Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Hyundai | posted July 29, 2015 11:18
Santa Cruz bests the Kia Trailster, Mitsubishi GC-PHEV
Hyundai better pat themselves on the back as their Santa Cruz Crossover Truck has just been awarded this year's Truck Concept of The Year by the North American Concept Vehicle Awards .
Recognized by the awarding body for its design, style, technology and market responsiveness, Hyundai's concept truck bested Kia's Trail'ster and Mitsubishi's GC-PHEV.
First launched during the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the Santa Cruz was Hyundai's idea of a crossover pickup that would be able to meet the needs of the growing Millenial lifestyle they call 'Urban Adventurers'.
“The compact-truck segment in the U.S. is tremendously competitive, and overall truck sales have skyrocketed to become one of the best-selling segments in today’s market. Hyundai’s new Santa Cruz crossover truck concept is a modern take on the classic theme of one of America’s most-loved segments – the pickup truck,” said Mike O'Brien, Vice President of Corporate and Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America.
Designed by the company to veer away from traditional pickups, O'Brien added that the Santa Cruz will be able to deliver 'innovative functionality and flexibility in a compact, fun-to-drive package'.
“The Santa Cruz is what the light-truck category needs - loads of style for people without big loads,” added Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design and Production editor-in-chief and NACVOTY juror.
As a review, the Santa Cruz will reportedly get green-lighted for production sometime in November according to Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski. Exact details about its powertrain and underpinning remain scarce though there are rumors going about that it will be based off the Tucson and will be an AWD pickup.