Your Semi-regular Reminder That a Hyundai Pickup Is on the Way

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
your semi regular reminder that a hyundai pickup is on the way

Reservation holders of a base-model Tesla Model 3 aren’t the only consumers who’ve grown tired of waiting. Aficionados of the Hyundai brand have been champing at the bit for a Korean pickup ever since the delightful Santa Cruz concept debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, only to see their dreams of ownership placed in a hazy limbo.

In October, Hyundai Motor Company CEO Wonhee Lee suggested the model still isn’t greenlit, despite earlier assertions to the contrary, with R&D still in the initial phases. With the brand’s U.S. comeback still an uncertain thing, top brass were on the fence about the model’s ability to carve out its own compact niche in the burgeoning downsized truck market. Now, we hear it’s totally a sure thing.

Oh, and there could be a Kia pickup, too.

Speaking to Autocar at last week’s L.A. Auto Show, Hyundai’s dapper design chief, Luc Donckerwolke, said he’s already finished sculpting the future model, which should arrive “as soon as possible.”

“From my side [design] it is finished, the process to put it into production is now under way,” Donckerwolke said.

How soon is soon? Lee stated previously that the model could be on dealer lots within 32 months, which points to a 2021 introduction and late-2020 reveal, but no firm timeline exists at this point. The question of whether Americans would be receptive to the four-seat, sliding bed unibody pickup still weighs heavily on the minds of Hyundai brass. Certainly, overseas markets used to the presence of such vehicles might prove more receptive.

Adding fuel to the speculation fire, Donckerwolke claimed a Kia version of the truck is under consideration. This model, if greenlit, would arrive after the debut of its Hyundai cousin.

When pressed on the Kia pickup, the brand’s U.S. chief operating officer, Brit Michael Cole, said it’s “something we could look at” — hardly an enthusiastic endorsement of the idea — but added that any such model would have to arrive after the brand’s new utility vehicles were already firmly in place (and, presumably, making hay).

[Images: © 2017 Sajeev Mehta/The Truth About Cars, Hyundai]

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3 of 19 comments
  • GoFaster58 GoFaster58 on Dec 03, 2018

    Sadly, it will be just another midsize, not a small pickup!

    • Bd2 Bd2 on Dec 04, 2018

      Sharing a platform w/ the next Tucson so it'll be a compact. Hyundai is evidently working on a larger (BoF) pick-up and SUV to compete w/ the likes of the Hilux, Navara, etc.

  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Dec 04, 2018

    I never could understand why Kia didn't build a proper pickup off the Borrego/Mojave SUV. I think it would have done well for them.

  • CoastieLenn So the Camaro is getting the axe, the Challenger is belly up, the Charger is also fading out of existence. Maaaaan Michigan better have a game plan on how to inject some soul back into the American carscape. The Mustang and Corvette can't do it on their own. Dark times we're living in, bro's. How long do you think it'll be before the US starts to backpedal on our EV mandates now that the EU has rolled back their ICE bans with synthetic fuel usage?
  • Duke Woolworth We have old school Chevrolet Bolts, only feasible to charge at home because they are so slow. Travel? Fly or rent luxury.
  • Styles I had a PHEV, and used to charge at home on a standard 3-pin plug (240v is standard here in NZ). As my vehicle is a company car I could claim the expense. Now we are between houses and living at the in-laws, and I'm driving a BEV, I'm charging either at work (we have a wall-box, and I'm the only one with an EV), or occasionally at Chargenet stations, again, paid by my employer.
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