Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept at NAIAS:

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Hyundai is closing in on all market segments – with the appointment of Albert Biermann to develop performance cars, they may even become a performance car contender – but the segment they haven’t entered yet is the one loved by South Africans above all else… bakkies.

But the Hyundai bakkie may not be far off.  This past week inDetroit, the brand unveiled the Santa Cruz Concept, a stylish take on a ‘sport truck’ – destined primarily or the US market and likely to come to SA too.

The Santa Cruz is an aggressive take on the bakkie idea, with its wide stance, LED fog lamps, HID headlamps, and Brembo brakes, complete with yellow calipers.  The Santa Cruz also features suicide doors a-la Mazda RX-8, flared wheel arches, roof racks, and bed rails for both style and practicality.  The load-bin can even be reconfigured for longer cargo, with a sliding mechanism.

It’s all pretty nifty, and the powertrain is equally impressive.  The Santa Cruz features a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine with 142kW and 407Nm, mated to a HTRAC all-wheel drive system.

Whilst the Santa Cruz is only a concept for now, Hyundai is keenly eyeing the market – particularly trying to attract youths to the segment – and as such is likely to produce the Santa Cruz at some stage in the future.  When they do, you can be sure it’ll be considered for the local market.  SA is after all the land of the bakkie.

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