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2015-01-14 12:45

WHAT A BAKKIE: Move over Chev Ute, Hyundai has entered the cool arena with its Santa Cruz crossover truck concept at the 2015 Detroit auto show. Image: Hyundai

  • Santa Cruz concept shows fresh take
  • Sport truck concept
  • Versatile practicality

DETROIT, Michigan – Hyundai has made a spectacular world premiere of its Santa Cruz crossover truck concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show.

This fresh concept, says Hyundai, reflects a completely new interpretation of truck utility for a new generation of buyers.

Modern urbanisation is impacting the market in a big way, and this trend is especially strong with young adults. They face tighter parking on streets and parking garages, and increasing congestion. These trends are not confined to one specific region of the US; they’re happening in urban hubs everywhere.


'Urban Adventurers', as these younger folk are called, have a different mind-set, being active both socially and in their communities. And, to meet their specific needs, Hyundai says the Santa Cruz doesn’t focus on all the same attributes as traditional pick-ups.

It’s designed to meet more of their desires for expression, efficiency and maneuverability. Hyundai designers created a bold design that conveys this lifestyle, with a wide, sure-footed stance and an assertive profile rake.

The front view features an upright hexagonal grille with cascading lines framing the sides, dual lens-free, honeycombed headlight projectors and prominent LED fog lights. The profile is also highlighted by over-size wheels, Michelin tyres with a special tread design, centre-locking hubs and yellow Brembo brake callipers.

For ease of access to the rear seats, there are rear-hinged rear doors while the wheel arches, roof, and bed rails offer convenient tie-down cleats for securing cargo of all shapes and sizes. From the rear, the concept presents highly-contoured bed forms, and for extra utility, the expandable bed can be easily reconfigured for longer cargo, using a unique drawer-like sliding function.

Under the bonnet is a two-litre turbodiesel power train delivering 142kW/400Nm and using a claimed 9.4 litres/100km. It also features Hyundai’s HTrac all-wheel drive system.


Santa Cruz offers an innovative tailgate extension that allows the bed length to be expanded for everything from an epic mountain bike trip to bringing home an antique chest or classic motorcycle. Left extended, Santa Cruz’s bed length is similar to a mid-size pick-up, providing the ability to carry much more than its compact footprint would suggest, yet only when needed.

Santa Cruz, by design, isn’t an alternative to a truck so towing, payload and ground clearance were not primary goals. It's intended to attract CUV and sedan buyers seeking greater utility without the compromises that traditional bakkies often require, says the automaker.


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