Hyundai has confirmed new details about its upcoming pickup.
It's been nearly five years since Hyundai previewed its upcoming pickup with the Santa Cruz concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but the production version still hasn't been unveiled. According to Australia's Which Car, development of Hyundai's production pickup is already underway.
But while the original concept was underpinned by a unibody platform, the production version will use a ladder frame chassis, allowing Hyundai to take on the Ford Ranger. Development costs will reportedly be shared by Kia.
"What's clear to us is that if we're going to bring a ute out, it had better be a ute," Hyundai Australia CEO John Kett told the publication. "We've got past the first hurdle of what it needs to look like, but it needs to be functional as well. That's the important part. We're going down that pathway and we're working towards it. We just have to make sure that when it arrives, it's a bloody ute."
Kett added that Hyundai is considering launching multiple variants to cater for different customers, with two- and four-wheel drive drivetrains and multiple cab variants, but these plans have not been finalized yet. "We want to be smart about it and that's what we're going through at the moment," Kett said.
While Kett's comments refer to the Australian market, there's a good chance Hyundai's pickup will be sold in America to fill the void of compact pickups in the US market and attract young buyers. Hyundai vice president of product, corporate, and digital planning, Mike O'Brien, recently said it would need to be built in North America to avoid the 25% tax on foreign-built pickup trucks.
It remains to be seen what the final production model will look like because Hyundai has made it clear it will look radically different to the funky Santa Cruz concept. The name of the production version also hasn't been confirmed, but trademark filings suggest it could be called the "Pavise" named after a Medieval shield.