Korean carmaker is ready to roll some coal!
It's now been five years - almost to the day - since Hyundai first unveiled the Santa Cruz pickup concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, and since then the rumors have swirled as to whether or not Hyundai will actually produce a midsize pickup. Fuel was added to the fire in 2017 when Hyundai apparently conceded that it needs to focus on SUVs and pickups if it's to dominate the American market. But while the original Santa Cruz concept was built with a unibody construction, Hyundai has since accepted than any proper truck needs to be built on a proper ladder frame, and not a shared platform with an SUV like the Hyundai Palisade. All the pieces are falling into place for the Hyundai pickup, and thanks to a report from CarsGuide, we now know what engine will power the production version of the Hyundai truck.
It all stems from the recent unveiling of the new Genesis GV80 - the Korean firm's first luxury SUV. When the GV80 debuted recently, it was unveiled with a new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel straight-six engine developing 278 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque. While it's unlikely the US version of the GV80 will make use of this engine - diesels aren't generally used for passenger vehicles in the US - there's absolutely no reason why the six-pot oil-burner couldn't be put to good use in the new Hyundai pickup, which has been confirmed will be built at Hyundai's Montgomery, Alabama plant, starting in 2021.
Albert Biermann, head of research and development for Hyundai, has even hinted this may be the case, claiming, "With this engine we can have so many applications. As you know, we make commercial vehicles and so on, so this engine will be out there for quite some time. You don't need to worry about that engine." He quickly reneged on the statement though, throwing in a "we have not finally decided yet", but the potential is clearly there.
Diesel isn't commonly used in the midsize pickup segment, but in the vehicles in which it is employed - like the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon - it's a recipe for impressive mileage estimates and class-leading towing capacities, with both of those models capable of hauling 7,700 lbs.