The Hyundai HCD-15 Santa Cruz was one of many greatest hits of the North American Worldwide Auto Present again in 2015. A 12 months later, the corporate promised {that a} manufacturing model was a matter of when, not if. Effectively, it has been half a decade since then, however the Santa Cruz is lastly occurring.

Forward of the Santa Cruz’s April 15 unveil, Hyundai has launched a video from its design studio in California speaking concerning the new, effectively, not-truck. Sure, Hyundai is adamant that “it is not a truck,” as design supervisor of Hyundai North America Brad Arnold states within the video. “It is a Santa Cruz,” he concludes. So, um, it is a metropolis? A skateboard model? A college whose mascot is the banana slug?

Seems, it was meant for the town initially. “It is meant to thrive in dense city environments, and the open outside,” Arnold states, however the order right here appears essential. In accordance with spy photographs, it shares rather a lot with the Tucson, and nobody would mistake that CUV for being an off-roader.

The unibody structure with a pickup mattress is what Australians would name a ute, nevertheless it’s additionally completely different than the model finest embodied by the Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero. These have been low to the bottom and had solely a mattress for cargo. The Santa Cruz, nonetheless, may have “each open and closed storage,” in keeping with Arnold.

So it is extra like a Ridgeline, then? Not fairly, as a result of if it is based mostly on a Tucson it’s going to be one class smaller than Honda’s midsizer. Operate-wise, it appears to fill the void left by the 2WD pickups of the Seventies and 80s, from corporations like Toyota, Datsun, Mitsubishi and Isuzu. Nevertheless, these have been of body-on-frame building, not unibody.

So maybe the Santa Cruz actually is in a category of its personal. The Santa Cruz debuts April 15, and even when it has been six years because the idea, at the least Hyundai retains its guarantees. Additionally, it is not each day that you just get to be in a section of 1. That’s, till the 2022 Ford Maverick enters the market.