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The Hyundai Santa Cruz is FINALLY Heading to the US Market

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is FINALLY Heading to the US Market

Four years after the concept truck debuted, Hyundai will finally be producing the Santa Cruz pickup truck

The Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup concept was unveiled in 2015 at the North American International Auto Show and, despite being well received, Hyundai has been on the fence about it - until now. After over four years, Hyundai has finally announced that it will be manufacturing the truck at its U.S. factory. Is it too late to the party, though?

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The Hyundai Pickup Will Be Rough, Tough, and Ladder-Framed

The Hyundai Pickup Will Be Rough, Tough, and Ladder-Framed

And Kia might offer one too

Hyundai has decided to enter the pickup truck market to gain a bigger market share. Since sedans are heading towards extinction and the company has a fairly big portfolio of crossovers and SUVs, it made sense to enter this unknown territory. Although new players usually test the waters by playing it safe in terms of design philosophy and the kind of truck they’ll manufacture, Hyundai has decided to go full throttle.

The company’s Australian head has said that Hyundai will be launching a full range of commercial utes to take its share of the pie in the ever-growing segment, based on the Santa Cruz pickup concept Hyundai showcased at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Can the automaker taste success in this segment?

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The 2020 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Won't Look Like the 2015 Santa Cruz Concept After All

The 2020 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup Won’t Look Like the 2015 Santa Cruz Concept After All

The concept was a stunner, so there’s a lot of pressure to live up to it

Four years after dropping jaws on the floor of the North American International Auto Show, we learn the Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept could finally come to our lives in the next few years. Just don’t expect the production version to look anything like the concept that caused a ruckus in Detroit back in 2015. Time is the biggest culprit behind this shift. It’s been four years since Hyundai unveiled the Santa Cruz, and a lot has changed within Hyundai during that time. The company’s new decision-makers are taking a different approach from the regime that championed the concept’s production back then. It remains to be seen how the different stylistic approach affects the production model’s appeal, but that’s also just one of many questions that Hyundai needs to answer before the production pickup arrives.

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Hyundai Exec Confirms Production of the 2015 Santa Cruz Concept

Hyundai Exec Confirms Production of the 2015 Santa Cruz Concept

Kia’s also building one, but it’s coming at a later date

Hyundai does not have a pickup in its lineup now, but that’s going to change soon now that a company executive has confirmed that a production model is currently under development. No timetable has been set in place, but the current schedule estimates that it could launch sometime in 2020. At the moment, the design of the production model is said to be finished, and the process of putting it into production is currently underway.

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Hyundai is Reconsidering a Pickup Based on the Santa Cruz Concept, But We're Skeptical

Hyundai is Reconsidering a Pickup Based on the Santa Cruz Concept, But We’re Skeptical

It would introduce a new smaller pickup segment for the US market

Hyundai showed off a very promising Santa Cruz compact pickup concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, but it never materialized into a production vehicle. Well, that could be about to change according to a recent report that says the concept could shift into production after all.

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Hyundai Will Create a New Niche with the Santa Cruz Pickup, but It Still Has a Couple of Years to Marinate

Hyundai Will Create a New Niche with the Santa Cruz Pickup, but It Still Has a Couple of Years to Marinate

Against all odds, the Santa Cruz is actually happening

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is both a crossover and a pickup. Whether you believe that to be true, what’s important is that the concept will go into production this year. Or next year. Hyundai has been a little iffy on the timetable, but it’s pointing to the same conclusion. The company loves the Santa Cruz, and it has plans to build a production version. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.

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2016 Hyundai Creta STC Concept

2016 Hyundai Creta STC Concept

A new truck-let concept from Hyundai special-built for Brazil

While America was electing a new president on November 8, Hyundai debuted its new Creta STC pickup concept at the Sao Paulo Motor Show in Brazil. Basically a re-think of Hyundai’s Santa Cruz pickup concept, this truck takes the design idea to the next level, bringing a more youthful appearance aimed at attracting younger buyers in the South American region.

Not much is known about the concept except that its based on Hyundai’s two-row, five-passenger crossover called the Creta, but is larger in just about every dimension. The truck version is nearly a meter longer than the standard Creta, and is a few inches wider. Its wheelbase is also extended by nine inches.

The Creta STC Concept was developed by Hyundai’s design center in South Korea in conjunction with Hyundai Motor Brazil’s development team in order to create a highly targeted truck. The design direction points the Creta STC Concept at young Brazilians living in large urban areas who seek a mix of utility and sportiness.

