The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz – the brand's long-rumoured dual-cab ute – will share its architecture with the Hyundai Tucson SUV, it has been confirmed.
At a media event for the SUV, Lorenz Glaab, Head of Global Product for Hyundai, was asked whether the Santa Cruz would share the same underpinnings as the Tucson – known within the company as the 'M3' platform.
"It will be based on the 'M3' platform, yes," Mr Glaab responded, before another representative for the brand quickly ended the conversation.
The revelation is good news for Australia, as it means engineering the Santa Cruz into a right-hand-drive model is a far easier task, increasing the likelihood of the ute being offered locally.
CarAdvice understands there has been a company-wide gag order imposed on the Santa Cruz, suggesting the vehicle may be just around the corner.
These renders from Brazilian artist KDesign AG, shown at the top and bottom of this story, provide an insight into what the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz could look like.
Industry rumours have hinted at the Santa Cruz being powered by a 3.0-litre turbo diesel six-cylinder, launched earlier this year in the Genesis GV80 – an SUV from Hyundai's luxury sub-brand.
The Genesis GV80 is also based on the company's 'M3' platform.
Hyundai can pick from numerous powertrains for the Santa Cruz. Along with petrol and diesel engines, the company also has hybrid and plug-in hybrid options available, and is actively developing a hydrogen engine for production – all designed to fit the 'M3' platform in either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
"The Santa Cruz is certainly a niche product, but I think it would be an interesting offering (in Australia)," Hyundai Australia product planner Andrew Tuitahi told CarAdvice back in June 2020. "We remain interested in that vehicle for sure."