The latest unveiling is by South Korean brand, Hyundai, who revealed its Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept at the American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Modern in its design, the Santa Cruz is aimed at the trendy young adult with adventure in their life.
To meet the specific needs of these Urban Adventurers, 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 manoeuvrability. Hyundai designers created a bold design that conveys this lifestyle, with a wide, sure-footed stance and an aggressive side-profile rake.
From the front, the 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, centre-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.
Fitted with a two-litre turbo diesel engine, where efficiency is a key attribute of its advanced powertrain, it delivers 142kW and 400Nm, while using roughly 9.4 litres/100km.
Hyundai research revealed that not everyone who wants an open-bed vehicle is willing to accept the trade-offs that come with it. As evidence of this, industry pickup truck share is down over five percent in the last 10 years, with the biggest shift among young adults, reflecting a need for something that more closely matches these morphing lifestyles. In the past, small trucks accounted for half of pickup sales, and they were particularly popular with younger buyers.
Santa Cruz is for the growing population who sees and pursues the world differently; those who want all the traditional attributes of a small CUV, but need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed. It's the crossover truck that meets the unspoken needs of Urban Adventurers.