The unibody pickup features many design elements that appear more production ready than the Santa Cruz Concept. Whether or not Hyundai will actually move forward with this design is yet to be seen. If it does get the green light, the chances of Hyundai green lighting the U.S.-spec Santa Cruz should become even higher.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Creta STC Concept.

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Hyundai Pickup Gets Green Light?

Hyundai Pickup Gets Green Light?

Motor Trend says it has proof

Hyundai shocked the world when it debuted the Santa Cruz concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto show. The industry gabbed on whether the Korean automaker would make the leap into the U.S. midsize pickup truck market or whether the Santa Cruz was merely a design study. Well, it seems Hyundai will indeed build the crossover-based truck. At least that what Motor Trend is reporting.

“We have made the decision,” Motor Trend reports Dave Zuchowski saying. Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s CEO, continued saying, “We have not made the announcement.” While that last bit is rather obvious at this point, the automaker is likely to break its silence at the Los Angeles this coming fall or Detroit Auto Shows, later next year.

The Santa Cruz is part of Hyundai’s apparent reallocation of space at its Montgomery, Alabama assembly plant to produce more crossovers. Whether the truck will actually take up residence in Montgomery is unknown, but Motor Trend’s report suggests the plant does have room for a fourth vehicle. There is also a Kia plant in Mexico with the capacity. There’s even the possibility of it being built in Korea since the Chicken Tax embargo is dying in 2021.

Regardless of where it’s built, the Santa Cruz is slotted to be a lifestyle truck that rivals the Honda Ridgeline for driving pleasure mixed with reasonable payload and towing capacities. Zuchowski is convinced most truck owners over buy, locking themselves into a truck that far exceeds their needs. The Santa Cruz is his answer to the problem.

It will come powered by a choice of a gasoline or turbodiesel engine with the option of an AWD or 4WD system. Pricing is expected to start around $25,000 and go on sale starting in Q4 of 2018 as a 2019 model.

Continue reading for more information.

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2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

Winners and losers from CAS 2016, plus what went missing

The gates are open at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, and with those pesky journalists finally out of the way, the public can now enjoy all the vehicular goodness that North America’s “largest” auto show can muster. Special editions, refreshes, and brand-new models all dropped cover this year, with crossovers and SUVs served up as the main course, and new sedans and sports cars added as a tasty side dish. Picking winners and losers here is not exactly easy, but hey, this isn’t some elementary school talent show. Time to be ruthless.

There were a few clear standouts for Best In Show right from the start, but cutthroat competition to fill the remaining slots quickly followed. Picking vehicles for Worst In Show was also pretty tricky, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks.

So, without further ado…

Continue reading for the Best and Worst In Show at CAS 2016.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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Hyundai CEO Confirms Santa Cruz; Wants New Baby Crossover

Hyundai CEO Confirms Santa Cruz; Wants New Baby Crossover

We’ve previously reported that Hyundai North American is seriously considering a truck-like utility vehicle based on the 2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz concept seen at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in January. Now it seems Hyundai USA CEO David Zuchowski, a huge supporter of the Santa Cruz, expects to receive the green light for production from Hyundai’s main Korean headquarters by this November.

The trucklet will be based on a crossover platform underpinned by a unibody structure and a transverse-mounted powertrain with available AWD. Hyundai says the Santa Cruz wouldn’t be competing against the American midsized trucks, but rather vehicles like the current Honda Ridgeline.

What’s more, Hyundai is shifting a few of its production facilities from cars to crossovers, along with more factories being constructed globally. This will give Hyundai the room to build the new model without sacrificing production of its other products.

Reports are also suggesting Zuchowski is also pushing for a small, entry-level compact crossover aimed at the 2015 Nissan Juke, 2016 Mazda CX-3, 2015 Chevrolet Trax, and 2016 Honda HR-V. Zuchowski hints that the crossover will push the design envelope, saying “edgier styling will be really important in that segment.” The small crossover is expected for the 2017 model year.

As for the Santa Cruz mini-truck, if Hyundai’s Korean headquarters gives the go-ahead, it could enter production for the 2017 or 2018 model year. It would be marketed towards urbanites who lead active lifestyles who need the utility of a truck, but don’t need the size or towing capacity offered by modern American trucks.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Hyundai Santa Cruz Will Be Based On The Tucson

Hyundai Santa Cruz Will Be Based On The Tucson

The “green light” for production is all but official for Hyundai’s first pickup-like vehicle, the Santa Cruz, as more and more information trickles in. The latest news comes as Hyundai Motor America’s director of product planning reveals the Santa Cruz will be based on the existing Tucson crossover platform.

