The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz unibody pickup was spotted testing amid the SoCal desert under 110 degrees, probably en route to Death Valley for some real-life testing.
Hyundai did introduce the Santa Cruz earlier in 2015 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a diesel crossover truck concept. Greenlit in 2016, it was supposed to arrive by 2018 and 2019 but did not. Now it looks like the production facility of Hyundai’s Montgomery, Alabama, will start producing the Santa Cruz from 2021.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will be a unibody, crossover-type truck manufactured on the compressed SUV Hyundai Tucson platform. This might be sad news for body-on-frame truck lovers, but, like it or not, the Santa Cruz will apparently follow the Honda Ridgeline framework, only a bit smaller.
Hyundai isn’t trying to compete against big pickup trucks with the Santa Cruz. Instead, it hopes to attract a young, modern and active customer base who live in urban areas, especially those who like the convenience of a car but would appreciate having more cargo space and more hauling power.
Bigger trucks often run on diesel but the Hyundai Santa Cruz is not like other conventional full-sized trucks. Instead, it’s equipped with a turbocharged 4-cylinder motor and a front-wheel-drive powertrain, with all-wheel-drive as an option.
What apparently looks like a Santa Cruz was spotted a month ago by spy photographers in SoCal, and the pictures were just leaked. Unfortunately, because of the heavy camouflage, the framework is not visible. However, even the best camouflage can’t hide everything, so it’s possible to notice that the windscreen seems quite narrow, sleek, and more similar to a car rather than a truck. The outline of the vehicle looked similar to an SUV with a blunt hood. It simply doesn’t match with a traditional truck look.
It seems like we’ve been waiting for the Santa Cruz for so long now but, thanks to spy shots revealing that Hyundai is apparently testing it on the road, it’s safe to assume that the Korean manufacturer might be on the verge of revealing it soon.
Of course, it will be interesting to see if Hyundai has planned to offer an electric variant to compete with other EV pickups and SUVs that are about to hit the US market soon. Also, we are wondering if the interior of the Santa Cruz will be just as futuristic as the 2021 Hyundai Tucson’s.
Unfortunately, no spy shot of the interior has been leaked yet so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds!