The striking Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup concept has been unveiled at the ongoing Detroit Motor Show 2015 (NAIAS 2015).
The unexpected concept explores the possibility of a compact lifestyle crossover pickup which would feel at home in an urban environment while having a decent off-roadability. The South Korean carmaker describes the target audience of the car as “urban adventurers”.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover pickup explores the niche urban lifestyle pickup segment
While the quintessential American pickup trucks rely on their imposing stance, rugged appeal and big displacement gas guzzlers to make a statement, Hyundai has opted to tread along the alternative idea involving compact dimensions, aggressive styling and monocoque construction.
While the overall appearance is sharp and energetic, we can’t help ourselves but associate the grille with that of the Datsun GO and headlamps with those of the modern Mazdas. Even the headlight elements are very BMW like. Other noteworthy features upfront include silver LED foglights, silver skid plate and contrast towing eyes.
The heavily contoured sheet metal adds to the macho character
The profile is easily the best angle of the Santa Curz pickup. The taut skinning, over sized wheels and suicide type rear half-doors that seamlessly integrate with the front doors render a dynamic appeal. The loading bay is spacious enough to gobble the picnic paraphernalia and some more. There is what Hyundai calls as “innovative tailgate expansion” which results in longer bed length, should there be a need for extra room.
The interesting rear fascia borrows its tailight design from the Elite i20 while the fancy psuedo dual-exhaust tips are those typical concept elements that disappear when the car meets the assembly line.
Hyundai has introduced the crossover pickup concept to study the public response and hence not much of the technical aspects are known as of now. Powering the Santa Cruz is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel which packs in 190 PS and an impressive torque of 406 Nm.
The tailgate can be extended to increase the loading bay volume
Transmission detail has not been mentioned but the concept is equipped with HTRAC all-wheel drive system. Hyundai says that its upmarket crossover pickup is good for 30 mpg (12.69 km/l).
Hyundai has not revealed any production plans for the Santa Cruz for now. If at all the firm greenlights the model, expect the production version to be a pickup version of the India-bound Hyundai ix25 crossover.
As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive journalist by profession!