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Машины будущего: трансформация hyundai santa cruz concept в пикап для широких масс

‘Chicken tax’

So, one of the other unanswered questions is where Hyundai will produce the Santa Cruz. Import pickups have largely been priced out of the market because of the «chicken tax,» a 25 percent tariff holdover from a trade battle between the U.S. and several European countries back in the mid-1960s. That would likely make it impossible to bring the truck in from Korea.

 Hyundai Santa Cruz 
Source: Hyundai

The alternative would be to produce Santa Cruz at Hyundai’s sole U.S. assembly plant in Alabama. The carmaker might also try to squeeze the truck into one of the plants operated by its Korean sibling, Kia, one in Georgia, the other in Mexico. Unless NAFTA is rewritten or scrapped, as President Donald Trump has threatened, trucks built there don’t pay the chicken tax.

While Hyundai is still studying the potential demand for the Santa Cruz, the truck will become part of the brand’s broader shift into light trucks. It has lagged behind key U.S. and Asian competitors in adapting to this trend, noted Mike O’Brien, its top U.S. product planner.

Utility vehicles, pickups, vans and other models now account for 68.6 percent of the American new vehicle market, with Hyundai’s light truck share only at 43.5 percent. The automaker is also expanding and updating its crossover line-up to gain momentum.

As it tries to gain a foothold, other automakers are stepping up their efforts as well. Ford Motor will early next year relaunch the midsize Range nameplate that has been absent from the American market since 2011.

Several recent news reports have indicated the Detroit automaker is also studying opportunities for an even smaller entry, likely car-based, that could come to market sometime during the first half of the coming decade. If that happens, there will be more competition for the Santa Cruz.

Hyundai Santa Cruz
Source: Hyundai

Paul Eisenstein is a freelancer for CNBC. His travel and accommodations for this article were paid by Hyundai.

The new truck should debut sometime this year.

Remember the original Hyundai Santa Cruz concept? You should. The stylish pickup wowed crowds at the Detroit Auto Show early in 2015 and promised a soon-to-debut production version. But five years have come and gone since then, and you still can’t buy one.

Thankfully, 2021 promises to be the year changes all that. We’ve steadily reported on rumors, leaks, and supposed details on the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup – and we even have reason to believe that it could debut as early as this year. Until then, these are all the juicy details you need to know about the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz.

What Will It Be Called?

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that the production truck will keep the name «Santa Cruz» from the concept. Hyundai with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last August for the Santa Cruz name, and when looking at the current lineup of crossover SUVs, it makes sense. Santa Cruz would slot in nicely between other nameplates like Santa Fe, Tucson, and Palisade (all named after cities/places in the U.S.)

What Will It Look Like?

The production Santa Cruz should resemble the 2015 concept slightly, but we expect less aggressive body cues and the inclusion of the brand’s latest grille and headlight treatment, found on more-recent models like the Venue and Palisade, to carry over. Our rendering (pictured above) imagines the production Santa Cruz with some of those current cues. Though, a leaked image of the truck’s bare body does prove that the original concept’s key features – like the short bed sloping C-pillar – remain.

Spy shots of the truck don’t show much but do give us an idea as to the truck’s overall size and shape. Again, it’s proof that the original concept’s overall shape and size will remain in some form on the production version. And those spy shots also give us a glimpse at the Santa Cruz’s unique 10-spoke wheels, which look production-ready.

What’s Under The Hood?

The standard Santa Cruz will probably borrow one of Hyundai’s current gas engines, maybe a version of the brand’s turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder, or the 3.8-liter V6 from the Palisade. That V6 is capable of producing up to 291 horsepower. But alongside a gas engine, reports suggest that Hyundai could also offer the turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel engine from the new Genesis GV80 (good for 278 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque) on the Santa Cruz, just not in the U.S. Hyundai will apply that diesel engine to commercial use in other countries. We also expect the Santa Cruz to come standard with front-wheel drive, but also offer all-wheel drive as an option.

