The Tiny But Tough Santa Cruz Pickup Is Officially On Its Way, But Are You Ready To Buy a Hyundai Truck?

This could be the compact pickup you've been waiting for...
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Execs at Hyundai have approved production plans for the exciting Santa Cruz concept pickup truck that debuted at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, according to a report by Reuters news service.

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Michael J. O’Brien, vice president of corporate and product planning at Hyundai's U.S. unit, told Reuters that Hyundai OK'd development of a pickup truck similar to the 2015 Santa Cruz concept, but he did not say what the hell took them so long.

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Nissan and Toyota have not fared well trying to compete against the stalwart domestic brands in the market for traditional half-ton pickups, and Honda's Ridgeline hasn't effectively established a separate niche.

1985 Toyota SR5 truck

1985 Toyota SR5 truck

But there was a time when Japanese compact pickups were all the rage, and the Santa Cruz could potentially tap into that. Remember, while Marty McFly used a DeLorean to travel through time, his dream ride was a 1985 Toyota "four by four."

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“The Santa Cruz crossover truck concept meets the unspoken needs of a growing Millennial lifestyle we call ‘Urban Adventurers’,” said Mark Dipko, director, corporate planning for Hyundai when the Santa Cruz debuted. 

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“This new crossover allows them 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,” he added.

Hyundai Santa Cruz Club

That concept imagined a 190-horsepower diesel engine for power, which would be perfect except for the reality of Volkwagen's diesel emissions scandal that occurred in the time since Santa Cruz's display.

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A cool detail that would be valuable if it could be made in real life rather than just a show truck is the extendable bed on the Santa Cruz that can make room for longer objects without the daily headache of a bigger vehicle. Look for a model year 2020 arrival.

h/t: Reuters