Hyundai stunned the world with its pickup truck concept in 2015. Back then, Santa Cruz was a surprise. The Korean company was successful in the market. But, the truck segment is the most demanding and risky market, especially for the mid-size class. But, the expansion of the SUV lineup continued. The same concept was very helpful in building in a new Palisade. However, the truck is not here yet. It seems we will see it next season in Detroit as 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz.
We expected to see the truck earlier. But, final tuning took too much time, so the company had to delay the premiere. Meanwhile, the situation in the mid-size segment has changed. These pickups are popular again. Ford brought back Ranger, FCA plans the same with Dodge Dakota and they already launched Jeep Gladiator. Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma are still there, but with more options already in 2020. So, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz will have a tough task. But, we are not worried. If the Korean carmaker survived in the SUV segment, they are eligible to compete in the truck market.
2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept vs Production
As said, Santa Cruz appeared for the first time in 2015. Back then, this was a big unveiling that caused a lot of interest. It also showed the intentions and appetites of the Korean company. However, they couldn’t make it to production. Until now, when speculations about the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz appeared again.
So, we have a really cool idea. But, as always, the concept always differs from the production version. So it is with Santa Cruz. Hyundai will radically change it to surprise us all once again. A few things changed meanwhile and the company has a new design language. We can see traces of it on the new SUVs. Palisade is a full-size model that will be the closest to the pickup. But, these won’t be the same. The new render shows a much more aggressive truck. It will be even sportier than the Honda Ridgeline.
The design of Santa Cruz was the main reason why this truck became so popular. Now, with the new styling approach, we will see if it is going for better or worse. Whatsoever, every year of delay is making it worse. So, Hyundai needs to decide and start producing this pickup. Currently, the more steamed look seems to be the favorite of the company’s designers. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz will follow the same lines and it makes it more aggressive than before. Also, the pickup will change the grille and headlights, according to the latest renders and photos. But, it still looks cool, to be honest.
There are no clues of how will 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz look like inside. But, from what we can see on a concept, the pickup is using a two-door layout. More space behind the B-pillars means there is room for the second row. Until the release date, Santa Cruz could get a four-door version to make its offer wider.
Well, the cockpit will be probably the same as for the latest SUVs. By the time the 2021 Santa Cruz hits the market, the new Palisade full-size model will be out. Also, Hyundai plans to launch a luxury SUV to compete with the Toyota Land Cruiser. A premium touch is never a bad decision in such situations. Standard equipment will include a large touchscreen display at the center of the dashboard, lane keeping assist, and a lot of safety features. Well, Hyundai leaves something for upper trim levels. Navigation and premium audio are upgrades you would like to add.
2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz Specs
Since the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz is going to be a close sibling to the Palisade, these two will probably carry the same engine under the hood. For the SUV, it is a 3.8-liter V6 unit. If the truck gets the same, it can count on 290 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. That is on par with V6 mid-size trucks from Chevrolet and Toyota. An eight-speed automatic transmission will send power to one axle, while all-wheel drive is optional. Fuel economy numbers are not available yet, and experts think Santa Cruz will be able to tow between 5,000 and 6,000 pounds.
The other option is a diesel. However, this kind of truck is not coming to the US. A 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine can produce 200 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. For example, Chevy Colorado bursts 370 pound-feet and 180 horsepower from the 2.8-l Duramax diesel drivetrain.
2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz Release Date
It is very questionable when will 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz arrive. Some say we can see it next year as the 2021 year model. Optimists want it in 2020. In the worst case, the debut is happening in 2021 and the truck is going to be there for season 2022. We will know more about it this summer when the Palisade is ready for the launch.