The Santa Cruz concept is inching closer to production as the CEO of Hyundai Motor America has confirmed the model is slated to be launched in 2020.
Speaking with The Detroit Bureau, Kyung Soo Lee said “We just had a meeting to look at the design” and the plan is to “launch it, in the U.S. market, in 2020” or shortly thereafter. The executive was tight-lipped about additional information, but the publication is reporting the company is working on locking down the truck’s final design and specifications.
While a lot of questions remain, it appears the production model will follow in the footsteps of the concept and be a lifestyle vehicle like the Honda Ridgeline. As part of this effort, the truck will be based on a crossover platform instead of an all-new body-on-frame setup. This should save on development costs and give the Santa Cruz a more car-like ride.
While the concept featured a diesel engine, one isn’t expected to be offered on the production model. Instead, the report suggests the pickup could be offered with either a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder or a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The larger engine produces 185 hp (138 kW / 187 PS) and 178 lb-ft (241 Nm) of torque in the Sonata, while the turbocharged unit develops 201 hp (149 kW / 203 PS) and 195 lb-ft (264 Nm) of torque in the Elantra Sport.
Little else is known about the truck, but insiders have reportedly told the publication that the Santa Cruz’s design will echo crossovers instead of traditional pickups. It remains unclear how much of the concept’s styling will carryover, but its knockout design still looks good nearly four years later.
One of the more interesting items in the report is the suggestion that Hyundai is targeting the Santa Cruz at consumers who are under 30 years old. To help appeal to these buyers, Hyundai will reportedly keep prices affordable. This could mean the truck will undercut the Nissan Frontier which starts at $18,990.