Features

Detroit auto show highlights: Hyundai Santa Cruz concept

Pickup trucks aren’t traditional evo material, but Hyundai’s concept still caught our eye in Detroit

We all know what pickup trucks look like: Big, brash, square-edged and designed to intimidate.

Manufacturers such as Mitsubishi have attempted to change that – the L200 pickup available in the UK is relatively curvaceous – but the world’s big-sellers all conform to traditional descriptions.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Hyundai tried a different tactic entirely with its Santa Cruz concept, presented at the Detroit auto show.

It trades square edges for complex surfaces, square arches for pronounced haunches and blocky head and taillights for slim, LED-lit ornaments.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

In Hyundai’s words, it’s ‘designed to meet more of their desires for expression, efficiency and manoeuvrability’. An extended-cab layout with four doors and five seats remains, but the Santa Cruz’s footprint is more like that of a compact SUV than a truck, and it eschews a traditional V8 engine in favour of a 190bhp, 300lb ft 2.0-litre turbo diesel.

Concept car features abound, of course – the crystalline headlights, intricately-constructed 22in alloy wheels and luminous yellow accents come straight from the designer’s computer.

But the vehicle is practical – it has all-wheel drive, for example, and an extendable bed at the back to accommodate greater loads – and Hyundai has spotted a gap in the shrinking pickup market for vehicles that closer meet the needs of younger buyers.

In other words, while the Santa Cruz itself probably won’t reach production, something like it might. The only question then would be whether it offers greater evo thrills than existing pickups on the market…

Read about our other Detroit show highlights: The BMW 3.0 CSL and Honda RA 272.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/hyundai/202071/renaissance-man-albert-biermann-and-how-he-transformed-hyundai
Hyundai

Renaissance man - Albert Biermann and how he transformed Hyundai

31 Dec 2019
Visit/hyundai/201990/hyundai-rm19-prototype-review
Hyundai

Hyundai RM19 prototype review

26 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201977/hyundai-rm19-points-to-future-n-brand-performance-flagship
Hyundai

Hyundai RM19 points to future N brand performance flagship

21 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201908/hyundai-i30-n-v-the-north-coast-500
Hyundai

Hyundai i30 N v the North Coast 500

1 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/used-cars/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
27 Mar 2020
Visit/porsche/911-turbo/202379/new-porsche-911-turbo-gains-lightweight-and-sport-packages
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020
Visit/corvette/202016/1200bhp-hennessey-c8-corvette-shown-testing-on-video
Corvette

1200bhp Hennessey C8 Corvette shown testing on video

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance already has big plans...
26 Mar 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019