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Saturday 1 October 2016
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Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept May Be Production-Bound

Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept May Be Production-Bound

Green means go for the Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover pickup. At least unofficially.

The automaker’s five-door crew-cab concept was the star of the show at last year’s Detroit Auto Show. One year later, execs says the concept is close to production and that it’s just a matter of time before Hyundai makes an official announcement.

Here’s what Hyundai USA chief Dave Zuchowski had to say in an interview with Australian Motoring:

“What’s the easiest way to say that? We’re waiting more for an announcement than we are for an approval, right? HMC [Hyundai Korea head office] is going to dictate [when that happens, but] we feel really good about it. It hasn’t been officially announced yet. Our timing is not crossing our fingers and waiting for approval, it’s trying to figure out when we’re going to announce it.”

The production model is expected to use the same base as the Tucson. The concept was powered by a clean-burning 2-liter turbo diesel engine that delivers 190-horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. It also offered Hyundai’s exclusive HTRAC all-wheel-drive system. If the production model does come with a diesel, it will be the automaker’s first diesel offering in the U.S.

The design focuses more on lifestyle and not so much off-road trucking.  It’s meant to appeal to crossover drivers looking for something different. As such, don’t expect a huge amount of payload, towing capacity, and ground clearance. Those aren’t the “primary goals” of the truck according to Hyundai. It likely won’t be able to tow over 2,500 pounds.

The Santa Cruz pickup concept comes with seating for up to five and an extendable bed for convenience. So if you were a fan at the reveal last year, stay tuned.  

Also get ready for Honda and its revival of its 2017 Ridgeline this year. The automaker just showed off its redesigned midsize pickup after taking it off the market for an overhaul. Honda hopes its more mainstream look attracts more buyers.

Photo Credit: Hyundai