It’s no secret that Hyundai is currently working on its first global pickup truck. More likely to be called the Hyundai Santa Cruz, named after the truck concept that the automaker touted at the 2015 NAIAS, we’ve reported several sightings of the Tucson-based pickup before.
Now, YouTube’s 80% Garage saw a Santa Cruz prototype resting at a parking lot probably after a long day of testing. The prototype does give away some essential details, although it looks very similar to the one we’ve seen before that’s testing on a frozen lake.
First off, unlike the previous spied Santa Cruz prototype, this specific test mule isn’t wearing any camouflage. However, it still has a significant amount of cladding to hide the small truck’s final form. Taking a peek at the front, we can see the intricate details of the grille, plus the quirky lighting configuration as with Hyundai SUVs of late.
The side mirrors are confirmed to be borrowed from the Hyundai Tucson, while the wheels show an angular design that’s prominent among the members of the South Korean lineup. Unlike the Santa Cruz concept that we’ve seen six years ago, the production version does away with regular door configurations and practical crew cab configuration.
Hyundai has been mum about the exact launch date of its first global pickup, although frequent prototype sightings suggest an imminent debut. Once launched, the Santa Cruz will rival the Honda Ridgeline in the compact lifestyle truck segment, as well as the upcoming Ford Maverick.
While the Santa Cruz is aimed at active buyers who want a bed but don’t want the heft of midsize and full-size trucks, Hyundai isn’t closing its doors to the possibility of a bigger, more robust pickup. All we can do for now is wait until more details pour in.