Hyundai Santa Cruz concept signals Korean giant’s attempt to enter the utility market
The Detroit Auto Show has unleashed a number of tantalising surprises, perhaps the most practical of the show cars was the Santa Cruz, the Korean giant’s foray into the ute market.
The Santa Cruz is powered by a 2.0 litre turbo diesel four-cylinder that produces 142kW and 407Nm that works in conjunction with Hyundai’s HTRAC® all-wheel drive system.
Hyundai bartered the term ”Urban Adventurers” and “Cross Over Utility Vehicle (CUV)” at the show when describing the concept vehicle’s intended customer base and purpose. These intentions are confirmed by the show car’s special Michelin tyres and glitzy Brembo brakes.
Five passengers enter the cabin via the four “suicide” style doors and their gear and be stowed in the rear load bed, which can be cleverly expanded with a sliding drawer mechanism.
Although versatile, Hyundai promises the Santa Cruz has a footprint no bigger than small crossover vehicle-hence the CUV moniker-suggesting this ute is designed very much to be driven on the black stuff as it is to be driven across snowfields or a favorite beach.
Mark Dipko, director, corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America said in a press release that “This new crossover allows them (customers) all the expandable utility they need throughout their active week, from work-life professionalism, to social interests, to a whole variety of outdoor pursuits, without the typical compromises they have come to expect from the industry’s current product offerings.”