We’re still waiting for the final confirmation from Hyundai on whether the Santa Cruz will go into production or not and a quote from Dave Zuchowski was the last statement from a Hyundai representative, until now.
Back in January, Zuchowski said that they’re “trying to figure out when we're going to announce it” more than the actual approval. Well, we may have something from Hyundai Australia. On a Behind the Wheel podcast earlier last month, Hyundai Australia’s PR chief, Bill Thomas, hinted that the Santa Cruz “might even be in the works”.
He didn’t specifically name the Santa Cruz but it was indicated that the resulting vehicle will be an ute and so far the most likely nameplate is the Cruz which was revealed at last year’s Detroit Auto Show.
“Our Australian engineers and product experts have been talking to our parent company about the ute and have been putting together some pretty detailed suggestions on what that vehicle needs to be. So it’s really a case of watch this space, but I can assure you that our mother company knows exactly what that vehicle needs to do to be able to beat the likes of the Toyota HiLux.”
If this is true and they’re using the 2016 HiLux as a benchmark, we could be seeing a Hyundai ute with an output greater than 150hp (based on the 148bhp 2.4-litre D-4D global HiLux engine) and 295 lb ft (400Nm) of torque.
Hopefully, either Thomas or Hyundai’s parent company will release an official statement soon.