The 2024 New York Auto Show kicks off next week, and Hyundai will be there with something new. Making a global debut alongside the recently refreshed Tucson will be the 2025 Santa Cruz, updated with fresh styling and "improved capability."

That's exactly what Hyundai says in a short press release for its presence at the Big Apple's big show. Specifics of these capabilities are as yet unknown, though Hyundai's announcement mentions a revamped interior with better ergonomics and a new infotainment system. On the outside, the Santa Cruz will shed some of its street-truck persona with rugged-themed design tweaks. You can expect more standard-issue driver-assist systems, too.

2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz Teaser

Two teaser images come with Hyundai's announcement. A sketch featured at the top of this post shows the pickup from the back, wearing a new rear fascia with larger corner cutouts and trim extending further up the sides. It looks properly wide, though being a sketch the proportions are likely exaggerated.

A second image (also above) is a close-up of the new Santa Cruz grille, where we see the blade designs of the previous model replaced with rectangular cutouts. This looks similar to the recently updated Tucson, bringing the models more in line with Hyundai's current design direction.

It's worth noting that Hyundai specifically identifies both 2025 Santa Cruz teaser images as being the rugged-themed XRT trim. Debuting last July, XRT adds bold plastic fender flares, side steps, door trim, and a blackout treatment to the truck. Mechanicals remain the same, being the 281-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox driving all four wheels.

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz XRT

Could Hyundai's mention of extra capability point to the new XRT trim getting some proper off-road upgrades? It's no secret that the Ford Maverick—the only Santa Cruz competitor in the small truck segment—is positively killing it in sales. The Maverick brandishes a more traditional truck shape with an available FX4 package that adds functional bits like skid plates and all-terrain tires. Bolting up some extra components to a Santa Cruz XRT seems like a logical step, but alas, we won't know for sure until the covers are lifted in New York.

That happens on March 27. We will have details for the new Santa Cruz and all the debuts at the 2024 New York Auto Show right here at Motor1.

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