Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

Posted by: Matt Iasenzaniro onJanuary 13th, 2015

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I love car shows for a variety of reasons. Concepts aren’t usually one of those reasons. I don’t care what your creative team dreamt up. I don’t care how zany or powerful or exotic you can make your concept. I care about what I’m going to see on the road, what I’m going to have the opportunity to buy. Every now and then we’ll get concepts like the FT-1 or NSX where you can’t help but be excited, no matter how hard you resist. The Hyundai Santa Cruz Utility Concept is one of those. We all saw it under wraps but had no idea what it could be. Hyundai had been clever and added fake paneling to the back to make it look like a crossover or CUV, so when all the masks had been removed, you got what could have been the most genuinely shocked reaction I’ve ever seen at a car show. There were smiles, there were dropped jaws and there were “what the fuck”s. I don’t even remember who was on stage or what they were saying. I was too busy taking pictures and trying to wrap my head around what I was looking at. Hyundai calls it “convention-shattering” in their own press release, and they’re not wrong.

Even now, I don’t know how to describe it. You have to look and see for yourself. It’s got the size and cabin styling of a GLA – it seats five – but the hatch is replaced with a small box. To combat that small box, they’ve fitted it with an extension system which they claim will grow to the same length as a mid-size pickup, but only when you want it to. The only engine option they mentioned was a 190 hp, 300 ft/lb 2.0L turbo powerplant, which sounds about right for a vehicle of this class and size.

Honestly, I have no idea if they’re going to put this into production. If they do, I have no idea what they’d change. Lastly, I have no idea who would buy it. But it’s cool as hell and I hope that’s enough.



When he’s not busy writing about cars or travelling the auto show circuit, he’s reviewing apps and video games related to the automotive world. In his spare time, Matt is a motorcycle enthusiast, trying not to kill himself riding along with the crazy local drivers. He is also a weekly contributor in the Motor Mondays segment on News Talk 770.

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