There are many automakers that promise consumers a new vehicle, but then don’t deliver in a timely fashion. For example, Chevy promised the world a mid-engine Corvette and went through many redesigns in the ensuing years. We actually reported on a prototype that was spotted back in 2015, and everyone was filled with excitement hoping that we would finally get the mid-engine soon.
As it turned out, it would be another four years before Chevy finally released the 2020 Corvette. Considering what an amazing job Chevy did, the wait was more than worth it. However, it was a painful wait for those of us who anxiously awaited the new ‘Vette’s arrival.
It now appears that Hyundai may be going down that same road with the new 2021 Santa Cruz. While many of its engineers are focused on how to make a flying taxi a reality, the Santa Cruz may not be getting as much attention as consumers would like.
All is not lost, however. Motor 1 reports that there is a tentative release date for 2021. This may be pushed out again, but for now, this is what we know.
New concept for a pickup truck
According to Motor 1, Hyundai has had its fill of doing the same old thing, so it wants a completely unique new design. In fact, Hyundai has reportedly “pledged to put an end to the Russian dolls theme by giving each model its own distinctive look.”
While this is extremely exciting, it also means that most of the information we have about the Hyundai Santa Cruz is mostly guesswork.
Top Speed reports that there was a new redesign concept released back in 2015 at the Detroit Auto Show, but this has been scrapped in favor of something new and improved. The original concept was that the Santa Cruz would be a crossover between an SUV and a small pickup truck.
Hyundai seems to want to keep this aspect, but the Korean automaker is keeping all the juicy details tightly under wraps. We will have to see whether Hyundai will use any of the former aspects of the 2015 version or start over from scratch.
Hyundai reportedly wants to draw in drivers who don’t typically buy trucks, and if the new Santa Cruz is anything like the 2015 prototype, it just might succeed.
What we know about the Hyundai Santa Cruz
We don’t know much about the Hyundai Santa Cruz, but here’s the little bit we’re certain of.
The Hyundai is going to be produced in the US. According to Auto News, “Hyundai would need to manufacture the truck in North America to avoid the 25 percent tariff on imported trucks. O’Brien strongly suggested the company will opt to produce the new pickup in the U.S. — where the majority of the vehicles will be sold — to avoid political controversy.”
Hyundai already has an American manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Alabama where the Elantra and Sonata sedans are produced. The Montgomery plant can build up to 400,000 vehicles a year.
TFL Truck reports that the Santa Cruz may look similar to the Honda Ridgeline. If this is the case, then the Santa Cruz will have four doors and five seats. The bed of the truck will be smaller, which means that hauling heavy loads is out of the question. Hyundai doesn’t seem to be targeting the group that needs trucks for manual labor, however, so this most likely won’t be a deal-breaker for consumers.
The Ridgeline received rave reviews from Consumer Reports, so if Hyundai can use the extra time it is taking on the Santa Cruz to beat out the Ridgeline, consumers are in for a real treat.