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Discussion Starter #1


As with any concept, a production version isn't for sure until the company has gauged the public's reaction to their concept. Reactions to the Santa Cruz Concept was generally positive. As Mike O'Brien put it, "There's been tremendous global interest in the Santa Cruz."

This suggests that the Santa Cruz will make it to production in some form or another, but there are still a lot of questions as to exactly what form that production model could take.

The Santa Cruz Concept was described by O'Brien as "a smaller vehicle with open bed space in the back for bikes and kayaks and other recreational gear." That extra utility should appeal to young, urban customers who want a smaller vehicle that still can handle some of the adventuring that they'd like to do on the weekends.

The problem with the Santa Cruz Concept is that it has limited capabilities. It is not that capable of towing, hauling and going off-road. A production pickup would likely need to be able to hold its own in these areas to really compete and hold its head high among competitors. These were likely the "hurdles" that Park Byung-cheol, Hyundai's director of R&D, mentioned to Reuters when speaking about the chances of the Santa Cruz making it to production.

O'Brien says that the Santa Cruz will be different from other pickup-ish car models that have been tried in the past. Some of those other models were too expensive, or they made design compromises, like the Subaru Baja, which placed the rear axle in front of the bed. The Santa Cruz won't make such compromises and will keep the price reasonable.
 

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The Santa Cruz Concept was described by O'Brien as "a smaller vehicle with open bed space in the back for bikes and kayaks and other recreational gear." That extra utility should appeal to young, urban customers who want a smaller vehicle that still can handle some of the adventuring that they'd like to do on the weekends.

The problem with the Santa Cruz Concept is that it has limited capabilities. It is not that capable of towing, hauling and going off-road. A production pickup would likely need to be able to hold its own in these areas to really compete and hold its head high among competitors. These were likely the "hurdles" that Park Byung-cheol, Hyundai's director of R&D, mentioned to Reuters when speaking about the chances of the Santa Cruz making it to production.
Hold its own in these areas against what? There is no other vehicle in the compact pickup segment. The SC is a truck for people that only want an open bed. That's it. If you need a higher level of towing, hauling, or offroad ability, then the SC is not the right choice and a larger body-on-frame midsize or fullsize would be better suited. The SC shines because without all of that extra capability, size and weight is minimized allowing for better fuel economy and maneuverability. That is where the SC holds its head high among competitors.

IMO, the hurdles are figuring out how they're going to build it, and how to stay true to the design while keeping the cost in check.
 

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Hold its own in these areas against what? There is no other vehicle in the compact pickup segment. The SC is a truck for people that only want an open bed. That's it. If you need a higher level of towing, hauling, or offroad ability, then the SC is not the right choice and a larger body-on-frame midsize or fullsize would be better suited. The SC shines because without all of that extra capability, size and weight is minimized allowing for better fuel economy and maneuverability. That is where the SC holds its head high among competitors.

IMO, the hurdles are figuring out how they're going to build it, and how to stay true to the design while keeping the cost in check.
correct
what it comes down to is this being no more heavy duty than a Tuscon, just with the added capability of having a bed, that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just wonder if it will sell in high enough volume if it is basically just a sedan-ish vehicle with an open bed. I think that is why it needs to have at least some capability. The Santa Cruz is going to have to capture a wide enough swath of customers to be viable. It can't just count on a very small group of potential buyers.
 

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I just wonder if it will sell in high enough volume if it is basically just a sedan-ish vehicle with an open bed. I think that is why it needs to have at least some capability. The Santa Cruz is going to have to capture a wide enough swath of customers to be viable. It can't just count on a very small group of potential buyers.
CUVs like the Tucson are selling very well with the capability that they have. The SC is for compact to midsize CUV buyers that want an open bed. Its a compact car based vehicle so there's not much you can do to increase its capability.

Offroad: It will be able to handle light trails and sand just fine with AWD.

Towing: Its a relatively small vehicle with a short wheelbase so unless they make it much longer its not going to be a good tow vehicle.

Hauling: This is a combination of volume and weight capacity. Once again, unless they plan to make it much larger, its not going to have significant volume. Payload will be about 1200 lbs which is only about 300 lbs less than midsize trucks.

