Ford Inside News banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Sponsored Editorial Content
Joined
·
510 Posts
Discussion Starter #1


A Hyundai pickup truck was one of this year’s big surprises at the Detroit Auto Show and while it might be a concept it’s far closer to becoming a reality than anyone might have guessed.

“We’re very anxious to do something with the idea,” Mike O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America’s VP of product planning said.

According to O’Brien the Santa Cruz concept is the result of 18 months of planning and isn’t just a fancy model. In fact, everything about it is very real.

“The engineering feasibility work has been done,” he said, commenting that it’s based on an existing crossover platform.

That platform is likely the very same one that underpins the Tucson and O’Brien admits that the trucks specs are, “very similar to a sub-compact CUV.” What that means is that he expects a tow rating between 1,500 to 2,500 lbs, so it can tow anything from a jet ski to a pop-up trailer.

Hyundai currently doesn’t offer any diesels in North America, but that could very well change with the introduction of the Santa Cruz. “This particular platform could have the diesel shown which is in production today,” said O’Brien. That engine is a 2.0-liter turbo delivering 190 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.

While O’Brien said Hyundai has a wide variety of powertrains that could work in this platform application, “The diesel is the most promising because of the fuel economy it delivers.”

Surprisingly, it’s also what customers are demanding. “It best matches in our research of what these customers are looking for,” said O’Brien. “Outstanding fuel economy, good torque and good driveability.”

He also thinks a diesel is the right fit in terms of the concept behind the truck. “It gives it a sense of durability and ruggedness.”

In addition, high-MPG diesels are becoming a necessity as automakers strive to meet increasingly strict government mandated corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets. O’Brien explained that while Hyundai is committed to the CAFE target of 54 mpg by 2015, “We won’t do that with the current product mix.”

He said that in order to achieve that goal two things need to happen. The first is improved technology by automakers. The second is a migration from truck category vehicles to car category vehicles. However, “The opposite is happening,” said O’Brien, noting the growth in popularity of crossovers.

To force the switch to fuel efficient models and products with fuel efficient engines he suggests the Santa Cruz as a “countermeasure,” offering fuel economy in the the high 30s but with truck utility.

Specifically, the freedom of an open bed is something O’Brien said younger buyers are eager for. They’re fans of compact crossovers, but in Hyundai’s research they don’t want to mix their interior space with their outdoor toys. “This idea of some open bed utility just keeps growing in terms of interest,” he said.

“It’s always harder to do something that doesn’t exist. But think about it; CUVs didn’t exist 10 years ago. It really took one or two manufacturers to just say ‘let’s try it out an see what happens.'”

O’Brien did caution that Hyundai has made no decision on the Santa Cruz just yet, though he certainly outlined all of the reasons that it will more than likely move ahead with it. Based on an existing platform, “It really helps mange the cost of engineering, helping us make it a competitively priced product.”

The introduction of the Santa Cruz could help Hyundai double the number of models based on the same architecture. It already sells 50,000 Tucsons per year in the U.S. “We think this product would certainly be that or better,” O’Brien said.
http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/01/why-hyundai-will-build-the-santa-cruz-pickup.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,401 Posts
This and the Honda Ridgeline strike me as being to much on the lifestyle vehicle side rather than the small pickup side. I think there is a market for a small pickup, a real work pickup the size of the original Ranger rather than attempting to bridge some gap between pickups and whatever the Hyundai is trying to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,961 Posts
I think pickups like this will be the next rage, especially if they offer them with the suicide extra cab doors, instead of just 2 or just 4. Honda could have been so much more successful if they got rid of it's hideous style and offered the sportier suicide doors. This is exactly what I would love to see Ford dip into, instead of a BOF ranger.

Quick story, I spent a lot of time at GM's new small trucks at NAIAS, looking it over from top to bottom, especially the interior. The size is perfect, IMO, but the price is out there. And the amount of interested people hanging around it, was almost zero. I think while I was there for 5-10 minutes, 2 people stopped by, looked and walked on.

I think if Hyundai brought this to market with it's exciting, youth targeted design, it would kick off the next rage. Ford needs to get ahead of it and prepare something. I have been saying this for some time now. Make it sporty, mid sized, mildly capable with a bed that offers some utility and mostly a tough image. Include an aggressive off road package option, price it right and watch the sales fly in.

Those who need even more or BOF ranger capability, they still have F series and Transit that could probably take care of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
I understand the reasoning behind full-size pickups.... profits but not everyone needs a truck of that size. I saw this and with some toned down looks, this will be a hit for Hyundai of they produced it. A coworker of mine has the Ridgeline, outside of the unattractive looks, it rides like a car and the bed is just big enough for landscaping supplies for the occasional diy'er like me.

I too hope that Ford would produce something like this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,961 Posts
Ridgeline is just plain fugly. This looks pretty fun and sporty. Don’t prevent an entire new class of product, based on the ugliness of one close segment cousin. But price and placement is key. Recalling the Ranger, I bet the huge percentage of its sales had to do with price and perceived durability. Sure, some just wanted that 8’ bed and some hauling ability, but I would guess very few. Sport Trac actually had a good idea with the composite box, but again, I think it did not sell for several reasons.

Here is what I propose Ford create for a next big hit that spans several demographics as well as functionality.
Stretch an Escape/Kuga platform (Explorer is too big) modestly to include an integrated bed that starts short, perhaps 4’, but then cantilevers rearward another 2-3’ or so with a power button. Tailgate would hide the entire drawer-like unit. And yes, I was recently shopping at Ikea, lol. Now make it a bit wider, give it a robust stance, AWD and of course price it right. Who would not love the idea of one bed fits all. Oh, and give it enough structure to haul/tow a bit and for offroad ability. Ford would in fact have a hit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
When I was in the market for a used pickup in 2013, the Sport Trac was my first option, specifically the Adrenaline, none was available. Then I moved onto the Ranger but couldn't believe used ones were still going for $8000+, I settled on a Titan. I wasn't looking for a full size and still regret getting one because it doesn't comfortably fit into my garage and it's a gas drinking drunk. I use it for landscaping supplies from Lowes/HD and occasional moving.

Wings you answered my question, I was wondering what platform Ford would use to make this feasible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,961 Posts
One of my first cars was a Subaru Brat. It was the compact pickup with two composite, rearward facing, seats in the bed that you could remove. I loved it and was always curious why they quit making it. I loaded that thing down with everything from dirt and wood to bricks and rocks. It was only limited by the amount of sag on the rear springs. Anyway, it was small and sporty and fun, and when called upon, very functional too.

Below is a similar pic to the Brat I drove in the summer of 1986. I think it was a 1981 year, but real similar. I recall the graphics, although mine was light blue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
I will not be happy until Ford reintroduces the Ranger to their U.S. line up. I will not give up on this! However, that being said, I think a new Ranchero or Courier (car based) might attract a younger demographic for Ford.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top