The Santa Cruz is one of Hyundai’s hottest products right now. It’s a charming little truck for which our Senior Editor Brett Evans recently said is “very good” with “excellent road manners” after driving the company's first model with a bed. It went on sale as a direct (and exclusive) competitor to the Ford Maverick, and it goes without saying that it will be a very exciting battle to watch.
We haven’t heard any rumors about Hyundai potentially expanding the model’s portfolio but our colleagues and friends at Kolesa.ru had the interesting idea of designing an SUV model based on the little truck. They didn’t give it a different name, though it has some design features worth talking about.
Gallery: Hyundai Santa Cruz SUV renderings
Starting from the front, basically nothing has changed from the original design of the Santa Cruz which takes heavy inspiration from the Tucson. This rendering preserves the truck’s hidden LED headlights and the higher hood with blockier fenders. The side profile remains unchanged from the A-pillar all the way back to the C-pillar.
This is where this virtual drawing proposes a drastically different design. Gone is the open cargo bed and there’s a traditional hardtop treatment. It does look a little like a body-on-frame-based SUV, though we all know the Santa Cruz is underpinned by the Tucson’s unibody architecture.
Our Russian friends explain they envisioned the model with three rows of seats but decided to retain the wheelbase and overall dimensions of the pickup. However, the openings of the rear doors have been increased to ensure better access to the second and third rows of seats.
Needless to say, we don’t think there’s any chance of seeing this product at Hyundai’s showrooms anytime soon. With the brand’s current SUV-heavy lineup, we doubt there’s room for one more high-riding offering.