They have to target the right balance of capability because the other major feature of the SC will be fuel efficiency. Increasing capability for offroad, towing, or hauling will hurt fuel efficiency.

I think the SC will sell just fine as it is. It will attract two sets of buyers:
Those looking for a compact truck and the capability that it offers.
Those that like its styling and the fact that there's nothing else like it on the market.
 

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Great breakdown of it, that is the best way to describe what the SC is all about.

What will be interesting is seeing if they further evolve it as time goes on, if they'll make it more tough-truck like but not to a point it steps on the toes of their future truck efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think you are totally right about balancing the capability with fuel economy. If people get the impression that they are getting great capability for the impressive fuel economy of the SC then it has the potential to do really well.
 

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they have to
as it's nothing more than a tuscon with the rear chopped off
if it can't be tough like a Colorado or Canyon, it needs to excel in some other category.
 

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I've been researching the new Jeep Renegade recently & it is as you all probably know a sub-compact unibody structure, yet they (and I know some of it is just marketing) seem to be selling it as being off road worthy especially with the trailhawk package. I've seen videos of it doing some decent off-roading. That just goes to show you that there is at least some potential for the SC to do the same. Also the Suzuki/Geo samurai/tracker. There is a company Calimini that makes them quite off-road worthy as well.

It will never be a Jeep Wrangler, but I think the SC has the potential to do more than soccer mom duties.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hyundai usually has great design for their production models. They are willing to take risks. So I think the Santa Cruz will not disappoint when it comes to looks. Hopefully the SC will be capable of doing a tiny bit of off-roading but I'm not expecting anything spectacular. I think the customer base would care more about fuel economy than off-road capability.
 

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What helps is the concept we've seen isn't all to far off from being styled like a production model, not nearly as crazy as how some concepts are done.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It is a little concept-looking, but in a way a concept should be. You can basically tell what a production model should look like once they remove some of the bells and whistles.
 

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IMO its the perfect middle ground between something production-like and futuristic enough, not completely out of production reality.
 

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One thing I would not be surprised to loose is the extending bed. I know it is a very cool idea, but maybe it is cheaper for them to just extend the platform by 6 inches, or just include an aftermarket tailgate bed extender, or even have it like I think the Avalanche does and have the back seat fold down to extend the bed.. Who knows.
 

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Hyundai reps have mentioned several times that the styling was the main focus. After that would be the intended functionality.

This is what I think we could see in production:

-Wheels, tires, and fender opening will get 2-3 inches smaller. The concept has 22s. With the Tucson getting optional 19" wheels there is a good chance that the SC could get up to 20s to keep with that focus on styling.

-The cab will be extended behind the B-pillar/front door to make more room for the back seat. The suicide doors can stay. When you look at something like the BMW i3 they are very doable.



-The busy styling on the side will smooth out some. That door vent (its not even a fender vent and makes no sense) will go away.

-The headlights will have lenses that are flush with the body. The foglights can keep the same general shape, but will also be made more flush since right now they're huge air scoops - not good for aero.

-All the yellow will go away. Side mirrors will be black or body colored and normal sized.

-"Hoping" the tie-downs make it, but are optional. The separate plastic fenders make that possible.

-The extending bed is doable. I've done some patent research and there's many designs out there. Hyundai has a few patents on it. I think it can make it as an option. Add on the extending bed with a fold out extender and you get a pretty substantial bed. The tail lights will be the tricky part since with the tailgate down on the concept, the tail lights are not visible, and legally they need to be. They could make it like a traditional tailgate where the tailgate is only in the middle and the lights on each side will stay fixed on the end of the extending mechanism. The parting line through the lights would be similar to on the Tucson but the tailgate would obviously open in the other direction.







Other than that, its pretty production ready.

Wish I had photoshopping skills..
 

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Very good point about the tail lights with the tailgate down, which could be a prime reason for them to do away with that tail light setup, or at least keeping what keeps the truck legal visible and the rest on the gate.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think all of what you said makes good sense. I think that the grille will be a bit different too. I do hope that the tow hooks stick around because they look cool. I also think that the air vent on the side is not gonna make it.

Great post @BahamaTodd Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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they might just giving us tow hooks that are stored in a kit or some storage area till they're needed.
don't them by default having it mounted to the exterior as we get it.
 
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