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New Hyundai Pickup Rendered, Body-On-Frame Truck Will Tow 3,500 Kilograms

Remember the Santa Cruz concept from the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit? That was the first time Hyundai gave us a glimpse of the South Korean automaker’s plans for the U.S. market, and come 2021, the unibody crossover-pickup thingy will enter production in Alabama where the Santa Fe crossover is made.
2022 / 2023 Hyundai "Tarlac" body-on-frame pickup truck design study (rendering) 60 photos
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There’s no denying the Santa Cruz will be front- and all-wheel-drive, and engine options are certain to include a four-cylinder powerplant. However, this story isn’t about the compact truck.

Come 2022 or 2023, Hyundai plans to roll out a body-on-frame pickup in Australia and a few other parts of the world. Nobody knows how it’s called for the time being, but what we do know is that corporate cousin Kia plans to rebadge this mid-size workhorse as well.

Hyundai Australia chief exec J.W. Lee is the man who offered the 2022 to 2023 timeframe for the yet-to-be-named pickup, but the place where this truck will be sold should be enough for us to speculate about the newcomer’s capabilities. For starters, it has to compete on the same level as the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger. That means 3,500 kilograms (7,716 pounds) of towing and a payload of 1,000 kilos (2,205 pounds).

Some people suggested that the Santa Cruz is actually the body-on-frame truck but a single photograph of a prototype's naked shell denies this claim. A unibody is a unibody, ladders making up a frame is a different matter altogether thanks to increased capability. To put it simply, the Santa Cruz rivals the likes of the unibody Honda Ridgeline while the mystery model competes with the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma.

If it will ever make it to the U.S., that is. Imagined by pixel manipulator Enoch Gabriel Gonzales with intricate headlights and the corporate grille of modern Hyundai passenger cars and utility vehicles, the Hyundai Tarlac, as the freelance designer calls it, doesn’t look half bad. The front-end design does need some work, surely, but the proportions are spot on.

The taillights and tailgate are just as expected from a mid-sizer like the Isuzu D-Max and Mitsubishi L200, but the question is, what may be hiding under the hood? The U.S. may be treated to a Smartstream gasoline turbo engine but the rest of the world – Australia included – would get the straight-six turbo diesel with 3.0 liters of displacement from the Genesis GV80.

In the mid-size luxury SUV, this engine cranks out 278 PS (274 horsepower), 588 Nm (434 pound-feet) of torque, and it’s paired to an eight-speed auto. On an ending note, the Tarlac moniker is inspired by a landlocked province of the Philippines, the stomping ground of the man who penned this truck.

 
 
 
 
 

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