See the 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz Prototype Up Close (Video)

It's also towing a trailer. Hot weather testing!

This is perhaps the closest look that we have so far of a new 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover pickup. There have been several other images and leaked photos, but the grille design has been shrouded in mystery. This prototype is giving us a close look at what the production front-end may actually look like.

2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz

This is a highly anticipated vehicle that Hyundai first introduced us to with a concept vehicle about 5 years ago. It’s been a long time coming. The Santa Cruz project has been reportedly canceled and re-instated at least once. Now, these prototypes suggest that the production vehicle is very close to its debut date.

The Santa Cruz is supposed to ride on a modified Hyundai Santa Fe platform. The wheelbase of the prototype looks considerably longer than a production Santa Fe. Once again, we do not have any official specifications on the production truck yet.

We also do not know which engine or engines options might be under the hood. It could be anything from a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter gas I4, to a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline I4, or a 2.5-liter turbo gasoline I4, or a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6. The potential power output range is between 185 hp and 291 hp, depending on the engine. We do not expect a turbo-diesel engine at this time. It’s also unknown if Hyundai will use a gas/electric hybrid or electric powertrain in the new midsize pickup truck.

The Santa Cruz appears to be a direct competitor to the Honda Ridgeline. The Santa Cruz is likely to be offered in FWD and AWD configurations with independent suspension all the way around.

What other tricks will this little truck have up its sleeve, what will be the starting price, when will it do on sale? We will have to wait to answer all of these questions until an official announcement from Hyundai.