Although there’s been a ton of exciting truck new from this year’s North American International Auto Show, one of the biggest surprises came this afternoon from an unlikely source, as Hyundai unveiled a surprising concept vehicle in its Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept.
“The Santa Cruz crossover truck concept meets the unspoken needs of a growing Millennial lifestyle we call ‘Urban Adventurers’,” said Mark Dipko, director, corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America. “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.”
In an effort to combat the trend of modern urbanization, Hyundai built this Santa Cruz concept that blends truck utility with crossover SUV styling to provide “Urban Adventurers” with a vehicle that can navigate tight parking lots, parking garages and other tights urban areas. One of the most unique features is the bed extender to stretch out the bed to the same length as a mid-size pickup truck for added storage. To protect what you’re hauling, Hyundai fitted the truck with a retractable tonneau cover. Tie down cleats on the bed rails, roof and wheel arches help secure cargo.
The Hyundai concept features a 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine rated to produce 190 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque, with Hyundai claiming the crossover truck should net about 30 mpg on the highway.
The concept truck has a similar footprint to a small crossover utility vehicle. The Santa Cruz features a rear hinged back door to access the rear seating. The truck is fitted with Michelin tires with a unique tread pattern, center-locking hubs and yellow Brembo brake calipers.
Hyundai says it really isn’t going after current truck owners, but more so the modern young adult who needs versatility. As Hyundai states in its press release, “Santa Cruz is for the growing population who sees and pursues the world differently, those who want all the traditional attributes of a small CUV, but need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed.” Although it is a concept vehicle, Hyundai did say it is gauging interest in the vehicle with the possibility of building the vehicle a few years down the road.