Published on April 23rd, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Hyundai May Be Making Not One, But Two Pick-ups
Hyundai are apparently working on a lifestyle pick-up truck, possibly based on a unibody platform derived from the current Santa Fe SUV. It will be called the Santa Cruz, and we’ve known about it for some time, but now more information has surfaced. While the Santa Fe is considered large for the Malaysian softroader SUV market, a pick-up of this size would still be much smaller than what we’re used to.
Let’s take the example of the Ford Ranger and compare that to the Santa Fe. The Santa Fe is 47cm shorter bumper to bumper, with a 45cm shorter wheelbase, and it’s also 17cm shorter in terms of height. The Santa Fe is a little wider than the Ranger, but only 3cm at that. By and large, unless major modifications are made to the platform, what we’ll have is a lifestyle-oriented pick-up truck possibly even with multilink suspension at the rear and mild off-roading capability.
This is not unlike what Honda do in the US market with the Ridgeline. The Ridgeline is pretty unique in that it’s actually a unibody pick-up truck.
This truck will apparently go into production in the USA in 2021, with RHD variants planned for the Australian market too. 2-litre turbo and 2.4-litre NA petrol engines are rumoured, as are an 8-speed conventional automatic transmission and AWD as standard.
This will be the Koreans’ first attempt at breaching this pick-up truck segment, but the automotive industry is getting tough to compete in and they’re probably looking to offer a product in whichever market they can find. Their recent efforts in the US with the Palisade (and Telluride) seem to have paid off handsomely. Plus, even French manufacturer Peugeot recently announced they would be competing in the pick-up truck market once again.
That being said, most pick-up trucks tend to compete heavily on price and features, which is probably why Hyundai are giving theirs a bit of a lifestyle spin, so that other aspects like equipment, design and comfort can be a bigger factor for buyers.
Separate from this, both Hyundai and Kia are also working on a more spartan pick-up truck chassis for the commercial sector. This is apparently a little further behind in the development process, so very little is known. We don’t even know if Hyundai-Kia are aiming at what Americans call “full-sized” pick ups (Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra), or the already large “mid-sized” pick ups we get here like the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.