Hyundai played catch up when it came to sport-utility vehicles and now it looks like it’s ready to focus on pickup trucks. The company today released a series of teaser sketches of its long-awaited Santa Cruz pickup.
Set to arrive as a 2022 model, the Santa Cruz is clearly not a traditional truck — at least on the outside, looking at the sketches.
“Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all-new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America.
“Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one.”
A different kind of truck
The 2022 Santa Cruz exterior styling is unusual, reminiscent of the early edition of the Honda Ridgeline. However, the automaker focuses on its “a flexible open bed for gear, cutting-edge connectivity and a highly maneuverable all-wheel drive platform that is equally at home in urban and adventure-focused environments.”
With production starting this summer at Hyundai’s Montgomery, Alabama facility, the truck is going to arrive later this year. Despite some rather extensive renderings, the company was pretty stingy on other details future buyers want to know now.
They won’t have to wait too long as the company plans to provide actual pictures and full details on April 15 at noon EDT. The company’s only been teasing the truck since its concept debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit so a few more weeks won’t hurt, right?
A small truck with big capability
Despite Hyundai officials not offering any insights today, in the past, they’ve discussed the truck and we can glean some information for that.
First, the midsize truck producers can breathe easy: it’s set to be smaller than any other truck on the market. Hyundai’s using a crossover platform for the Santa Cruz, saving it money as it has several small utility vehicles like the Kona or Venue to use as the base for the truck.
Since it rides on the crossover platform, it may also use one of the engines. The Kona comes standard with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson engine produces 147 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 132 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm, paired with a new Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) for maximum efficiency.
The smaller Venue is powered by a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine making 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a CVT. Both versions are all-wheel-drive capable. No word if a battery-electric model will be part of the offerings.
As the company touts its functionality and capability, it’s likely to feature a multifunction tailgate, similar to that on the GMC Sierra or perhaps the Dodge Ram where it can open in multiple directions. With Santa Cruz, Hyundai hopes to offer potential buyers a new vehicle alternative which would suggest a fairly low entry price. Another bit of info the company declined to offer today.