Engineering feasibility and 18 months of planning put into urban crossover/truck concept

While the Santa Cruz Concept shown at the North American International Auto Show is truly skin deep — the concept is a rolling clay model — there’s been a lot of work going on behind the scenes at Hyundai to make the truck a reality.

According to AutoGuide, who had a chance to speak with Hyundai product planner Mike O’Brien, the concept has already undergone engineering feasibility (the concept sits atop a stretched version of the Tucson platform) and 18 months of planning. That’s no small investment for a vehicle that stops at the concept phase.

O’Brien stated the Santa Cruz would have specs “very similar to a sub-compact CUV” and towing capability somewhere between 1,500 and 2,500 lbs.

A diesel powerplant is also in the cards as the concept was said to have a 2.0L turbodiesel with 190 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.

“This particular platform could have the diesel shown which is in production today,” said O’Brien.

Another hint of Hyundai’s serious consideration of the concept for production was their team of surveyors armed with video cameras asking people what they thought of the design.

While other mid-size trucks have come back to the market recently, the Santa Cruz looks to take another direction by eschewing a body-on-frame platform.

Hyundai Santa Cruz

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