During SHM Studio visit to Hyundai Motor Group R&D Motor Show held in South Korea, he spotted a mysterious SUV towed by a truck in a parking lot. Taking a closer look the pictures you will find a clear resemblance to Hyundai’s latest Tucson, but if you look further, you should recognize this is not a normal Tucson. Could be in front of Santa Cruz.
Yeah, you’re right, this is a Test Mule. Apparently this could be a Tucson, but if you take a closer look you will find something strange on its body panels and wheel base. This car looks like been refurbished and the stripe on the C-pillar confirmed that this car is using a new and enlarged platform.
According to SHM, who have seen the car & shoot it in real life, the wheelbase seems to have increased about 100mm. Tucson’s wheelbase is 2,675mm, so it’s a test mule for a car with a wheelbase of around 2,775 mm. New Santa Fe wheelbase is 2,765 mm. What kind of vehicle could use this long wheelbase?.
Surprises do not end here, this prototype were also a Hybrid variant of a unknown “GX” codenamed model. At first you should thought this is a test mule of the next-gen Tucson. The Tucson is a mid-size SUV and it is under Santa Fe or Sorento, I’m sure the next gen Tucson will be bigger, but I’m also sure will not equalize bigger brother. However, the next generation Tucson was codenamed as NX4, not GX, so this is another point.
According to the sticker founded attached to the car, “GX”, this is also a HEV (Hybrid) variant. We don’t have clear what the GX is, but it’s not Tucson or Sportage (codenamed as “NQ4”) successor. So thinking about wheelbase increase, we can guess also could be a Santa Fe or Sorento variant (the Santa Fe codenamed is “TM” and the project name of next-gen Sorento is “MQ4”).
So then, there’s only one model that could be under this test mule, and we are pretty sure we are in front of the test mule of Santa Cruz pick-up due to the longer wheelbase, ideal to have a spacious cargo box. Despite this pick-up will use next-gen Tucson base, will kept Santa Cruz name due to give it a higher image (directly from the Santa Fe). In terms of size, this new pick up will compete against Chevrolet Colorado or Toyota Tacoma.
What do you think?