Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Hyundai Prepping Wrangler Competitor?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Just in time for Truck Thursday at TTAC comes this hot bit of scuttlebut from Jalopnik: Hyundai might be developing a “highly-capable off-roader.” El Jalop cornered Hyundai USA boss John Krafcik at the Detroit Auto Show and asked him what his development boffins were up to. Krafcik’s cryptic answer is the seed of today’s WAROTD:

“every time our designers get together and start looking at concepts and the future, the first thing that comes out of those meetings — what everyone gets excited about — is the prospect of a Bronco-like, highly-capable off-roader.” As a follow-up on that answer, I asked if he meant a Wrangler-fighter. He answered only by smiling and repeating himself — “highly-capable.”

More capable than a Tucson? Seriously though, it will be a dogs age before Chrysler has the cash to update its bloated JK-generation Wrangler, and Hyundai’s going in for the kill. Or not… Krafic words his answer pretty cagily. Besides, Hyundai hasn’t had an even semi-serious off-roader since it rebadged the Mitsu Pajero to create the Hyundai Galloper (above).

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4 of 18 comments
  • D002 D002 on Jan 15, 2010

    I think you'll find the Kia Sportage is evry bit as 'good' (ho ho ho) as the Wrangler.

  • Cmiller Cmiller on Jan 15, 2010

    The problem is posers have to buy off-road vehicles brand new, so that "we" can buy them used for cheap to modify them and make them "real" off-roaders. As much as I would love Hyundai to build a true ORV, it would be 3-4 years before I would buy one to actually use. I bought an eight year old TJ for $8000 and put $4000 into it. There is no way I'd buy a new JK for $30,000 for a less capable rig.

  • Stingray Stingray on Jan 15, 2010

    I think that Tucson would benefit from some LSDs... However, that Chundai has a very nice structure. I guess the LR3/Disco 3 on the video was to tow the Tucson when it got stuck. LOL

  • Mr Carpenter Mr Carpenter on Jan 15, 2010

    Edward, you're slightly off in regards to the "latest" serious type of SUV produced by Hyundai, but that would be forgivable since the Terracan wasn't ever sold in North America and is now discontinued. http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/200944344905949/sort/priceasc/make/hyundai/model/terracan/postcode/ip38jn/page/1/radius/1501/quicksearch/true/advert-type/featured-listing/dealer/9153/usedcars?previous=%2Fsearch%2Fresults%2Fusedcars%2Fpostcode%2Fip38jn%2Fradius%2F1501%2Fmake%2Fhyundai%2Fmodel%2Fterracan%2Fsort%2Fpriceasc%2Fpage%2F1%2Fquicksearch%2Ftrue&logcode=flp Did anyone else notice the comment about "Bronco like"? What was a Bronco (after the original 1960's car, that is)? It was a cut-down 2 door SUV using a PICKUP TRUCK as the basis. I wrote to Hyundai several years ago and suggested that they take the Terracan (which was on a full frame) and inexpensively dip their toe into the pickup truck waters with it. With a US production facility (Montgomery, Alabama), this means they could have bypassed the "chicken tax" (actually it's a tariff). Their V6's were fitted as well as a seriously torquey diesel 4 cylinder (which probably couldn't be have been made to pass the super-stringient US emissions, alas). So perhaps just perhaps when everyone has their ass on fire in regards to running away from SUVs and pickup trucks because of sales collapsing, Hyundai is looking far ahead and considering what will happen WHEN Chrysler collapses. And they obviously have no interest at all in buying Jeep (and thereby picking up the "Jeep curse"). Think about it. Which company entities have built Jeeps? Willys. (dead). Kaiser. (dead). American Motors Corporation (dead). Chrysler (dead/reborn/dying).