Hyundai pickup truck coming ASAP, says design chief

Early 2020 launch date looks likely for the long-awaited Santa Cruz

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Hyundai first showed its HCD-15 Santa Cruz pickup truck concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. In the years following the concept's debut, reports have kept surfacing that yes, Hyundai wants to build it and yes, it's only a matter of time when the Santa Cruz will spawn a production version. In August 2017, Reuters reported that a pickup had been greenlit as Hyundai needed to correct a sales slide; a year later, we envisioned a 2020 unveiling date for the finalized truck. Now, Autocar says Hyundai is launching the truck "as soon as possible."

Autocar cites a discussion with Hyundai's new Chief Design Officer Luc Donckerwolke, who formerly led Genesis design and has also worked as the head of design at Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi. Donckerwolke said the design process of the new truck has now been completed, and Hyundai is now in the midst of engineering the design into production. Donckerwolke told Autocar that the truck will arrive "as soon as possible. From my side it is finished, the process to put it into production is now underway." Leftlane News estimates the truck could be here by 2021 at the earliest.

For Donckerwolke, the truck is very much a development of the 2015 concept; as Motor Trend earlier quoted Hyundai Motor America's Brian Smith, the original two-door concept has evolved into a five-seater four-door truck. The understanding is that the Santa Cruz's production version will be underpinned by the same platform and mechanicals as the expected and redesigned 2020 Tucson.

The pickup is also to be followed by a corresponding Kia-badged version, Donckerwolke said. The Hyundai and Kia trucks are likely to battle for sales with the Ridgeline, Ranger, Tacoma and Gladiatorand the Tanoak, if Volkswagen comes out with a production version of its recent concept truck.

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