This segment is waking up, I see.
http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/01/why-hyundai-will-build-the-santa-cruz-pickup.htmlA Hyundai pickup truck was one of this year’s big surprises at the Detroit Auto Show and while it might be a concept it’s far closer to becoming a reality than anyone might have guessed.
“We’re very anxious to do something with the idea,” Mike O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America’s VP of product planning said.
According to O’Brien the Santa Cruz concept is the result of 18 months of planning and isn’t just a fancy model. In fact, everything about it is very real.
“The engineering feasibility work has been done,” he said, commenting that it’s based on an existing crossover platform.
That platform is likely the very same one that underpins the Tucson and O’Brien admits that the trucks specs are, “very similar to a sub-compact CUV.” What that means is that he expects a tow rating between 1,500 to 2,500 lbs, so it can tow anything from a jet ski to a pop-up trailer.
Hyundai currently doesn’t offer any diesels in North America, but that could very well change with the introduction of the Santa Cruz. “This particular platform could have the diesel shown which is in production today,” said O’Brien. That engine is a 2.0-liter turbo delivering 190 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.
While O’Brien said Hyundai has a wide variety of powertrains that could work in this platform application, “The diesel is the most promising because of the fuel economy it delivers.”
Surprisingly, it’s also what customers are demanding. “It best matches in our research of what these customers are looking for,” said O’Brien. “Outstanding fuel economy, good torque and good driveability.”
He also thinks a diesel is the right fit in terms of the concept behind the truck. “It gives it a sense of durability and ruggedness.”
In addition, high-MPG diesels are becoming a necessity as automakers strive to meet increasingly strict government mandated corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets. O’Brien explained that while Hyundai is committed to the CAFE target of 54 mpg by 2015, “We won’t do that with the current product mix.”
He said that in order to achieve that goal two things need to happen. The first is improved technology by automakers. The second is a migration from truck category vehicles to car category vehicles. However, “The opposite is happening,” said O’Brien, noting the growth in popularity of crossovers.
To force the switch to fuel efficient models and products with fuel efficient engines he suggests the Santa Cruz as a “countermeasure,” offering fuel economy in the the high 30s but with truck utility.
Specifically, the freedom of an open bed is something O’Brien said younger buyers are eager for. They’re fans of compact crossovers, but in Hyundai’s research they don’t want to mix their interior space with their outdoor toys. “This idea of some open bed utility just keeps growing in terms of interest,” he said.
“It’s always harder to do something that doesn’t exist. But think about it; CUVs didn’t exist 10 years ago. It really took one or two manufacturers to just say ‘let’s try it out an see what happens.'”
O’Brien did caution that Hyundai has made no decision on the Santa Cruz just yet, though he certainly outlined all of the reasons that it will more than likely move ahead with it. Based on an existing platform, “It really helps mange the cost of engineering, helping us make it a competitively priced product.”
The introduction of the Santa Cruz could help Hyundai double the number of models based on the same architecture. It already sells 50,000 Tucsons per year in the U.S. “We think this product would certainly be that or better,” O’Brien said.
Even if they did, it wouldn't do well. It has no back seat and doesn't come close in mpg. Being sedan based, it would be seen on a similar level as a wagon. A CUV stands a much better chance in the US.If Hyundai builds this and it sells like hotcakes, does that mean GM will release the already-engineered Holden Ute as an El Camino?
No? Oh never mind....
Hyundai research revealed that not everyone who wants an open-bed vehicle is willing to accept the tradeoffs that come with it. As evidence of this, industry pickup truck share is down over five percent in the last 10 years, with the biggest shift among young adults, reflecting a need for something that more closely matches these morphing lifestyles. In the past, small trucks accounted for half of pickup sales, and they were particularly popular with younger buyers. Today, that same young truck market is almost non-existent, and millennials under 30 represent just seven percent of all pickup purchases. Women, who buy more than half of all CUVs sold, now account for only 10 percent of pickup sales. Santa Cruz is intended to meet the customer needs that the current truck product offering is simply not fulfilling.
Santa Cruz is for the growing population who sees and pursues the world differently, those who want all the traditional attributes of a small CUV, but need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed. It’s the crossover truck that meets the unspoken needs of Urban Adventurers.
Of course they will! Do not doubt their timeliness timing.If Hyundai builds this and it sells like hotcakes, does that mean GM will release the already-engineered Holden Ute as an El Camino?
No? Oh never mind....
Agreed, almost bought a Colorado in 2004 but ended up in a Vibe as I much preferred the ride and handling and fuel economy, and it offered the excellent hard-plastic fold-down cargo area, complete with tie-downs. It was a handy small hauler for moving, trips to the dump, and carting parts to automobile swap meets. If this Hyundai splits the difference between a pickup and a wagon / CUV, it would definitely be the kind of vehicle I'd buy.I would never buy a full size truck but something like this would allow me to daily drive it and would do just about everything else I need it to.
HA! GM would realese that 6 years too late and then be shocked it didn't sell well. Then go back to making Pick-ups and sedans.If Hyundai builds this and it sells like hotcakes, does that mean GM will release the already-engineered Holden Ute as an El Camino?
No? Oh never mind....
It should be based on the Santa Fe LWB. That's the only rational place to go, with four doors. What good is a two foot bed?Based on the Tucson, Santa Fe Sport or Santa Fe LWB - take your pick - all available with 4WD