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Hyundai Santa Cruz Will Be Based On The Tucson

Hyundai Santa Cruz Will Be Based On The Tucson

The “green light” for production is all but official for Hyundai’s first pickup-like vehicle, the Santa Cruz, as more and more information trickles in. The latest news comes as Hyundai Motor America’s director of product planning reveals the Santa Cruz will be based on the existing Tucson crossover platform.

"We would not be starting from scratch with this vehicle, that is fair to say," said Scott Margason in a recent interview with Edmunds. By doing this, Hyundai would save costs by not developing a stand-alone architecture, along with one to two years of developmental time, Margason figures.

Designing the Santa Cruz off the Tucson’s crossover platform tells volumes about Hyundai’s intended market for the vehicle. Rather than being a direct competitor to players like the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, or the Nissan Frontier, the Santa Cruz would be marketed as a “lifestyle” vehicle for those wanting a pickup, but not the sacrifices associated with one.

"We tend to refer to it as more of an open-utility vehicle," continued Margason. "It is a personal-use vehicle." So don’t expect to see a Santa Cruz lugging equipment through a construction site. More to the point, the Santa Cruz’s closest competitor would be the Honda Ridgeline.

Hyundai is still deliberating on whether the Santa Cruz will launch with the 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder that powered the concept version. If chosen, the diesel would likely make the Santa Cruz more appealing to shoppers used to sedans, thanks to its high 30-mpg fuel economy estimations.

Despite its non-truck-like descriptions, Hyundai is targeting Millennial urbanites who lead active lifestyles by camping, bicycling, or even those doing DIY home improvements. The Santa Cruz will come with AWD to aid its versatile repertoire.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Hyundai Reportedly Close To Approving Santa Cruz Pickup For Production

Hyundai Reportedly Close To Approving Santa Cruz Pickup For Production

The rumors continue to swirl around Hyundai’s future product plans as Hyundai USA CEO David Zuchowski revealed the Santa Cruz pickup is close to getting the green light for production.

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Hyundai Reportedly Close To Approving Santa Cruz Pickup For Production

Hyundai Reportedly Close To Approving Santa Cruz Pickup For Production

The rumors continue to swirl around Hyundai’s future product plans as Hyundai USA CEO David Zuchowski revealed the Santa Cruz pickup is close to getting the green light for production.

The only kicker is approval must come from Hyundai’s South Korean headquarters.

However, Zuchowski is confident the project will get approved, as he told The Detroit Bureau during the rollout of the Sonata Hybrid, “There is a very high probability we get the approval of the truck very soon.”

The Santa Cruz concept made its debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show back in January, and caused quite a stir. The truck takes a very different approach to styling and functionality than the more traditional midsized pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. Hyundai says the truck targets millennial “Urban Adventurers” who lead active lifestyles and are looking for a vehicle that supports that living. The Santa Cruz’s bed offers space to carry dirty sports equipment or sweaty clothes not otherwise welcomed in the sedan or crossover.

Zuchowski says more than 90 percent of potential buyers the automaker surveyed has like the Santa Cruz concept. “It’s proven very popular,” he concluded.

What’s more, Zuchowski mentioned his team is also considering a subcompact crossover to compete against the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, and Jeep Renegade. “This is a growth segment,” The CEO said. “We want a piece of it.” Again, approval would be needed from South Korea, but the possibilities for production are just as promising as the Santa Cruz.

Continue reading for more information

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Hyundai Santa Cruz Could Make it to Production

Hyundai Santa Cruz Could Make it to Production

Remember that odd-looking half-truck, half-SUV thing Hyundai revealed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show? Yeah, I am talking about the 2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept. Like all concepts, this truck’s production future relied heavily upon the reception it received following its debut, and apparently the feedback was positive, as Hyundai is actually mulling over getting into the pickup-truck market.

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Hyundai Santa Cruz Could Make it to Production

Hyundai Santa Cruz Could Make it to Production

Remember that odd-looking half-truck, half-SUV thing Hyundai revealed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show? Yeah, I am talking about the 2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept. Like all concepts, this truck’s production future relied heavily upon the reception it received following its debut, and apparently the feedback was positive, as Hyundai is actually mulling over getting into the pickup-truck market.

