At the end of 2019, Hyundai gave us the surprise that it rescued a concept launched more than five years ago to turn it into a production model. It was the Hyundai Santa Cruz, that is, a modern and compact pick-up that from 2021 will be produced at the Korean brand’s plant in Montgomery, Alabama. And it seems that compact pick-ups with a more urban approach are also becoming fashionable.
Testing in Lapland
Everything indicated that this new product would begin manufacturing at the beginning of 2021, but it is already February and the Korean pick-up continues with its development tests in an icy lake located in Lapland. The images that have just arrived make us take a couple of steps back as the photographed specimen has a very extensive camouflage designed to hide all its aesthetic keys and to tell the truth it has succeeded.
Therefore, it is good to remember the images that our spies offered us last year, featuring a unit with much less camouflage. This featured a thin headlight scheme above, fused with the grille, and large, almost square spotlights below, sporting styling, at least on the front, very similar to the current generation Tucson. And although his profile is still hidden by a black cape, you can also see those curious lines of tension that merge into one and that end up reaching his rear.
Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022 A pick-up with style
In its day, Hyundai pointed out that this pick-up was aimed at Millennials who seek all the usual qualities of a compact but with the versatility offered by the rear box of a pick-up. A curious approach, but one that seems to be catching on among manufacturers who are betting in different markets for models of this class with a more compact and modern format.
Judging from the photos of our spies, it seems that their design, rather than being based on the original concept, will follow the new style of the latest models of the Korean firm, with a more modern design, full of tension lines and accompanied by a few ragged headlights fused to the grille that seems to be becoming one of the hallmarks of the new Hyundai.
What we can also see in the photos that accompany these lines is a large grill and a cabin that this time has four doors and a rear row for passengers. This commitment to more space also results in this prototype looking larger than the concept from five years ago.
With DNA from Santa Fe?
Little else is known about this future model, nor what mechanics it will use. Given its format, the most natural thing is that it uses a base that either comes from Tucson or Santa Fe, the latter by the way manufactured in Alabama, the same plant in which the Hyundai Santa Cruz will be born.
If this base is finally chosen, the new Hyundai pick-up could be offered with two four-cylinder engines: a 2.4-liter with 185 hp and 241 Nm of maximum torque and a 2.0-liter turbo with 238 hp and 352 Nm of torque.
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Its launch was expected this year, although the emergence of Covid-19 seems to have delayed Hyundai’s plans. We will be attentive to future movements in this regard.