliver as promised, and recently, reassured all of us that the long-awaited arrival of the Santa Cruz SUV-pickup truck won’t take too much longer. Here’s what to expect when the Hyundai Santa Cruz hits the streets.
Hyundai’s SUV-pickup truck mashup: the Santa Cruz
The Santa Cruz concept vehicle was debuted at the 2015 Detroit International Auto Show and immediately started turning heads. Designed to be a crossover/mashup of a small pickup truck and SUV, its formidable appearance won us over and we’ve been waiting for it to hit production lines ever since. According to a recent Bloomberg report, the Santa Cruz was built to be versatile and comes with the possibility of appealing to a “whole new class of buyers,” according to an executive with the Hyundai company.
The non-traditional Santa Cruz pickup is aimed at buyers who aren’t your traditional truck owner. Its design was specifically tailored to meet the needs of a growing lifestyle that encompasses professionalism, environmentalism, and fun. Appealing to city-dwellers and Millennials, the Santa Cruz was designed for those who may not be able to accommodate the size (and fuel economy) of a full-sized truck, but could still use the functionality of an open bed. In fact, the people over at Hyundai have stated that their ideal Santa Cruz owner is an “urban adventurer.”
What to expect from the Santa Cruz pickup truck
We’ve seen crossovers before, but based on what we saw with the original concept, the Santa Cruz is a breed all its own. Smaller in size and stature than a small pickup or even the Ridgeline, it’s similar to a small CUV, with the maneuverability and ease of access of a standard car. The Santa Cruz will reportedly be the ideal blend between a small pickup truck and SUV, snugly fitting five into its low and aggressive cabin. It sits low and wide, with oversized wheels and a futuristic appeal that catches the eye. The people at Hyundai also added in an impressive hexagonal grill and rear-hinged doors that flow seamlessly into the front.
Not just pleasing to the eye, the Santa Cruz is designed to be used. It will use an all-wheel-drive platform and will be as environmentally-friendly as to be expected from the people at Hyundai, with an estimated fuel economy hovering somewhere in the high 30s. The Santa Cruz could potentially use a formidable, 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine that puts out around 190 hp and 300 lb-ft torque.
You’ll also find great function with the Santa Cruz crossover. Hyundai added in tie-down cleats for securing cargo in all corners of the Santa Cruz, as well as a contoured bed. Arguably the best feature of the Santa Cruz concept, however, is its tailgate which has a sliding extension. This innovative technology allows the bed length to be expanded out like a drawer to accommodate bigger, longer loads.
When the Santa Cruz will hit U.S. shores
Though there has been no official date of when the Santa Cruz crossover pickup will reach drivers, Hyundai has hinted at a sometime-in-2020 timeline, according to Motor1. And while many people, in the beginning, were wondering where the Santa Cruz would be built and sold, Hyundai has made it clear that it has plans of coming to the U.S. In fact, the Santa Cruz is most likely going to be American-built and sold on U.S. shores in order for Hyundai to avoid the 25% tariff on imported trucks. Building the Santa Cruz in the U.S. would also be a tremendously good political move on their behalf. No matter where and when it comes though, we will all be waiting!
All images provided by the manufacturer unless otherwise noted.