Published on April 16th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Hyundai Santa Cruz Pick-Up Truck Shown For US Market

The long-rumoured Hyundai pick-up truck has been unveiled and it’s called the Santa Cruz.

Following the success of Hyundai’s full-size SUV, the Palisade, the company has now decided to expand into new territory. Their next foray into the US car market will be in the pick-up truck segment, as has been rumoured for a while. They’ll be doing this with the Santa Cruz, a new ‘Sport-Adventure Vehicle’ that shares a unibody platform and design cues from the new Tucson. That’s right, there’s no ladder frame here, Hyundai is going for a more lifestyle product, akin to the Honda Ridgeline.

While it doesn’t look quite as dynamic or funky as the original 2015 Santa Cruz concept car, the final product is still a handsome and rugged-looking thing. Because it’s based on the Tucson, it inherits the hidden lighting signature within a ‘cascading grille’ with a parametric jewel design. At the rear, the Santa Cruz sports a unique horizontal “T” lighting signature. Lettering that spells ‘HYUNDAI’ adorns the tailgate handle while “SANTA CRUZ” is embossed on the tailgate itself.

Here are some fun facts about the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz:

  • it will be built in the US for the US market at Hyundai’s Montgomery, Alabama plant
  • features a secure, open bed area with
    • lockable tonneau cover
    • hidden bed storage
    • versatile bed extension accessories
  • 18-inch to 20-inch wheels available
  • 10″ Edgeless infotainment screen
    • Wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay
  • 10″ Optional centre digital cluster display
  • Under-seat storage in the rear
  • Optional Bose® audio system
  • Standard powertrain
    • 2.5L direct-injected in-line four-cylinder petrol engine
    • More than 190 horsepower and 244Nm of torque
    • 8-speed conventional automatic
    • 1588kg towing capacity
  • Optional powertrain
    • 2.5L direct-injected in-line four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine
    • More than 275 horsepower and 420Nm of torque
    • 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters
    • 2268kg towing capacity
  • HTRAC® all-wheel-drive capability on either powertrain
    • electronic, variable-torque-split clutch
    • active torque control between the front and rear axles
  • Remote Engine Start
  • Advanced Driver Assist Systems
    • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (pedestrian, cyclist, junction turning)
    • Blind-spot collision avoidance assist
    • Blind Spot View Monitor
    • Surround View Monitor
    • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
    • Lane Keeping Assist
    • Highway Driving Assist
    • Safe Exit Assist
    • Smart Cruise Control
    • Driver Attention Warning

That’s right, the Hyundai Santa Cruz may be the first-ever pick-up truck with a DCT option! Don’t expect it in Malaysia, it’s made for the US market primarily. Until further plans are announced, it’s probably going to be a pick-up for North America, like the aforementioned Honda Ridgeline.

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Here’s the press release with more.


Interior Design

The interior of the Santa Cruz expresses a sophisticated and refined appearance. The contrasting rugged yet refined motif matches the boldness of the exterior, boasting a technical ambience that appeals to those who appreciate cutting-edge technologies in their daily lives. It features an enveloping dual-cockpit design that encapsulates each passenger. Design teams focused on ease of ingress and egress and ergonomic comfort on long drives. The premium center stack display features an edgeless infotainment screen appearance, with an impressive 10 inches of visibility. The optional center digital cluster display also measures 10 inches. Under the rear seats is convenient, in-cabin storage. Completing the premium ambience is an available Bose® audio system.

Powerful and Efficient Powertrains

Hyundai Santa Cruz offers two powerful, flexible and efficient powertrains. The standard powertrain is a 2.5L direct-injected in-line four-cylinder engine with an estimated 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb.-ft. of torque. This engine couples to an eight-speed hydraulic automatic transmission for quick acceleration and superb efficiency. Santa Cruz also offers a 2.5L direct-injected turbocharged engine with an estimated 275+ horsepower and 310+ lb.-ft. of torque linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). This DCT includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting control by the driver.

Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission

The eight-speed transmission for the standard 2.5-liter engine provides quick and crisp shifts for an engaging and efficient driving experience. This automatic transmission adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds allowing for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient trip on the interstate. A multi-disc and individually controlled hydraulic channel torque converter improves responsiveness by expanding the direct connection band, while a downsized oil pump and double ball bearings minimize frictional losses.

Advanced HTRAC® AWD and Towing Capability

Both 2.5L four-cylinder and 2.5L four-cylinder turbo models offer HTRAC® all-wheel drive capability for complete confidence when pursuing adventures of all kinds or for that extra peace of mind when driving in an unexpected snowfall. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty, dynamic experience. This system has a wide range of torque distribution variability, tuned for conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill starts. For those customers who like to tow their weekend gear with them, the 2.5L 4-cylinder is rated at 3,500 lbs. for towing and the 2.5L Turbo AWD model boasts a generous 5,000 lbs. of towing capability.

