Hyundai and Kia are one step closer to launching the production version of its Santa Cruz pickup truck concept, which was first showcased at the Detroit Motor Show in 2015.
A global transition towards SUVs has now forced every manufacturer to have an SUV in every segment. While the regular SUVs do offer the go-anywhere ability, they lack the flexibility and practicality of a pickup truck. The butch looks and practicality of a pickup is exactly why people love them and this has attracted other manufacturers towards this style of SUVs as well. Back in 2015, Hyundai showcased their iteration of a pickup truck in the form of the Santa Cruz pickup concept at the Detroit Autoexpo.
The front three-quarters of the Santa Cruz pickup truck concept.
The actual arrival of the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup truck was confirmed when, Luc Donckerwolke, Head of Design Operations at Hyundai Motor confirmed, “The production version of the Santa Cruz concept is indeed in its development phase, the production processes have commenced and the design components had also been finalized.”
The pickup truck is expected to foster a Kia version and different body style by offering different door layout and deck length options, confirmed Kia Motors Australia COO Damien Meredith.
Expected to be built around the Santa Fe platform and following the design cues of Hyundai’s family design language, the mid-size pickup truck will offer competitive towing and payload capacity. Kia is examining the major pickup markets in the world like USA and Australia in order to compete with the established names in the industry. Taking the exaple of models like the Ford F-150 which consistently tops out in the sales chart and is even the most sold vehicle in the USA, other manufacturers are also keen on studying the potential of this segment.
The rear three-quarters of the Santa Cruz pickup truck concept.
With a speculative arrival in 2021, the truck is likely to be powered by Hyundai's 190bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel, which is capable of developing a healthy 406Nm of torque. Both manual and automatic transmissions will be a part of the options list for the truck, which is expected to be produced at Hyundai’s Alabama-based manufacturing unit in the USA.