A Sick Softroader at NAIAS 2015 – Meet the Hyundai HCD-15 Santa Cruz

Hyundai Cruz Detroit

Going by sales figures, it is safe to say that many Americans love pickups. The full size variety dominates the segment, however it may not be the best choice for all situations or environments. For example, in cities where it is hard to maneuver around crowded streets and parking is tight, an F150 is the wrong choice.

If you drive around 90% of the time by yourself and only haul the occasional bags of mulch or bringing home a piece of furniture from the store – a Silverado is overkill. Image and functionality aside, full size trucks and even mid size trucks do not answer the call for a more compact / fuel efficient / style statement vehicle. The last one to answer the call was the legendary Subaru Brat. Now at the Detroit show, Hyundai is showing a concept that provides styling that instils a sense of rugged futurism in a bite sized package. It is called the Hyundai HCD-15 Santa Cruz.

From a styling standpoint, the Hyundai delivers a rugged version of its fluidic sculpture design language with a three dimensional hexagonal grille, reverse angle rocker panels, and an ultra fast c pillar. Although the cargo box is diminutive, it sports a trick slide out cargo area that includes the entire tailgate – if the bean counters aren’t paying attention, the feature just might make it into production. Power in the concept is a turbo diesel and a production model would have the choice of a gas turbo four as well. Power to the pavement is expected to come in front wheel and all wheel drive flavors. It is encouraging to see innovation still coming from Hyundai in the form of an ultra aggressively styled yet practical youthful take on a lifestyle vehicle. It is still a pickup, so feel free to throw some surfboards – or some hammers back there.

Hyundai HCD-15