Will It Be Body-On-Frame?

Maybe. Even though the original Santa Cruz concept from 2015 featured a unibody construction – and we thought the production version might be too, given the brand’s many unibody crossovers – a report from September says that the pickup could use a more truck-like ladder-frame build.

«What’s clear to us is that if we’re going to bring a ute out, it had better be a ute,» Hyundai Australia CEO John Kett said in an interview with the Australian publication Which Car last September. «We’ve got past the first hurdle of what it needs to look like, but it needs to be functional as well. That’s the important part.»

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen many reports since then corroborating that interview. So there’s no way to confirm whether the Hyundai Santa Cruz will be body-on-frame or unibody until it actually debuts.

Where Will It Be Built?

Hyundai will build the Santa Cruz pickup starting in 2021 at its Montgomery, Alabama assembly plant, alongside cars like the Sonata and Elantra. The company announced back in November that it will build the Santa Cruz here in the U.S., president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Byungjin Jin, saying: «Bringing the Santa Cruz to HMMA demonstrates that Hyundai Motor Company is confident our more than 3,000 Team Members are ready to build a quality crossover for the U.S. market.»

How Much Will It Cost?

Hyundai hasn’t confirmed how much the Santa Cruz will cost. But given the price of competitors – like the Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado, and a few others – expect Hyundai to ask in the mid-$20,000s for its truck to start.

When Will We See it?

Hopefully Hyundai pulls the cover off of the Santa Cruz sometime this year, since production is scheduled to start early in 2021. The Los Angeles Auto Show (if it still happens, given the current state of things) could be a likely location for the truck to debut. Otherwise, we expect a virtual debut around the same time.

Part III: Flanders

Flanders has a special feel to it \u2014 especially when viewed from a bicycle. The smell of agriculture and cool damp air. The wind that can penetrate skin and bones. The loss of perfect visual focus when you hit sections of cobblestones that have survived rain and wind and cold and bikes and tractors and world wars. The knowledge that the exact cobblestones that you\u2019re riding at this very moment were also ridden by legends of the sport. 

These really aren\u2019t just roads, at the end of the day \u2014 they\u2019re strange time capsules of bike racing. You imagine that your brand-new, state-of-the-art Santa Cruz Stigmata could just as easily be an old steel beast from a long-ago era, and that your advanced-fabric clothing could be wool.  

\»:\»Santa Cruz Bicycles Mark Scott\»,\»field_file_image_title_text\»:\»Mark Scott stigmata\»,\»field_img_caption\»:\»Joe Bowman\»},\»link_text\»:null,\»type\»:\»media\»,\»field_deltas\»:{\»4\»:{\»format\»:\»default\»,\»field_file_image_alt_text\»:\»Santa Cruz Bicycles Mark Scott\»,\»field_file_image_title_text\»:\»Mark Scott stigmata\»,\»field_img_caption\»:\»Joe Bowman\»}},\»attributes\»:{\»alt\»:\»Santa Cruz Bicycles Mark Scott\»,\»title\»:\»Mark Scott stigmata\»,\»class\»:\»media-element file-default\»,\»data-delta\»:\»4\»}}]]

We got purposely lost at times and followed Mark\u2019s moving map for others. We rode micro routes of the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Dwars door Vlaanderen and about a dozen other brutal classic single-day bike races. We rode pav\u00e9 sectors of the legendary Paris-Roubaix course and imagined \u2014 or in my case remembered \u2014 what it was like to blast across these ancient roads in race conditions. 

And we finished each day cold and fatigued, full of new stories and ready to make more tomorrow. Riding the old cobblestones is a magical experience. You should see it for yourself.



Now that Hyundai has a crossover and SUV for seemingly everyone, it’s prepared to enter the pickup-truck wars with the 2021 Santa Cruz. Apart from a concept that debuted several years ago and the company’s recent promise to build it, we don’t know a lot about the first Hyundai with a cargo bed. That feature in particular could be truly innovative if the production Santa Cruz actually has the extendable box that we saw on the concept version. Likewise, if the Korean automaker continues to maintain its excellent build quality and impressive value, a pickup truck could be a hit. However, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz is still too far away from going into production for us to make any bold predictions.

