Ditching the concept look, the new 2020 or 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup will have a styling all of its own according to a recent report.
In an interview with MotorTrend‘s Alisa Priddle, the unibody pickup will have a very distinctive look and be an extension of Hyundai’s current vehicle lineup, not a copy cat.
“No more Russian dolls, says SangYup Lee, head of the Hyundai Global Design Center in Namyang, Korea,” as reported by MotorTrend. “He wants new vehicles to be striking and different, forcing customers to take a closer second look at which point they discover it is a Hyundai.”
The pickup will still share the upcoming 2020 Hyundai Tucson platform set to be unveiled soon. It will also likely come with either a four-cylinder gasoline engine or a small turbocharged engine option possibly mated to a CVT transmission.
Hyundai says the plan is to still offer it in a four-door variant with seating for 5. No word on a 4×4 variant and it is hard to see that coming. It will likely instead offer an AWD option.
This pickup will likely mirror the Honda Ridgeline’s approach of being a pickup in name only and really better suited as a lifestyle pickup. It is seemingly going to try to fill the gap created by the growth, in size, for mid-size pickups and the desire for a smaller, more compact pickup.
Our guess is it will be a 2021 model with Lee telling MotorTrend it will be on the market in 2020 at the earliest. This tells us it could be unveiled at the 2019 LA Auto Show in November or the 2020 Chicago Auto Show. Remember, the North American International Auto Show has moved to a summer/fall show.
In any event, this pickup will likely be a small volume seller and really a more niche product which should boost Hyundai’s volume that has been slipping for some time as American consumers move away from sedans and into SUVs.