Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept Mates a Crossover with a Pickup (+VIDEO)

By Matt DeLorenzo on January 12, 2015 11:54 AM

Looking to appeal to a new category of buyers, the Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept combines a car platform with the utility of a pickup truck body. While similar in execution to the Honda Ridgeline, the Santa Cruz Concept differs in that has rear hinged access panels for the rear seat instead of conventional doors.

"The Santa Cruz crossover truck concept meets the unspoken needs of a growing Millennial lifestyle we call 'Urban Adventurers,'" said Mark Dipko, director of corporate planning for the Korean automaker. "This new crossover allows them all the expandable utility they need throughout their active week, from work life...to a whole variety of outdoor pursuits."

Also: 2015 North American International Auto Show

Pickup truck proportions

Even though the product is based on a car-like platform that features a transversely mounted 2.0-liter turbo diesel delivering 190 horsepower and 300 lb ft of torque, the proportions are decidedly pickup truck in appearance. The bold hexagon grille, tall profile and extended cabin profile blends back into the cargo bed with sleek C-pillar sail panels. The diesel powertrain offers fuel economy in the high 30 mpg range while giving the Santa Cruz the ability to take on snowy or slick roads with Hyundai's HTRAC all-wheel drive system.

While the overall size of the vehicle is similar to a compact crossover, the Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept provides seating for five and plenty of load space in the cargo bed, which is fitted with an integrated, rigid tonneau cover that is also lockable. The cargo area also features an innovative tailgate that is expandable to allow longer items to be carried in the bed, which when fully extended is about the same length as a mid-size pickup. 

Hyundai believes that the Santa Cruz is a viable replacement for the compact pickup truck which has virtually disappeared from the market. The smaller footprint with the ability to offer a mid-size pickup's cargo capacity is a niche that Hyundai is looking to explore.


 

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