Hyundai Unveils Santa Cruz

Apr 19, 2021

Hyundai has unveiled its new Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle, which draws on features from the SUV, Truck and Crossover segments, including multiple powertrain options, an open bed for gear, connectivity and an all-wheel drive platform.

“Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all-new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America.

Santa Cruz was developed to be the ultimate Sport Adventure Vehicle for those whose lifestyles include the need to escape to weekend adventures of all kinds, the automaker said, and want versatile transportation that is equally flexible for urban, adventure, occupational or even home improvement gear. To address these needs, the Santa Cruz features a secure, open bed area that includes a lockable tonneau cover and hidden bed storage, along with the passenger space, fuel efficiency and size of a compact SUV.

The grille anchors the front view, supported by a skid plate element in the lower front fascia. The A- and C-pillars present faster forward and rearward rakes than typical open-bed utility vehicles. Twenty-inch alloy wheels with a multi-faceted, triangular design are surrounded by armor-like wheel arches. The functional rear open bed area features secure, lockable in-bed storage, integrated corner bumper steps and a lockable tonneau cover.

The interior of the Santa Cruz features a dual-cockpit design that encapsulates each passenger. Design teams focused on ease of ingress and egress and ergonomic comfort on long drives, the automaker said. The center stack display features an edgeless infotainment screen appearance, with 10 inches of visibility. The optional center digital cluster display also measures 10 inches. Under the rear seats is in-cabin storage. A Bose audio system will be an available option.

The Santa Cruz is also equipped with an array of advanced safety technologies as part of the Hyundai SmartSense feature suite.

Santa Cruz offers two powertrain options. The standard powertrain is a 2.5L direct-injected in-line four-cylinder engine with an estimated 190-plus horsepower and 180-plus lb.-ft. of torque coupled to an eight-speed hydraulic automatic transmission. Santa Cruz also offers a 2.5L direct-injected turbocharged engine with an estimated 275-plus horsepower and 310-plus lb.-ft. of torque linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). This DCT includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual shifting control by the driver.

Both the 2.5L four-cylinder and 2.5L four-cylinder turbo models will offer HTRAC all-wheel drive capability. The HTRAC AWD system provides an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The 2.5L 4-cylinder engine is rated at 3,500 lbs. for towing and the 2.5L Turbo AWD model is rated at 5,000 lbs. of towing capability.

The Santa Cruz makes efficient use of its compact dimensions by offering high utility with excellent maneuverability, Hyundai said, with a length of 195.7 inches, a wheelbase of 118.3 inches and a curb-to-curb turning radius of only 20 feet. The vehicle has available 18-inch or 20-inch alloy wheels.