Could it be true? Mike Levine at Pickuptruck.com thinks so and has quotes from Hyundai to back it up. The speculation is that the South Korean automaker may levereage the BH platform on which its upcoming Genesis luxury sedan is based to produce a new rear-wheel-drive pickup. Up until this point, we were aware that in addition to the BH-based Genesis, Hyundai was also planning a long-wheelbase version of the luxury sedan, a version badged as a Kia, and a rear-wheel-drive coupe. Adding a rear-wheel-drive pickup to the mix would help Hyundai get even more mileage out of the platform, so to speak.
Of course, being based on a unibody platform, the Hyundai pickup would be more like Honda's midsize Ridgeline than Toyota's new Tundra, the latter of which was designed to compete against Ford, Chevy, Dodge and Nissan in the full-size truck segment. Hyundai's pickup would likely share the same advantages that the Ridgeline now enjoys: under bed storage, a decent ride, sharper handling, and potentially higher fuel economy than a traditional pickup. Unlike the Ridgeline, however, it would be rear-wheel drive rather than all-wheel drive and feature Hyundai's new "Tau" 4.6L V8 rather than a V6. Thus, the Hyundai pickup would likely be a more capable hauler than the Ridgeline, which is saddled with a low 5,000-lb. towing capacity, less than half of some traditional pickups. Plus, Hyundai has confirmed that the Tau can go larger than 4.6L if it's used in a truck, which means it would produce considerably more than the 300 horsepower that's being planned for the Genesis.
[Source: Pickuptruck.com, illustration by Mark Stehrenberger used with permission]
And get this: Hyundai may also be planning a unibody compact pickup powered by a four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels. We've been saying for quite some time that the compact pickup market is becoming more ripe by the day, and it's only a matter of time before an automaker realizes that there's a demand for small, fuel-efficient pickups with more refinement than the aged Ford Ranger.
With all of this news, we think it's safe to say Hyundai is a full-line automaker in the making.