Can Hyundai succeed in the pick-up market with the Santa Cruz?
About 20 years ago, the thought of Hyundai rolling out crossovers sounded like a massive gamble. Fast forward to today and the segment is now the bread and butter of the South Korean automaker. With that, Hyundai is rolling the dice yet again by bravely entering a hotly-contested segment, the pick-up truck class.
They call it the Santa Cruz, and we're just a few weeks away from its global debut. But before we get to that, Hyundai was kind enough to give a teaser of their first hauler. It's a bunch of sketches for now, but those will give us a good idea of the production model's final design.
We see a front end that draws a fair bit of inspiration from the Tucson. The Santa Cruz features high-set headlights with LEDs shining through its grille. It also gets a rounded hood to give it a more bulbous appearance. Even the fenders appear similar to the Tucson with their sharp and angular lines. From what we're seeing now, it seems that the Santa Cruz will be smaller than mid-size pick-ups such as the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.
Hyundai made the side profile rather adventurous for the Santa Cruz. Instead of the usual upright back glass, this pick-up has a more rakish rear windshield. Even the rear door wouldn't look out of place in a sedan. As for the rear, the taillights get a bit of flair with a T-shaped light pattern for added distinction. One thing we hope to see in the production version is the Santa Cruz stamping on the tailgate.
That's all Hyundai is showing for now, but they did say a few more things about the Santa Cruz. They said it is a “segment-shattering” model that is at home in the city and the countryside. Hyundai also added that it will have several powertrain options, so at least we know there is more than one engine available.
We will know more details once the pick-up is launched. Thankfully, the wait isn't too long now. Hyundai says they will premiere the Santa Cruz on April 15, 2021.