Part I: Wayback

Back in the \u201880s, before Mark, Krunk and Santa Cruz bikes were even born, a 19-year-old me went to Belgium to become a bike racer. 

Back then, if you were an aspiring North American bike racer of any note, you went to Europe to hone your craft. You could absolutely race bikes in places other than Europe, but it was most definitely the world center of cycling. 

I saved up some money, bought an open-ended plane ticket and headed to Belgium. I learned at the school of hard knocks, as they say \u2014 and earned an advanced degree in bike racing. 

At a certain point I came back to The States and switched my focus from skinny tires to the relatively fatter tires of \u201890s mountain bike racing. 

After a few years of that, I was deemed too slow to earn a paycheck as a racer anymore, so I started writing about bikes and bike parts and bike racers. And I wrote a book about my time in Belgium, too, which kind of accidentally made me an expert on the place. 

1 How Long Is Your Bed?

Via truckaccessplus.com

The concept has a 4-foot long bed expandable to 6 feet when needed. The big question on everyone’s mind is what will the actual truck look like? And again there is great build-up to their «monumental» reveal, which by the way, is set for the Spring of 2020 but no firm date is available as of this writing. Sources close to Hyundai say that it will likely include an expandable truck bed similar to the concept from 2015 allowing for an additional 2 feet of cargo space. We’ll see what happens!

Despite there being a plethora of speculation and unconfirmed details about this new «bite-sized» pickup, one of the details that seem more firm is the design cues borrowed from its bigger sibling the Hyundai Palisade. It’s said to have a similar but not the same grill and body attributes. Hyundai apparently wants to move away from cookie-cutter designs in the line up (where each of the models looks like a twin of the next in a different size). While there are expected to be shared design features, gone are the days when uniqueness was a bad word. Their CEO wants there to be a distinction in the new line up.

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About The Author

I’m a long time car crazy guy who lives to drive. I like convertibles and being in the outdoors. My dream garage has a Jeep Wrangler, a Miata MX-5, and a sensible SUV with 3 rows for my precious cargo- my kids and kayak.

More About Paul MacCracken

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

We know the Santa Cruz will start production sometime in 2021, but we don’t know what engine choices it will offer. Since we expect the Hyundai pickup to share a platform and parts with the mid-size Santa Fe crossover, the two could also share engines and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. These include the entry-level 185-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder as well as the 235-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four. However, we expect the Santa Cruz to offer more power and torque than either engine currently makes to better compete with mid-size pickup rivals. We expect front-wheel drive will be standard along with an optional all-wheel-drive system.

Part II: Belgium

So, in January of this year, before Corona had become the thing that shut down the world, we all landed in Brussels for a week of pedaling the cobblestones of Flanders, Belgium, and Northern France. 

Anyone who has ever spent any time in this region of the world would immediately begin to question the sanity of leaving California, in Krunk\u2019s case, or Colorado, in my case, to ride in Belgium\u2019s winter rain. Mark, of course, is from Scotland, so it was almost a summer holiday for him \u2014 no one thought he was out of his mind. 

We rented an old farmhouse at the foot of the infamous Koppenberg climb, a narrow, steep, cobblestone beauty that\u2019s been ridden by more cycling superstars than anyone could ever count. 

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===== IMAGE GRID 3 goes here =====

Mark was armed with GPS and a fair amount of internet research, Krunk brought his effervescent attitude, and I was confident that years and countless kilometers crisscrossing every single road in these parts was still imprinted enough in my brain to make for some good rides. 