Compact Dimensions Yield Superb Maneuverability

Santa Cruz makes efficient use of its compact dimensions by offering high utility with excellent maneuverability. Its shorter wheelbase and smaller overall footprint make it a joy to maneuver and park in challenging urban parking, with an exceptional curb-to-curb turning radius of only 20.0 feet.

  • Length: 195.7″
  • Width: 75.0″
  • Height: 66.7″
  • Wheelbase: 118.3″
  • Bed Length 
    • Upper: 48.4″
    • Lower: 52.1″
  • Footprint Area : 101.9 sq. ft.

Responsive and Refined Chassis Tuning

Hyundai Santa Cruz was developed with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsive performance for a wide variety of urban and off-road, multi-surface driving conditions. The shorter wheelbase, short overhangs and wide track create a planted stance that results in exceptional agility in urban environments. These specifications also provide confident agility when traversing off-road terrain. Available 20-inch alloy wheels with wide, all-season, all-terrain tires give surefooted, agile handling character on a variety of road surfaces. Available 18-inch wheels with more voluminous tire sidewalls for off-road adventures are also available.

Hyundai SmartSense Safety and Convenience

Santa Cruz offers excellent safety and convenience features, with an array of advanced safety technologies as part of the Hyundai SmartSense feature suite.

Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)

Drivers do not want to compromise when it comes to protecting their passengers, so Hyundai has expanded its available SmartSense technologies on the Santa Cruz. This generous suite of advanced features includes many available driver assistance systems, including:

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (with Pedestrian, Cyclist and Junction-Turning Detection)

If the preceding vehicle suddenly slows down, or if a forward collision risk is detected, such as a stopped vehicle or a pedestrian, FCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, FCA can automatically assist with emergency braking. While driving, if there is a risk of collision with a cyclist ahead or an oncoming vehicle while turning left at an intersection, FCA can automatically assist with emergency braking.

Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)

When operating the turn signal to change lanes, if there is a risk of collision with a rear side vehicle, BCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, BCA automatically controls the vehicle to help avoid a collision. If exiting a parallel parking spot and there is a risk of collision with a rear side vehicle, BCA can automatically assist with emergency braking.

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA)

If there is a risk of collision with an oncoming vehicle on the left or right side while reversing, RCCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, RCCA can automatically assist with emergency braking.

Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)

If the driver leaves a lane without the turn signal on, LKA provides a warning. When a lane departure is detected, LKA can automatically assist with steering to help prevent leaving the lane.

Highway Driving Assist (HDA)

Highway Driving Assist helps to maintain a prescribed distance from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway and helps center the vehicle in the lane while driving, including curves. HDA also can help maintain vehicle speeds according to posted speed limits on federal interstate highways.

Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM)

When operating the turn signal, BVM displays video of the blind-spot view for the respective side of the vehicle in the cluster display.

Surround View Monitor (SVM)

Surround View Monitor displays a view of the space around the vehicle from above to assist with parking.

Safe Exit Assist (SEA)

When an occupant tries to open a door to exit the vehicle at a stop, if an approaching vehicle from the rear side is detected, SEA can provide a warning. SEA can also help to keep the rear doors closed through operation of the electronic child lock when a vehicle is approaching from the rear.

Smart Cruise Control (SCC)

Smart Cruise Control helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and maintain the speed selected by the driver. The vehicle can stop and start automatically when the vehicle ahead is stopped for a short period.

Driver Attention Warning (DAW)

DAW displays the driver’s relative attention level while driving and can provide a warning when signs of driver inattentiveness are detected.

Advanced Infotainment, Connectivity and Convenience

Hyundai Santa Cruz provides seamless connectivity and technology that helps drivers escape from the daily stress of long commutes, heavy traffic, road hazards and distractions. Drivers also expect to stay connected wherever they go, and the Santa Cruz provides this capability.

Hyundai Santa Cruz offers a standard eight-inch color touchscreen. Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® are also available to make staying connected easier than ever. Wireless pairing automatically connects an Android or Apple smartphone, so the driver can keep their phone in a pocket, backpack or purse. Owners can keep their devices charged on an available Qi wireless charger. Santa Cruz offers Digital Key supported by a dedicated smartphone app. The Hyundai Digital Key app also allows smartphones to control selected vehicle systems remotely. Users can lock and unlock the vehicle, activate the panic alert and start the engine. Digital Key allows owners to leave traditional keys at home and allows secure sharing of keys with family and friends. Digital Key is currently compatible only with phones using the Android operating system.

The Santa Cruz navigation system offers split-screen functionality that enables multi-tasking capabilities. Hyundai Santa Cruz also offers an eight-speaker Bose® Premium sound system.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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