Now, come on Hyundai, you know we would love for you to put something that looks this good into production. You know crossovers are the new hotcakes (whatever those were) and would sell accordingly. Hyundai Motor America’s Director of Corporate Planning, Mark Dipko, says, “this new crossover allows them all the expandable utility they need throughout their active week, from work-life professionalism, to social interests, to a whole variety of outdoor pursuits, without the typical compromises they have come to expect from the industry’s current product offerings.”
Sounds great. So what’s the hold up?
We’re sure the main reason the Korean automaker is chose to preview the Santa Cruz in Detroit and again in New York is because, should it enter production (fingers crossed), there would be a big push for it in the American market. But the appeal stretches far beyond the States. Australians, for one, are know to be lovers of a good flatbed and indeed the Ute exists purely for this reason. Thailand, too, has a car market brimmed with pickup trucks and the numbers in Malaysia have been rising steadily.
Unlike most crossovers that combine an SUV with sedan, the Santa Cruz blends a pickup truck with sporty coupe, that added utility with the futuristically stylish body, modern luxuries, and a premium interior, the it could be a knock-out product. Its dimensions are more along the lines of a small CUV than a full-blown pickup, mind you, making city manoeuvrability much easier. And although the possible production version will omit the oversized wheels, we’re hoping the rakish side profile, rear-hinged doors, and wide stance won’t be axed.
A 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine producing 190 hp and 406Nm of torque is found to be powering the Santa Cruz, and although that sounds par for the course in countries like ours, it might need beefier numbers to sway the Aussies and Americans away from their beloved V8s. It also has Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system.
The fact that Hyundai brought it to New York at all bodes well that the company is at least looking at the Santa Cruz as a potential new addition to their line-up. Again, here’s hoping.