Check out that big grille.

A fresh batch of spy photos provides a fantastic look at the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup. This one has a camouflage wrap over the front that exposes the shape of the grille, and there's less concealment over the back.

The Santa Cruz features a big, eye-catching grille. Thick, horizontal sections connect narrower uprights, and there's a huge Hyundai logo in the center. There are low-mounted, split headlights that are similar to the layout on the Palisade, Santa Fe, and Venue. There's a trapezoidal inlet in the lower fascia.

In profile, it's possible to see how the windowline rises upward at the rear, which keeps the Santa Cruz from looking too boxy. The bed appears to be rather small. Unfortunately, the covering prevents us from getting a good look at the rear, but there's a peek at the taillights.

Gallery: Hyundai Santa Cruz Spy Shots

Rumors suggest the Santa Cruz would share the Palisades's 3.8-liter V6 that produces 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The power would very likely run through an all-wheel-drive system. It seems to ride on a unibody chassis, making the Santa Cruz more comparable to the Honda Ridgeline instead of traditional body-on-frame trucks.

This Santa Cruz is towing a trailer. This suggests the engineers are making sure that the truck can pull a load, since this is a commonly required task for pickups. Don't expect Ford F-450 levels of pulling power, but Hyundai's truck should have enough ability for lower weight jobs.

In 2021, Hyundai will build the Santa Cruz in Montgomery, Alabama, where it also assembles the Santa Fe, Sonata, and Elantra. Look for a full debut before the end of the year.

Source: Automedia