2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Dreaming of N
Hyundai released four "teaser" images of the 2022 unibody Santa Cruz light pickup today, and it looks very, very promising. Their press release calls the new small trucklet "segment smashing."
That may be a bit of a grandiose statement, but these images show something we haven't seen since the 80's: a compact sport truck based on a unibody "frame." Remember the Subaru Brat, Dodge Rampage, and Volkswagen Pickup? No? They were basically front-wheel-drive compact cars with the rear lopped off and a small pickup bed welded on. They disappeared quickly due to the "chicken tax" (google it) tacked onto trucks not-built in the United States. FYI: That tax exists today, but Hyundai will get around it by building the Santa Cruz on our shores.
Hyundai isn't basing this on a FWD car platform, but on their all-new Santa Fe CUV (get it - Santa Fe/Santa Cruz?). The release states it will have all-wheel-drive, but it doesn't say if that is standard or optional, but if they want to avoid "poser status" they'll make AWD standard.
While we can't see all the details of this new 'ute, what can be seen is quite attractive. So attractive it has me wondering if Hyundai will grace us with a high-performance "N" version. A small all-wheel-drive truck with upgraded handling and a bunch of horsepower? YES PLEASE. And would it be too much to ask for a manual version? Pretty please?
We'll have to wait until April 15th to see the 2022 Santa Cruz in its entirety. But I like what I see so far.