The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has been caught by a keen-eyed YouTuber while testing in North America.
The new dual-cab ute from Hyundai is based on the same 'M3' architecture underpinning the Tucson – as confirmed by CarAdvice in September 2020 – meaning there's a greater likelihood of the Santa Cruz being produced for right-hand-drive markets such as Australia.
No details have been released by the Korean car maker at this early stage, but there's a good chance buyers will have access to the 137kW/416Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder found in its Tucson sibling, driving all four wheels through a conventional eight-speed automatic.
A petrol engine in the entry-level variant may be the 132kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder, though we wonder if a 200kW/332Nm 3.5-litre V6 could be cherry-picked from the Santa Fe for a flagship variant – as is expected in the Hyundai Staria people-mover, teased last week.
Above: Speculative render by artist KDesign AG. Top: Santa Cruz mule during winter testing in February 2020.
Hyundai has yet to confirm whether the Santa Cruz will be offered Down Under, but representatives for the company's local arm have continually expressed interest in offering the model here.
"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."
While Hyundai Australia officials wouldn't comment on a release date for the the Santa Cruz, sources have told CarAdvice to expect details "soon".
Watch the video below and let us know what you think in the comments section.