In fact, the Korean brand’s Chief Design Officer, Luc Donckerwolke, told Autocar that it will arrive “as soon as possible”.
“You’ve seen the (Santa Cruz) pick-up from the 2015 Detroit show, that car is under development at Hyundai”, said Donckerwolke. “From my side, it is finished, the process to put it into production is now under way.”
It’s still unknown whether the production version of the Santa Cruz will rival the likes of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma in North America, or go after the larger F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado.
Donckerwolke also revealed that a Kia pickup could follow, and this is believed to compete with the Renault Alaskan, Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Mitsubishi L200 and others in Europe.
Also Read: Future Cars: Transforming Hyundai’s Santa Cruz Concept Into A Pickup Truck For The Masses
Kia’s new U.S. COO, Michael Cole, hinted at such a model by saying that a pickup is “something we could look at”. Nonetheless, it won’t debut until Kia has strengthened its SUV lineup. One of the vehicles that’s coming in the next few months is the Telluride, with seating for up to 8 occupants.
Hyundai is said to have based their upcoming pickup on a crossover platform. This might make it less capable off-road than body-on-frame rivals, but will likely reflect in the final price of the product, as well as ride comfort, which should be SUV-like.
According to previous reports, Hyundai’s pickup might be offered with a gasoline engine, such as a turbocharged 1.6-liter or a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter. The first one makes 201 hp (203 PS / 149 kW) and 195 lb-ft (264 Nm) of torque in the Elantra Sport, whereas the second one is good for 185 hp (187 PS / 138 kW) and 178 lb-ft (241 Nm) of torque in the Sonata.