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January 13, 2015

NAIAS 2015: Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept is a Urban Adventurer's Pick-Up

Modern urbanization is impacting the market in a broad way, and this trend is especially strong with young adults, who face tighter parking on streets and parking garages, and increasing congestion overall. These trends are not confined to one specific region; they’re happening in urban hubs everywhere. These “Urban Adventurers” have a different mindset, being very active both socially, and in their communities, bringing a pioneering spirit to make their neighborhoods a better place to live and work.

To meet the specific needs of Urban Adventurers, Hyundai unveiled a fresh take on the pick-up truck, the HCD-15 Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz doesn’t focus on all the same attributes as traditional pickups. 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 aggressive side-profile rake. The front view features an upright, hexagonal grille with cascading lines framing the sides, dual lens-free, honeycombed headlamp projectors, and prominent LED fog lamps. The side profile is highlighted by oversized wheels, Michelin tires with a special tread design, center-locking hubs and yellow Brembo brake calipers.

For ease of access to the rear seats, Santa Cruz features convenient, rear-hinged rear doors which integrate seamlessly with the front door design. 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.

Efficiency is a key attribute of its advanced powertrains, with a 2.0-liter turbo diesel powertrain delivering 190 horsepower and 406 N of torque. The Santa Cruz also offers Hyundai’s HTRAC All-wheel drive system.

The concept is purposefully compact, and although it has four doors and seating for five, its overall footprint is similar to a small CUV. These dimensions make it ideal for navigating the urban jungle or a tight parking spot that most pickup drivers often have to pass by. It offers typical CUV driving character, but with a versatile cargo bed that provides separated storage for all they want to bring along.

During the work week, gear for that early morning hike or after-work hockey game stays securely locked in the back, under an integrated, rigid tonneau cover that conveniently retracts when not needed. It not only keeps items safe and out of sight, it also keeps the interior clean and fresh. Santa Cruz is the perfect vehicle for those that want the attributes of a CUV, but still have dirty stuff that belongs “in the back.”

Sometimes, there are those needs that call for even more cargo room; that’s why Santa Cruz offers an innovative tailgate extension that allows the bed length to be expanded whenever those “just in case” moments arise. When fully extended, Santa Cruz’s bed length is similar to a mid-size pickup, providing the ability to carry much more than its compact footprint would suggest, yet only when needed. Santa Cruz was designed to accommodate whatever the Urban Adventurer’s lifestyle calls for, whether expected or unexpected.


  1. Reminds me of this

    If the price will be below the "normal" trucks, hyundai will have a sure winner.

  2. I agree, if the price will be below the ranger, hilux and strada, hyundai will expect greater sales. I hope it will also enter the PH market as I see a growing market for Compact suv's and even smaller compacts like the Ecosport. What more for the trucks

  3. Retractable tonneau and expandable cargo, that's cool. With those features I don't mind paying a bit more than the current pickups. At least, it spares us the need to put an expensive Carryboy.

    1. ..This could be a game changer in the pick up market. If only Hyundai can put this in the market fast enough and at reasonable price it will have no competition.

    2. Wow! Fluidic Sculpture crossover pickup truck.

  4. Look it up. This lifestyle concept truck was Pinoy designed in California!


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