Hyundai’s Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept Is a Pickup for the Millennials

Hyundai’s Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show is the kind of pick-up truck the automaker believes the Millennials would buy. Why bother designing a truck for the Millennials? Well, they represent the second-largest population of car buyers, that’s why.

Hyundai calls these people “Urban Adventurers” and says the Santa Cruz meets their unspoken needs. In the words of Mark Dipko, director, corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America, “this new crossover allows them all the expandable utility they need throughout their active week, from work-life professionalism, to social interests, to a whole variety of outdoor pursuits, without the typical compromises they have come to expect from the industry’s current product offerings.”

So basically it’s about versatility and the Santa Cruz knows a thing or two about that. Unlike traditional pickups, it’s designed to meet the specific group of customers’ desires for expression, efficiency and maneuverability.

The bold design features a wide stance and an aggressive side-profile rake, with the front end sporting an upright, hexagonal grille, dual lens-free, honeycombed headlamp projectors, and prominent LED fog lamps.

The oversized wheels, shod with Michelin tires with a special tread design, center-locking hubs and yellow Brembo brake calipers, highlight the side profile. Speaking of the profile, the Santa Cruz features rear-hinged rear doors which integrate with the front door design and improve access to the rear seats.

The study also has tie-down cleats for securing cargo of all shapes and sizes placed on the wheel arches, roof, and bed rails. Furthermore, for extra utility, the expandable bed can be easily reconfigured for longer cargo, using a unique drawer-like sliding function. When fully extended, the tailgate extension system makes the Santa Cruz’s bed length similar to a mid-size pickup.

The Santa Cruz is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo diesel powertrain delivering 190hp and 300lb-ft (406Nm) of torque, which achieves fuel economy in the high 30 mpg (7.8 l/100 km) range. The truck is also fitted with Hyundai’s HTRAC All-wheel drive system.

Although it offers five seats, the concept is compact, with its overall footprint being similar to a small CUV. This makes it suitable for the city, as well as giving it crossover-like driving characteristics.

Hyundai says the Santa Cruz was designed to attract crossover and sedan buyers who are seeking greater utility, without the compromises that traditional trucks often require. This is why towing, payload and ground clearance were not primary goals. No word though on whether this study will eventually spawn a production model.

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  • spyderdrifter

    Don’t like the name, but do like the design. I would buy this if it didn’t change much if any in production version.

  • Six Thousand Times

    This is EXACTLY the kind of vehicle I want and glory be, it’s even a turbo diesel.

  • Guest

    Such a great front and such a poor rear, they even on concept cant make nice ideas….how?

  • thisguyhere

    hopefully this makes ford bring the ranger back as a global car

  • Joey

    Wow wow wow wow wow!!! O maybe to many wows. It’s so so so so so cool; and then again I might see it tomorrow and think differently about it. I think it’s the coolest gangster looking car I’ve seen since I first saw the Camaro in the 1st transformers movie. They should really put into production.

  • heliofig

    No relation to Brazil, but by coincidence, both Vera Cruz and Santa Cruz were former names of Brazil.

  • I-bot

    Reminds me the Toyota a-bat

  • Toronado_II

    It could be cool as a SUV too !

    • John Salmeier

      It is a Tuson with the box cut off, and a beefier engine added

  • Nick

    Probably a tease. I doubt it makes production.

    • Dr Louis Choquette

      We need to send out positive vibes so that they will produce it.

  • ChrisInIL

    They should have called it “Velosteruck”

    • Scott Schmitz

      Hey! Now! I drive a Veloster.

  • Braddo

    Just amazing – Love it – BUILD IT HYUNDAI!

  • Earl

    Love the design. Sit this truck next to a Ridgeline and it will look even better.

    Most people who own full size trucks really don’t need one and mid-size trucks have now gotten as big as the older full size. A compact truck like this would be really nice for people who need a daily driver and occasionally need to haul some stuff.

  • Alexander

    Definitely a car which is still missing on the market. While waiting for the new Toyota Hilux, this might be a cooler alternative for my needs. I would buy it!!!!

  • Jānis

    It screams ME, ME, ME. It is all about the EGO of the driver. Sad times, although the car looks interesting.

  • 3rdworldjunkie

    Santa Cruz-mino, wait there is a twist, it’s 4X4!

  • Bo Hanan

    This is a poser. Hyundai should actually build a truck and not this.

    • Robert C

      Hyunda is filling a void that has ben present for a long time. They are offering a car with a truck bed and not a full size truck. Many people do not want a full size PU to go shopping.
      This will give 30 plus MPG and you can haul small and medium size items.
      We need this WITH DIESEL PLEASE!!!

  • John Salmeier

    Not digging the yellow. That being said I would buy one. Love the suicide doors for the back. Body reminds me of the Brat