Hyundai looks to open new segment with Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle

Paulo Papa
·2-min read

Previewed in 2015, Hyundai’s pickup truck promised a purposeful concept. Four doors, a seating of five, with an overall footprint comparable to a small crossover SUV, Hyundai also said in 2015 that the Santa Cruz will offer a dynamic driving character similar to a crossover but with a versatile cargo bed that provides separated storage.

Here’s a little throwback picture.

santa-cruz-concept-car
santa-cruz-concept-car

Here's what it looks like now.

Hyundai-Santa-Cruz
Hyundai-Santa-Cruz

Just a day away from its April 15 reveal, Hyundai has its customers excited for the highly-anticipated, segment-breaking Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle.

Ahead of its digital world premiere, Hyundai stated that the Santa Cruz will boast bold yet sophisticated design, powerful and efficient powertrain options, 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.

Back in 2015, Hyundai said that the Santa Cruz will sport an environmentally friendly 2.0-liter turbo diesel powertrain as well as Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel-drive system which we will hopefully see come the big reveal. As for vehicle connectivity, Hyundai might be talking about the Hyundai Motor Connected Car Platform where the company looks to introduce a “hyper-connected intelligent lifestyle.”

Hyundai Motor North America President and CEO Jose Muñoz said, “The Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open an all-new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. An 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.”

Indeed, the new sketches of the Santa Cruz look like it can launch a new segment.

Hyundai-Santa-Cruz-2
Hyundai-Santa-Cruz-2

Hyundai’s teasers seem to show the Santa Cruz having the same front grille as the new Tuscon, dropping the old front fascia. The arching hood gives it a muscular look that pairs well with the thick wheels. The back of the truck offers clean taillights with the Santa Cruz nameplate embossed on the tailgate.

Hyundai-Santa-Cruz-1
Hyundai-Santa-Cruz-1

The new pickup truck is designed at Hyundai Design North America and will be built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA). Unfortunately, the Santa Cruz—which would have made an ideal vehicle for Filipinos and our tight roads—has only been confirmed for the US market.

For those looking for a comparably small SUV, Hyundai Philippines offers the Venue — a pocket-sized SUV that’s big in style.

Photos from Hyundai

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