The production model will look even more distinctive than the concept you see here, Hyundai's design boss says.
The production model will look even more distinctive than the concept you see here, Hyundai's design boss says.
Hyundai Santa Cruz Truck Concept.
Hyundai Santa Cruz Truck Concept.

Hyundai has taken so long to get its forthcoming unibody bakkie into production that it has had to change the design to conform to the company’s latest design trends - which are altogether more distinctive.

The double cab was originally previewed by the Santa Cruz concept back in 2015, but the production model is set to hit the streets - overseas at least - in 2020, and now it appears as if it’ll have a more radical design than the concept.

The head of Hyundai’s Global Design Centre, SangYup Lee, recently told MotorTrend that the final iteration looks more “distinctive” and “progressive” and has “a lot more character”.

This is because the concept was designed at a time when all Hyundais were meant to conform to a single design language, but those days are gone and the company will no longer produce “Russian dolls” that closely resemble one another, Lee told the US publication.

Word on the street is that the upcoming bakkie would share its platform with the Tucson SUV, meaning it should have a similar engine range too, possibly including a normally aspirated 2-litre petrol and 1.6-litre turbopetrol, while 1.7 and 2.0 turbodiesel engines could also be in the running, depending on which markets outside the US Hyundai plans to sell the lifestyle pick-up.

While it will be primarily aimed at the Americans, Hyundai has not ruled out sales in other countries and local bakkie fans will certainly be hoping to get the nod for this one.

The unibody bakkie market is set to heat up in the coming years, with Volkswagen planning to launch its Tarok and Ford is working on a compact double cab based on the Focus. General Motors is said to be working on a similar vehicle. All three will be primarily aimed at the South American market, where they will compete with the Fiat Toro.

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