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HYUNDAI SANTA CRUZ NAMED 2015 CONCEPT TRUCK OF THE YEAR



FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., July 27, 2015 – It kicked off 2015 with a buzz-generating surprise debut at the North American International Auto Show in January, and now the popular Hyundai Santa Cruz has earned the prestigious title of Concept Truck of the Year at the 14th annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year (NACVOTY) Awards at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s.

The Santa Cruz was recognized as the Concept Truck of the Year for its design, style, materials, technology, market visibility and market responsiveness – besting the Kia Trail’Ster and Mitsubishi GC-PHEV. The award was presented by Mark Phelan, auto critic at the Detroit Free Press and NACVOTY juror.

“The compact-truck segment in the U.S. is tremendously competitive, and overall truck sales have skyrocketed to become one of the best-selling segments in today’s market,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Hyundai’s new Santa Cruz crossover truck concept is a modern take on the classic theme of one of America’s most-loved segments – the pickup truck. Unlike some of the industry’s past attempts to blend open bed utility with passenger car attributes, Santa Cruz delivers innovative functionality and flexibility in a compact, fun-to-drive package for a new breed of pickup truck buyers. We are proud that the Santa Cruz got the vote of approval as the Concept Truck of the Year from some of the auto industry’s most esteemed critics.”

The NACVOTY awards recognize those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry. More than two dozen jurors participated in a selection process that involved a total of 30 vehicles, each introduced to North America during this season’s auto shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and New York.

“The Santa Cruz is what the light-truck category needs - loads of style for people without big loads,” said Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design and Production editor-in-chief and NACVOTY juror.

The innovative Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover truck concept reflects a completely new interpretation of truck utility for a new generation of buyers. The Santa Cruz concept meets the unspoken needs of a growing millennial lifestyle that Hyundai calls “urban adventurers.” This new crossover provides urban adventurers the expandable utility they need throughout their active week – from work-life professionalism to social interests to a variety of outdoor pursuits –without the typical compromises they have come to expect from the industry’s current product offerings. The Santa Cruz concept is purposely compact, and although it features four doors and seating for five, its overall footprint is similar to that of a small CUV.



NORTH AMERICAN CONCEPT VEHICLE OF THE YEAR

Founded in 2002, the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards recognize those concept vehicles that have made the strongest impact in terms of automotive design, engineering and market responsiveness. Professional automotive journalists from throughout North America, representing dozens of outlets in virtually every media segment, serve as volunteer jurors to select the award winners. The awards are given to the best Production Preview Vehicle, Concept Car, Concept Truck and Most Significant Concept Vehicle of each auto show season. To be eligible for the awards, a concept vehicle must make its North American debut during the current model year’s auto show season.
 

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I'm really not that surprised since I don't really see any other concept trucks that have been very interesting over the past year. This accolade I'm sure only adds fuel to the "we should approve this for production" fire.
 

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They deserved this award. The SC concept did a good job of showing what could work in a production model and then giving the usual attention-getting concept design you'd expect to see. Going too over the top is not always good and i'm glad that's what they didnt' do here.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm really not that surprised since I don't really see any other concept trucks that have been very interesting over the past year. This accolade I'm sure only adds fuel to the "we should approve this for production" fire.
Well the LA show isn't until November so I assume they are counting the 2014 show.

The Colorado ZR2 was pretty cool.

 

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One thing I like about both of the concepts is how close they stay to what a production model might be spec'd up to be rather than looking like some wild concept which leaves you guessing A LOT
 

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One thing I like about both of the concepts is how close they stay to what a production model might be spec'd up to be rather than looking like some wild concept which leaves you guessing A LOT
That is a matter of preference though. Sometimes concepts should be a more all-in version of a production vehicle, and other times they are more of a experiment in design to see what types of things are possible without the constraints of mass production. Both serve a purpose. I don't think one is better than the other intrinsically.
 

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What I said is not to say it's better but its what I like about what's going on here since it's not a complete disconnect from reality but instead some real world application mixed right in.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
quicck question... when did this become a legitimate award and why...
Anyone can make up an award. Its the group or organization running it that gives it credibility. In this case its professional automotive journalists. It also gives manufactures some extra incentive to build concept cars to receive the recognition and maintain some exposure after the auto shows have ended.

Award Background:
NORTH AMERICAN CONCEPT VEHICLE OF THE YEAR

Founded in 2002, the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards recognize those concept vehicles that have made the strongest impact in terms of automotive design, engineering and market responsiveness. Professional automotive journalists from throughout North America, representing dozens of outlets in virtually every media segment, serve as volunteer jurors to select the award winners. The awards are given to the best Production Preview Vehicle, Concept Car, Concept Truck and Most Significant Concept Vehicle of each auto show season. To be eligible for the awards, a concept vehicle must make its North American debut during the current model year’s auto show season.
 

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Winning the prize is an indication of sorts for it future marketability. Another reason why the Santa Cruz needs to approve of this.
 

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I just realized this after looking at a blown up picture of the Santa Cruz but the rear passenger door looks like it can actually open. Can it? The door handle extends past the front door cut off line.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, all four doors are supposed to open. The rears are suicide doors. Its supposed to be a 5 passenger crew cab. If they do go ahead with the project its up in the air if they will extend the back seat some more to give more room and use larger suicide doors or go with conventional rear doors.
 

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I just hope the suicide doors fold open completely flat so it's that much more easier to get around and to feel like its not even there which can help. Complicated hinge but might be worth it for them to do.
 

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Would have been fun to attempt to fit through the concept model's suicide doors. They blend in so well I didn't notice them until recently.
 

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Well one thing you can depend on is the production model making those doors a bit more noticeable, gap between the door and b-pillar will help in making out where the lines for the door is.
 
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