The unibody pickup will share its platform with the compact Tucson SUV, be built in Alabama.
After teasing the Santa Cruz many years ago, Hyundai is finally gearing up to produce its first pickup for North America. On Wednesday the Korean automaker shared the first shadowy images of the Santa Cruz, ahead of the little truck’s big debut April 15.
With this quartet of teasers, we’re able to get a clear sense of the production truck’s design. If the face has more than a bit of new Tucson to it in your eyes, that’s no coincidence: Hyundai folks have confirmed to us that both vehicles will share a platform. The similarities carry over in the profile, with two character lines meeting to form a shoulder line that then runs the length of the body. The C-pillar angle matches the one on the Tucson, flowing down into a short bed. The taillights wrap around the body sides and stretch well into the tailgate, with unique arrow-shaped LED profiles. Of course, Hyundai couldn’t resist the truck trend of an embossed name in the tailgate, too.
Hyundai hasn’t said much about the powertrain options for the Santa Cruz. Given the platform, we expect the Tucson’s engine lineup to transfer over, which includes a 2.5-liter inline-four as well as a turbocharged 1.6-liter hybrid option. The latter produces a healthy 226 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in the Tucson. Hyundai could offer the Santa Cruz with front-wheel drive—Honda does with the Ridgeline—but we’d bet on most, if not all, coming with standard AWD.
The Santa Cruz should comfortably be the smallest pickup truck on the market when it arrives this year. The closest competitor will be Ford’s upcoming Maverick compact truck.
Hyundai will livestream the Santa Cruz reveal on April 15, at noon EST. We’ll have the full scoop then.
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