It’s hard to believe it has been four years since Hyundai unveiled the Santa Cruz concept, but the company is still putting the finishing touches on the production model.
Speaking with Motor Trend, the head of Hyundai’s Global Design Center in Namyang, South Korea confirmed the production model will feature an updated design. As SangYup Lee explained, the upcoming pickup will be “a lot more distinctive” and have “a lot more character” than the well-received concept. Lee went on to say the design has already been finalized and it will have “more progressive” styling.
That’s pretty vague, but it’s not surprising Hyundai decided to update the truck’s design as the automaker’s styling philosophy has evolved over the past few years. We just hope the company will kept the concept’s bold front fascia and streamlined bodywork.
Lee declined to go into specifics, but the Santa Cruz could be based on the Hyundai Tucson. A facelifted version of the crossover was introduced last year and the model is available with two different engines. The entry-level unit a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 164 hp (122 kW / 166 PS) and 151 lb-ft (204 Nm) of torque. Higher-end variants have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder developing 181 hp (135 kW / 183 PS) and 175 lb-ft (237 Nm) of torque.
Lee declined to say when the truck would be launched, but executives have previously suggested the Santa Cruz will arrive in 2020 or shortly thereafter. Rumors have also suggested Hyundai will aim the pickup at consumers who are under 30 years old. Part of this effort is said to involve keeping the model affordable and there has been speculation the truck could undercut the Nissan Frontier which starts at $18,990 before destination charges.