Blending a pickup truck, sport utility and crossover into a single vehicle, Hyundai has unveiled the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. Hyundai says its new vehicle is “segment shattering.”
“The 2022 Santa Cruz breaks new ground within the SUV, Truck and Crossover segments by offering a true Sport Adventure Vehicle unlike anything else in the U.S. market,” Hyundai contends.
“Santa Cruz boasts bold yet sophisticated design, powerful and efficient powertrain options, a flexible open bed for gear, cutting-edge connectivity and a highly maneuverable all-wheel drive platform that is equally at home in urban and adventure-focused environments.”
Production at Hyundai facilities in Montgomery, Alabama, begins in June, the company said, adding that 1,200 new assembly-plant jobs will be created as a result.
“Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole,” Jose Munoz, Hyundai Motor North American president and chief executive, is quoted in the announcement.
“Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one.”
Hyundai said its market research determined there are potential customers living in urban communities whose lifestyles include the need to escape to weekend adventures.
“Many of these customers carry various gear and equipment that is better suited to an open bed rather than a typical SUV body style,” the automaker said. “These buyers want versatile transportation that is equally flexible for urban, adventure, occupational or even home improvement gear.
“Santa Cruz features a secure, open bed area which includes a lockable tonneau cover, hidden bed storage and versatile bed extension accessories. At the same time, these customers still value the secure utility of a compact SUV, with its comfort, passenger space, fuel efficiency and parking ease. Santa Cruz, with its unique, bold design, created an entirely new segment that meets these specific buyer needs like no vehicle before it.
“Everything about Santa Cruz reflects a duality of purpose.”
The SAV is powered by either a normally aspired 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated around 190 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, or a turbocharged powerplant rated at around 275 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque with an 8-speed, paddle-shifted dual-clutch automatic.
The engines feed what Hyundai terms its HTrac all-wheel drive system.
Hyundai said Santa Cruz is shorter in length, wheelbase, height and bed length than mid-size trucks such as the Toyota Tacoma, Honda Ridgeline or Nissan Frontier.
For more details, visit the Santa Cruz website.