Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck spotted in desertAugust 4, 2020
An unconventional pickup truck for urban adventurers will soon be unveiled to the public.
A camouflaged 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck has been spotted on a trailer in the middle of the SoCal desert, possibly en route to Death Valley for actual testing in hot conditions. After all, at that point in time, where the photo spies managed to capture the pickup, the temperature was over 40 degrees Celsius, which is ideal conditions to give any car a healthy workout.
Hyundai has been announcing the Santa Cruz for a very long time – starting at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, where it was introduced as the Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept with a diesel engine. In 2016, it received the green light to enter the market in 2018 as a 2019 model, but it didn’t. Production at Hyundai’s Montgomery, Alabama plant is now expected to begin in 2021. Prices start at around $ 25,000
Recognizing the need to expand its presence in the truck and SUV market, Hyundai hopes the compact pickup will do the job. The new Santa Cruz will be a crossover truck with an all-metal body, which will be built on the platform of the Hyundai Tucson compact SUV. It will become a kind of urban Honda Ridgeline. Its closest competitors will be Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier, Jeep Gladiator and the aforementioned Ridgeline. More direct rivals are on the way – the Ford Maverick and the RAM Dakota.
However, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is not focused on the truck market. He hopes to win favor with young people who prefer active lifestyles and urban adventurers who need a platform car to transport their dirty items. These buyers won’t need features like maximum towing, payload, ground clearance and truck-like ride quality on a typical pickup. In this sense, it will be a relatively economical, compact subcompact car that combines the usefulness of a small cargo platform with a car-like ride quality.
Unlike a traditional truck, it will be front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive likely as an option. A diesel option may be available, but power will likely come from a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.
Although much of the bodywork of this four-door Hyundai Santa Cruz, which the photo spies spotted, is hidden under camouflage film, all the glass elements were exposed. The windshield has a sloping line, creating a smoother, narrower, rectangular cockpit in keeping with today’s pickup cabins, which are different from the vertical windshields and taller cabins of yesterday’s trucks.
The silhouette of the pickup features a front end with a flat bonnet, similar to an SUV. Unlike the Honda Ridgeline, the Santa Cruz has a sloping C-pillar with cladding that connects the roof to the cargo platform, more like an SUV. Camouflage completely obscured the tailgate and platform area, making it difficult to truly appreciate the latter.
Hyundai planned to sell 50,000 to 70,000 Santa Cruze pickups a year. It remains to be seen whether these goals will be achieved, but with a reasonable price point, potentially attractive fuel economy, modern convenience and safety technologies, a good guarantee and a cargo utility in an automobile packaging, the “Korean” may have a chance. In the meantime, we are waiting for Santa Cruz to drop camouflage and show what it is made of.
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