It's not a truck; it's a Sport Adventure Vehicle.
We are less than one week away from the big reveal for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. This tiny pickup truck promises to break new ground, as hinted by Hyundai in recent teasers. Hyundai is building up hype for the April 15 reveal, but before the Santa Cruz arrives, the Korean automaker wants to clarify something. A newly-released development video shows teaser sketches of its eagerly anticipated Santa Cruz, which Hyundai calls a Sport Adventure Vehicle. That's right, this is not a pickup truck; it's an SAV (not to be confused with BMW's Sport Activity Vehicles, a term it uses for its crossovers).
In the video, Hyundai design manager Brad Arnold says "we started designing the Santa Cruz with the idea that this is not a traditional truck. It's something new. It's meant to thrive in dense, urban environments, and the open outdoors."
"It's small in size but big in adventure. It supports your work and play activities with both open and closed storage," Arnold adds. When penning the Santa Cruz, Hyundai's design team followed a "Constructed by Contrast" philosophy. This essentially means that items like the lighting and overall proportions convey that this is not a truck; it's a Santa Cruz.
Clearly, Hyundai wants potential owners to know what to expect from this vehicle. It will have a secure open bed for gear and all-wheel-drive capability, but it won't handle the same tasks as a traditional midsize or full-size truck. Think of it as a Hyundai Tucson but with a pickup bed.
This type of pickup hasn't existed for a long time in the US market. Some past examples include the Chevrolet El Camino, Dodge Rampage, Subaru Brat, Subaru Baja, and Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup. Ford will also introduce a similar truck called the Maverick. The chicken tax prevents all non-American automakers from importing pickup trucks into the country and calling it a "Sport Adventure Vehicle" won't circumvent that law. That is why Hyundai will build the Santa Cruz in Montgomery, Alabama.