Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Slated To Arrive In 2020

It’s been three years since Hyundai unveiled the stunning Santa Cruz concept at the North American International Auto Show but it’s not going to arrive in showrooms anytime soon.

Speaking with Motor Trend, Hyundai Motor America COO Brian Smith said “We talk about it a lot” but a production version of the pickup won’t arrive this year or next year. This means the earliest that the model could arrive would be in 2020.

The long gap between the unveiling of the concept and the arrival of the production model is being chalked up to a delay to green-light the truck. Hyundai Motor America’s former CEO, Dave Zuchowski, was a big proponent of the model but the company didn’t approve the truck until late 2016.

The truck was reportedly slated to arrive this year as a 2019 model but Zuchowski was fired days before Christmas of 2016. This reportedly caused plans for the truck to stall before being revived in 2017.

Since so much time has passed, it remains unclear how faithful the production model will remain to the original concept. In fact, little is known about the truck but the report suggests it won’t be offered with a diesel engine. That’s not too surprising but the concept featured an “environmentally-friendly” 2.0-liter turbodiesel that produced 190 hp (141 kW / 192 PS) and 300 lb-ft (406 Nm) of torque.

When the Santa Cruz finally goes into production, it will face a number of new competitors including the Ford Ranger and Jeep Scrambler. The model will also have to fend off other challengers such as the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. Volkswagen has also hinted at the possibility of entering the highly competitive segment as it unveiled the Tanoak concept at the New York Auto Show.

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  • Jesse A. C. Majors

    If the design stays exactly the same with a few updates to the grill, they will not have to worry about competition because this the best designed small truck I’ve seen in a while.

  • Dr Strangefingger

    Can’t wait to see this on the roads. Hell, I might even buy one.

    • Socarboy

      It won’t be this Hyundai will “chicken out” and bring a Ridgeline clone

  • timii

    Always pushing something back further and further.

    • Socarboy

      Exactly this was a ruse. This kept up interest until the vanilla pickup arrives

  • Jerry Hightower

    Good looking truck but sadly, this will just be another big truck like all the other so called “midsize” trucks. I’ll stay with the older Ford Rangers thank you!

  • bd0007

    The concept had an extending bed.

  • bd0007

    No diesel would be surprising since Hyundai is working on a hybrid diesel powertrain for its CUVs.

  • khc

    This Santa Cruz concept certainly looks great, and the designer should be proud – but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if Hyundai were able to make a business case for building it without changing to a more-conventional 4-door pickup body (then again, this is the company that’s building the odd Veloster).

  • smartacus

    can’t see the tail lights
    with the tailgate down.

  • Dylan Wentworth

    Spoiler alert…
    If it ever comes to fruition, it’s not going to look to anything like the concept.
    Tail lights built into the tailgate?
    Exhaust pipes in the bumper?
    No clear way to even open the doors.
    And don’t count on there being a diesel. With current emissions controls and in most places in the US, the price of diesel being pretty closely tied to the added efficiency, it’s really only a benefit for people who tow. That’s the only time you’re really likely to save actual money with diesel at this point. And by tow, I’m talking tons. Not something you can do with this concept car or more than likely the finished product.

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