Electric/Hybrid “not far off” on the Hyundai Santa Cruz truck [Update]

After a near six-year waiting period, the reveal of the production-spec Hyundai Santa Cruz truck will take place digitally on April 15, the company announced. The Santa Cruz concept was originally shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show that signified the Korean carmaker’s intent to make an entry someday in the pickup truck segment.

In fact, Hyundai says the Santa Cruz will create an all-new segment straddling SUVs and pickups owing to its SUV-inspired cabin design with an open-bed concept. The carmaker also dropped the first design teasers which point to a styling language inspired from the new Tucson (the Tucson and Santa Cruz will be mechanically related, however the company is still to confirm the specifics).

Started designing the Santa Cruz with the premise that this is not a traditional truck. Something new, it’s meant to thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors, small in size but big in adventure. It supports your work and play activities with open and closed storage. ‘Constructed by contrast’ became our guiding principle throughout the design process. Everything from its proportions to its lighting conveys that it’s not truck, it’s Santa Cruz.

Brad Arnold, design manager of Hyundai Design North America, on the Santa Cruz truck

On the Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid

Interestingly, even prior to the unveil, Hyundai’s Chief Creative Officer, Luc Donckerwolke told Autocar UK that the company would apply an electric powertrain to the Santa Cruz. He said the company would have to wait a bit, but electrification was definitely on the cards for the truck. Donckerwolke didn’t mention a timetable, but expect to see the first electrified Santa Cruz by the first half of 2023.

The new Hyundai Tucson on which the Santa Cruz is based is offered with a 44.2 kW electric motor and a 1.49 kWh battery pack with a 1.6-liter gas turbo engine, and the Tucson PHEV takes this a step further with a 13.8 kWh battery pack enabling a pure electric range of 32 miles.

Interior built with Tucson parts

Spy pictures published on autoblog.com reveal the Hyundai Santa Cruz featuring a clean and sophisticated interior similar to that of the Tucson. The center console has the familiar waterfall-inspired sensuous form, and the four-spoke steering wheel of the SUV is borrowed from the pickup truck.

The floor console is similar, but instead of an electronic gear selector, a physical gear selector comes in place. A hood over the instrument cluster is another difference from the SUV that has been spotted, and so, the pickup truck should offer glare protection. Base configurations could go for a semi-digital instrument cluster, while high-end variants take on the fully digital instrument cluster with configurable layouts.

Hyundai Santa Cruz teased rear
The Santa Cruz will see production at Hyundai’s Alabama plant in summer this year. Like the Ridgeline, it will target the lifestyle segment and isn’t a heavy duty work truck. Image: Hyundai

The Santa Cruz, hybrid or ICE, isn’t a workhorse like the body-on-frame Ford Ranger. Akin to the Honda Ridgeline, it’s more of a recreational or light-work truck, fit to transport motorcycles, bicycles, camping gear and light-duty work tools and equipment.

Hyundai has confirmed production of the Santa Cruz will start at its Alabama plant from summer this year. We await details about the Hyundai Santa Cruz Hybrid, and this page will soon be updated.

Hyundai Santa Cruz FAQs

What is the release date of the Hyundai Santa Cruz truck?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut on April 15, followed by a market launch in the USA towards H2 2021.

What pickup trucks rival the Hyundai Santa Cruz?

The Hyundai Santa Cruz will challenge the Ford Maverick and the Honda Ridgeline.

What will be the price of the Hyundai Santa Cruz?

Prices for the Hyundai Santa Cruz are estimated to start from around USD 25,000.

Featured image: Youtube.com/Hyundai USA