The pickup truck market is getting bigger and bigger. Most of the major companies already have or planning to develop a high-quality truck. One of those companies that want to enter the segment is the Korean automotive giant Hyundai. The famous carmaker presented a concept version of the pickup back in 2015. Since then, we had a chance to see some sporadical news regarding the production of the pickup model. But, according to the latest reports from the Korean company, the truck will come next year as 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz.
So, the following review reflects what we know so far about the announced model. However, we expect that the engineering department will change a lot of things before the official release. The production version might feature different design solutions, as well as various engine options. With all that in mind, let’s see what we can expect of the upcoming Hyundai pickup truck.
2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz Possible Design and Platform
As we mentioned above, the first time that concept pickup was presented to the audience was back in 2015. Hyundai shows a small truck with a really gorgeous styling and appealing design. Still, it remained in the form of a concept ever since. Now, it looks like the vehicle is finally ready for production, and it will carry a 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz nameplate.
One of the most interesting questions regarding the forthcoming Santa Cruz is the platform. Yet, the Korean carmaker isn’t exactly famous for the body-on-frame platform and utility cars in general. So, the only logical thing for an upcoming pickup truck is to ride on a car-like, unibody platform. That solution doesn’t have to be a bad thing, not at all. We reckon that the potential buyers of the Santa Cruz won’t need spectacular towing or payload capacity. Therefore, the unibody platform might be just the right thing.
On the other hand, that specific configuration will provide excellent handling and driving performances, almost good as you driving a crossover. Also, the cabin will provide a high-level of comfort. All in all, we expect that the arriving Santa Cruz will share the same platform as the next-gen Tucson. The compact crossover SUV release date is scheduled for the second half of 2020.
Engine and Release Date
The 2015 concept version of Hyundai pickup includes a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that produces 190 hp and 200 lb.ft of torque. We expect to see this powertrain inside the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz as well. The Korean company is planning to distribute this truck both in North America and every other primary market.
But, the main focus will be the US, and we expect good sales ratings. Also, the Santa Cruz pickup will probably feature a gasoline engine as well. The entry-level might get a familiar 2.4-liter mill that produces 185 hp. Of course, the upper trim levels will include a 2.0-liter turbo-four powertrain, with 235 hp. The 2.0-liter unit is probably the perfect choice, given the dimensions and weight of Santa Cruz.
On top of that, according to our sources, the pickup could get some electric drivetrain as we. But, even if the rumors are true, the electric version probably won’t be ready for the initial launch. As for the release date, the Hyundai pickup will likely debut in the second half of 2020. Yet, the precise date is not ye announced. The base model will come with a starting price of around $25,000.