New Model News

Hyundai confirms Santa Cruz name for new truck, U.S. production location

Hyundai has confirmed that a production version of this Santa Cruz prototype will go intro production soon.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai

The Hyundai Santa Cruz truck will go into production in 2021 at the automaker's Montgomery, Alabama plant, joining the Hyundai Santa Fe, Sonata, and Elantra on the assembly line.

The existence of plans to create a truck for the U.S. market was first show at the 2015 North American International Auto Show when the Santa Cruz concept was revealed.

But, is the Santa Cruz really going to be a truck? In a press release Hyundai called the model a "compact utility vehicle" for people that "need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed." Hyundai says that the vehicle "creates a whole new segment" but it sounds a lot like the description that could be used to refer to the Subaru Baja.

2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz back 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Hyundai's description of the truck has it sounding a lot like a Subaru Baja.Photo courtesy of Hyundai

This description fits with what information Hyundai engineers have let slip out over the years saying that they were working on a truck that would be more for coastal Californians who need something to throw a surf board in the back of rather than farmers in the midwest looking for a truck to haul hay around in.

To accommodate the new vehicle production, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) will get a $410 million expansion that includes additional space in the stamping, welding and parts processing areas of the complex.

"Bringing the Santa Cruz to HMMA demonstrates that Hyundai Motor Company is confident our more than 3,000 Team Members are ready to build a quality crossover for the U.S. market," said Byungjin Jin, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

HMMA will add 200 jobs and local suppliers are projected to add an additional 1,000 jobs to support the plant expansion and Santa Cruz production.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Aston Martin's first SUV is finally ready for the public.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

It may have seemed like the last four months were a slow slog, but four years has flown by since Aston Martin announced its investment in a new manufacturing facility inn St. Athan, Wales. The first Aston Martin DBX, the company's inaugural SUV, was the first model off the line - something that will be an answer to a trivia question one day.

The virtual development of the model started in 2015 with physical testing commencing in Wales in 2018. The car was officially unveiled during festivities in Beverly Hills surrounding the L.A. Auto Show last year.

Aston Martin DBX production

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

Aston Martin has given the DBX the soul of a sports car. The DBX transforms the luxury and design of the DBS, DB11, and Vantage into the new all-wheel drive mold.

The clean sheet design uses bonded aluminum and a new Aston Martin platform to create the SUV, which has a curb weight just under 5,000 pounds. The structure allows the cabin to be roomy, with class-leading interior space.

The DBX is Aston Martin's first five-seater. It boasts class-leading headroom and legroom. Five adults fit in the SUV with enough rear legroom for taller individuals to feel comfortable even with the front seats all the way back. Seats are outfitted in full-grain leather while the headliner is available in Alcantara leather.

The luxury automaker has given the car a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that turns out 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paried with a nine-speed automatic transmission and comes with a rear limited slip differential. The DBX can get from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 181 mph.

Aston Martin boasts that the model will have around 20-inches of water fording ability and enough off-road prowess to satisfy most customers.

Aston Martin has evolved its center console. In the center of the dashboard is a 10.25-inch infotainment screen while a 12.3-inch screen sits in front of the driver.

Apple CarPlay, a 360-degree camera system, and 64-color ambient lighting in two zones come standard.

A number of accessory packages are available to enhance the DBX.

U.S. buyers can get their DBX for $189,900. Enhancements and customization is extra. Orders are currently being accepted and the first delivers will begin later this year.

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The Nikola Badger will debut with a tap for drinking water.

Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

When it comes to emissions, there's little that beats the cleanliness of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Though it has a mineral-rich battery pack, the model is fueled by hydrogen. The only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water vapor.

That water vapor can either be absorbed into the atmosphere or, in the case of the Nikola Badger, become part of a drinking fountain system, as reveled in a tweet earlier this week.

Take a look at the back end of the Badger. That's right, you will be able to tap that.

Nikola Badger The Nikola Badger can be reserved online today.Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

A recent tweet from Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton promised that a drinking fountain would be in the truck. Inn fact, the company had already narrowed it down to two designs and chosen the winner.

A hot a cold tap are promised, with safeguards to prevent accidental emissions and splashing.

Aside from the engineering, the question about the safety of drinking the water is a valid one. There are technologies, including hydropanels, that capture water vapor and turn it into drinking water. Other technologies, like Akvo AWGs, do similar things via a different, multi-step process.

Toyota does not recommend drinking the water vapor from its hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai, however Hyundai touts the ability to do so, even going so far as to creating a publicity stunt wherein Olympic swimmer Mireia Belmonte ran on a treadmill inside a plastic bubble while the Nexo's tailpipe was hooked up pumping in emissions.

Hyundai Nexo y Mireia Belmonte 30" www.youtube.com

The engineering behind taking the emitted water vapor from the truck's tailpipe to a drinking fountain has yet to be seen. A prototype of the Nikola Badger has yet to be seen by the public despite the fact that top-tier reservations for the model have already sold out.

The Nikola Badger is slated to debut later this year as part of the festivities surrounding Nikola World.

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