Is the newborn Ford Ranger the subsequent massive factor? Why life-style utes look set for a comeback with Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz main the way in which – Automotive Information

A ute crossed with an SUV – it could possibly be the right marriage within the automotive panorama of 2021.

Each ute and SUV gross sales present no signal of slowing down, neither in Australia or the USA, which is why the subsequent massive factor could possibly be SUV-based pick-ups just like the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz.

Each all-new fashions are set to formally break cowl someday in 2021 as clients search for adventurous, lifestyle-orientated automobiles which might be nicer to drive and simpler to reside with than a full-size, one-tonne ute.

The Hyundai is probably the most outstanding face of this potential new pattern, having first appeared as an idea manner again on the 2015 Detroit Motor Present. Whereas it’s been an extended gestation interval, stories from the US are assured that the ultimate production-ready Santa Cruz will arrive by the tip of the yr.

That matches neatly with the arrival of the brand new Santa Fe SUV, which the Santa Cruz is believed to be based mostly on, as these life-style utes symbolize a cheap manner for manufacturers to develop into new markets.

The Santa Cruz is prone to share powertrains with the brand new Santa Fe too, which suggests four-cylinder petrol and turbo-diesel engines that can provide extra gasoline effectivity than a full-size ute, albeit on the expense of towing capability. It additionally means the Santa Cruz could possibly be supplied with front-wheel drive, which isn’t very ute-like, however all-wheel drive can be on the playing cards.

Whereas the Santa Cruz has formally solely been spoken about as a left-hand-drive product (and might be constructed within the US), Hyundai Australia has lengthy maintained an curiosity in it and its latest success in getting the Palisade SUV in-built right-hand drive suggests nothing is off the desk.

The Maverick is anticipated to be an instantaneous rival for the Santa Cruz, utilizing the identical underpinnings as the brand new Escape and Bronco Sport however with a novel, more durable ute physique on prime. That seemingly means the selection of the Bronco Sport’s three-cylinder turbo or four-cylinder petrol engines and each front- and all-wheel-drive choices.

Whereas the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger are the preferred new automobiles bought in Australia – and the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 SUVs within the prime 5 – the thought of a lifestyle-focused ute is nothing new in Australia.

The Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon-based utes turned extra life-style and efficiency oriented as they obtained older, assembly market demand for sensible automobiles that drove extra like a automobile than a truck.

Which implies if the Santa Cruz and Maverick are a success within the US and make their solution to Australia finally, we could possibly be wanting on the subsequent main enlargement marketplace for automobile manufacturers. With passenger automobile gross sales in decline, automobile makers are in search of SUV-based derivatives to fill out the showroom.

There are quite a few potentialities for the main manufacturers available in the market: Toyota might construct a junior HiLux on the RAV4 underpinnings; Mazda may discover incremental gross sales with a CX-5-derived ‘BT-30’; and Subaru has the trump card as a result of it might revive the Brumby nameplate as a Forester-based ute.


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