This report is courtesy of Reuters, which quoted an executive from Hyundai who said that the crossover pickup received “good response.” That said, the chances of a production Hyundai pickup looking anything like the Santa Cruz and having the limited capabilities of the concept model are very slim. If Hyundai chose to release a production pickup, it would need to be able to tow, haul and go off-road, three things that Hyundai was clear were not the strong points of the concept. These are likely the “hurdles” in getting the Santa Cruz to production that Park Byung-cheol, Hyundai’s director of R&D, mentioned to Reuters.

Where the Santa Cruz excelled was in fuel economy and off-the-line torque. Its 2.0-liter diesel engine produced a respectable 300 pound-feet of twist while turning in estimated fuel economy ratings of 35-plus mpg. Both numbers are very strong for a pickup.

The sticking point remains whether or not truck buyers will consider a pickup that cannot do trucky things. The Honda Ridgeline was the latest example of a truck that failed at doing trucky things, and we all saw how well it sold…

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

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Hyundai Explores Truck Land With Santa Cruz Crossover Concept

Hyundai Explores Truck Land With Santa Cruz Crossover Concept

Hyundai surprised audiences at the North American International Auto Show with the Santa Cruz, a crossover-like pickup truck that blends easy-driving characteristic with functional utility in a stylish package marketed towards Millennials. With a trick extending cargo box, seating for five, all-wheel-drive, and a diesel engine, the Santa Cruz is certainly an interesting concept.

Head over to TopSpeed Trucks for the full review.

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2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept

2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept

The idea for a crossover truck isn’t a new one. Things like the Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Avalanche, and even the GMC Envoy XUV have trotted down that path. Nevertheless, Hyundai’s latest concept vehicle at the North American International Auto Show is a truck of sorts. It’s called the Santa Cruz and Hyundai says it combines all the driving dynamics of a crossover SUV with the utility of a small pickup. A quick read of the press release (below) confirms suspicions that the Santa Cruz Concept is a lifestyle vehicle aimed at Millennials who have “unspoken needs” of greater utility.

“Santa Cruz is the perfect vehicle for those that want the attributes of a CUV, but still have dirty stuff that belongs ‘in the back,’” Hyundai says. The idea is tantalizing: to have room for muddy shoes, fishing or sporting gear, and the occasional stack of firewood without giving up the car-like interior and easy driving attributes.

The Santa Cruz does offer an interesting solution for hauling longer loads in its shorter bed. Beneath the bed lining lies a second section that pulls out like a drawer, added length to the bed’s floor and side walls. The tailgate remains fully functional, allowing easy access to the bed. Cargo tie downs line the inside of the box for easily securing items. A hard-folding tonneau cover seals the bed for weather and security.

What’s more, Hyundai has thrown in a 2.0-liter turbodiesel that makes 190 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. The automaker expects the Santa Cruz to achieve fuel economy ratings in the upper 30-mpg range.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept.

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Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

I’ve already given the introduction to how much Texans love their trucks and how every year the Texas Auto Writers Association gathers to crown the winner; the coveted “Truck of Texas” award. Now let’s get down to some results.

Besides the main award, there were 17 other categories that each of the 75 vehicles fell into. These consisted of titles like “Midsized Crossover Utility Vehicles” and “Luxury Pickup Trucks.” Awards were also given for best connectivity, best powertrain, and best technology.

Each vehicle was subjected to a battery of tests that measured its ability to perform its intended function, whether that be towing, going off road, surrounding its occupants in luxury, or proving a great all-round family hauler. The vehicles were all competing within their respective category for the win.

So which truck, SUV, or crossover took home the Truck of Texas award? Continue reading to find out.

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Hyundai: "We have no plans of selling a pickup truck in the US anytime soon"

Hyundai: "We have no plans of selling a pickup truck in the US anytime soon"

We can now finally put this rumor to rest; there will be no pickup trucks coming from Hyundai anytime soon. That’s what the horse’s mouth made very clear when the Korean automaker shut down the rumor that was floating around last week involving Hyundai being in talks with Chrysler LLC to sell a version of the Dodge Ram pick-up re-badged under Hyundai in the US.

In a statement released by Hyundai, the automaker said: ""Hyundai Motor Co. denies that there are any current plans to bring a pickup truck of any type into the U.S. now or in the foreseeable future."

"Hyundai is not in discussion with Chrysler in regard to a selling a rebadged Chrysler Corp pickup truck, or any other vehicle, in the U.S," the statement concluded.

So there you have it, fellas. There won’t be a re-badged Dodge Ram pickup truck in Hyundai’s future, now or in the foreseeable future.

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