Life isn't always fair.
There’s been a resurgence of mid-size pickup trucks lately, and automakers are scrambling to join the highly lucrative segment. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, once again, the US will be left out with some of these new arrivals. Australia’s Motoring reports that Hyundai is planning a Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger fighter of its own that will also receive the high-performance treatment. So yeah, a Ford Ranger Raptor fighter from Hyundai. Sounds pretty interesting, right? Indeed, but Hyundai won’t be bringing it stateside.
Chances are, and this is due to that pesky "chicken tax," the US won’t even receive the standard versions. Instead, we’ll have to learn to love the car-based production version of the Santa Cruz concept. But can’t this problem be solved by simply building said body-on-frame chassis pickup truck in the US? Remember, Hyundai has a massive facility in Alabama that churns out Sonatas, Elantras, and the Santa Fe Sport. Here’s the problem with that: the facility is reaching maximum output. Chances are Hyundai won’t invest billions to expand a plant for a single model that’d go against established rivals like the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon twins, as well as the upcoming Ranger.
So even if Hyundai wanted to import a future Ford Ranger Raptor to the US, it probably couldn’t. Building it in the US isn’t feasible, either. So what to do? Nothing, which is a real shame. Could the upcoming Santa Cruz somehow be heavily modified for off-road duties? Of course, but it wouldn’t stand a chance against the Ranger Raptor. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.