This has been a rumor ever since Hyundai unveiled its Santa Cruz pickup concept at the Detroit Auto Show a couple of years ago. At the time, of course, Hyundai only said it was a design concept. Thing is, we figured it'd make production at some point and now, thanks to a report from Motor Trend, this has been confirmed. Though the official announcement won't come until the Los Angeles or Detroit auto show in the coming months, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, Dave Zuchowski, stated that "We have the decision.
We have not made the announcement" in regards to a production-spec lifestyle pickup. Basically, this "truck" will ride on the same platform as the Tucson crossover, meaning it's car-based, like the Honda Ridgeline. Still unknown is what will power this thing, but we also know that Hyundai is in the midst of developing a four-cylinder diesel for its new Genesis luxury brand in Europe, and Zuchowski hinted this engine could be used in the US, too. Hyundai predicts it'll sell between 50,000-70,000 Santa Cruz pickups per year in the US, which sounds about right considering the solid sales of other trucks, like the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma, that aren't classified as full-size.
Yes, the Chevy and Toyota are body-on-frame construction whereas the Santa Cruz won't be, but the point is that Americans are falling back in love with smaller trucks and Hyundai wants to be a part of this hot segment.