The last we heard from Hyundai about a pickup truck was the Santa Cruz concept (pictured above) we saw at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. It looked like a futuristic Hyundai crossover with the top back part of the vehicle chopped off to make a truck bed.
With America’s insatiable appetite for all things crossover and truck, these offerings are expected to help reverse the automakers recent sales slump. After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback on the Santa Cruz concept, Hyundai will finally make a pickup truck for the U.S. for the first time in its history.
Little is known about the truck at this point but the Santa Cruz concept was positioned as a lifestyle vehicle similar to the Honda Ridgeline. If the production model takes the same approach, it will have to battle the Ridgeline as well as more traditional competitors such as the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier.
While the handsome Santa Cruz concept featured a transversely mounted 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel, it’s probably a sure bet that the production version will have a conventional gasoline engine given the fallout from the VW diesel emission scandal. Also, there is some debate on whether the vehicle will be a car-based small truck with offering front- and all-wheel drive similar to the Honda Ridgeline, or feature more convention pickup construction of a body on frame with a longitudinal mounted engine with rear- or all-wheel drive.