For an old used-to-be like myself, it was a pure joy to share some of the history of this place with these guys. To me, these roads are sacred ground \u2014 the wide-open stadium of road racing. The names have changed over the years, the equipment has improved massively, the global coverage of the sport has made it accessible to anyone with any interest in it whatsoever, but the roads have remained essentially unchanged since the years of Eddy Merckx and Freddy Maertens and Roger DeVlaeminck and Tom Boonen and\u2026

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Where Subaru’s BRAT stumbled

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, small pickups, such as the Subaru BRAT, found a niche with baby boomers on a budget who were just getting their licenses and wanted something different from the sedans and wagons their parents drove. They were more likely to be based on car-like platforms – just like today’s crossovers – the BRAT sharing its underpinnings with a small Subaru station wagon.

That’s the approach Hyundai will take, though Lee and other Hyundai officials are being intentionally vague about details.

One of the key questions yet to be revealed is whether the production version of the Santa Cruz will feature the same, unique bed extender that was a key part of the show car’s appeal. The unusual system worked something like a drawer, allowing the bed to slide back to add extra length for large cargo. Fully extended, a motorcycle could fit into it. Retracted, the Santa Cruz concept was only about as long as a typical concept sedan.

Though it will have more flexibility than a similarly sized utility vehicle, Hyundai isn’t planning to bill the production Santa Cruz as a work truck, but will target millennials and even younger Gen-Z buyers who, much like the then-young boomers, wanted something a bit different and more affordable.

That could mean a starting price in the teens, undercutting the current base model among midsize trucks, the Nissan Frontier, which starts at around $18,000.

Full-size pickups are some of the most profitable vehicles sold in the U.S., and midsize models are generally delivering good margins, according to industry data. But at the likely price for the Santa Cruz, margins likely will be much tighter.

Взглянем на дизайн Santa Cruz и его технические характеристики

Дизайн имеет отсылки как к более ранним существующим моделям Hyundai, так и к концептам корейского автопроизводителя. Если не знать, что перед нами Hyundai, то образ этого пикапа вполне гармонично вписывает в прослойку современных европейских или американских кроссоверов и джипов. В нем сочетаются дизайнерские решения разных школ автомобилестроения современности, использующие агрессивные и смелые линии и элементы дизайна.

Спереди в глаза бросается новая фирменная шестиугольная решетка радиатора, по бокам от нее расположены прищуренные светодиодные головные фары, а под ними, в углублении красуются необычной формы противотуманные фары.

В нижней части бампера наблюдаются элементы из неокрашенного пластика, автомобиль-то хоть и городской, но его утилитарности никто не отменял. Если присутствует такой защитный элемент, привод должен стоять только полный. Ведь если ты не будешь использовать пикап вне асфальтированных дорог, то толку от подобной защиты?

Отдельный от кабины грузовой отсек сделан в стиле американских пикапов 60-х годов. Расширенные арки выгодно смотрятся и создают впечатление брутальности.

Под капот идеально вжился бы 2.0 литровый четырехцилиндровый мотор от нынешней Sonata в сочетании с электродвигателем. Турбина придаст ему дополнительных лошадиных сил, а электромотор, то есть гибридная конфигурация не потребует дополнительного увеличения рабочего объема. Плюсы: экономичность, высокая мощность и крутящий момент. На четыре колеса мощность будет уходить через 6-ти и 7-ми ступенчатую трансмиссию с двойным сцеплением, ее можно позаимствовать у нового кроссовера Tuscon.

В отличие от Santa Cruz Concept, который будет базироваться на платформе нового Tucson, пятиместный пикап потребует присутствия жесткой и крепкой рамы. Грузоподъёмность увеличиться, надежность и неубиваемость поднимется до невиданных высот. К сожалению такой путь развития не подходит для корейцев, Hyundai не имеет подобной платформы, так что разработка должна будет вестись с нуля, что потребует огромных инвестиций.

Конечно продажи такого гипотетического автомобиля будут самыми высокими в США, но благодаря необычному внешнему виду и современной начинке у пикапа есть все возможности завоевать доверие и в других частях света.

Конкурентами такого пикапа могут стать Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi Triton/L200 и Nissan Navara.

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