Off-Roading

Four new videos show off Rivian R1T's off-roading prowess

The Rivian R1T is undergoing final testing in Arizona.

Photo courtesy of Rivian

Four new performance testing videos featuring the Rivian R1T all-electric pickup truck have dropped on YouTube. Three of the videos show a specific area of performance while the last wraps it all up showcasing a trail ride. Whether you're an electric vehicle enthusiast, truck fan, or someone who enjoys the road less traveled (or a combination thereof), there's something for everyone.

The first video hones in on the launch performance of the truck. The R1T, like other electric vehicles, has power at all four wheels, giving it instant torque when the driver presses on the accelerator. The wildly wrapped R1T rapidly gains speed as it heads down a dirt path. Watch the video below.

The second video features the R1T drifting around a series of corners at a controlled facility in the Arizona desert. With the dust kicked up, the effect is dramatic. Late last year, Rivian showcased its model's ability to complete a tank turn. The company has already trademarked the phrases "Tank Steer" and "Tank Turn". You can see the drifting video below.

The third video Rivian posted features an off-roading adventure with the R1T speeding down a desert trail. The drive is a test for the dynamics of the vehicle which will have to compete with the suspension and handling capabilities of traditional trucks like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra, and GMC Sierra when it comes to market. Watch the video below.

Rivian says, "Last weekend, we grabbed our cameras and chased a few engineers around the desert as they put the R1T through its paces." The video shows off trail riding, rock climbing, and some on-track driving. Let's be honest, this one is the most exciting - especially the rick climbing bit. You can watch the full video below.

Rivian is looking to start deliveries of the vehicle in 2021. Production was delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

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The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a new addition to the lineup.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz combines the best-loved features of a truck, wagon, and SUV into one creating what Hyundai calls a "sport adventure vehicle'. The Santa Cruz is focused on delivering a user experience that fits into lifestyles from urban to suburban and beyond, without taking you too far off the beaten path.

The 2022 Santa Cruz has all the hallmarks of a truck - wide stance, powerful engine, and a bed. It also has a trunk, the interior from the Hyundai Tucson, and a bevy of safety and entertainment tech.

Though the front of the Santa Cruz looks like it's from the Tucson, it's merely inspired by it. The exterior of the truck is its own, with no shared Tucson elements (this is as opposed to say, the Subaru Legacy, which shares most of its body with the Subaru Outback). It is longer than the Tucson, is wider, and has a longer wheelbase.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

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Like on the Tucson, the grille of the Santa Crus has headlights hidden in its housing. When illuminated, the headlights offer a wing-like design that can be easily identified in daylight or at night. A skid plate sits at the bottom of the face while muscular shoulders give the truck a sense of proportion that helps make it unique from the Tucson and other Hyundai vehicles.

Designers have given the Santa Cruz available 20-inch alloy wheels with a multi-faceted, triangular design. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard; all wheel options come wrapped in all-season tires. On the over-fenders are purpose-built with designated clamp points where owners can attach GoPro cameras.

The rear bed features watertight trunk storage and a lockable, watertight tonneau cover (available) that is operated via a pull handle. Both can handle the weight of a person. Taillamp are embossed with "Designed in California" denoting the Hyundai design center's roll in the creation of the vehicle. The light of the lamp also features the logo of the design studio.

Hyundai will offer the Santa Cruz with two engine options. it comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that achieves 190+ horsepower and 180+ pound-feet of torque (exact numbers are pending). That engine is paired with an eight-speed hydraulic automatic transmission. Expect to have more powertrain options available soon. The platform is capable of housing an all-electric and fuel-cell propulsion system in addition to internal combustion engine and hybrid variants.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Interior

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

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A 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available. It will get over 275 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Hyundai has paired it with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Versions of the Santa Cruz equipped with this engine also get paddle shifters.

All-wheel drive is available with either engine.

The company truck's 2.5-liter four-cylinder is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds while the turbo-four, when equipped with all-wheel drive, can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Hyundai boasts that the curb-to-curb turning radius is just 20.0 feet, just one foot more than a Ford Mustang.

The interior is straight out of the Tucson, and that's not a bad thing. The two-rows of seating have room for five and under the rear seat is a storage area that can hold groceries and gear still during travel.

Riding the precedent set by the Honda Ridgeline, the Hyundai Santa Cruz brings comfort and convenience to the forefront of its cabin design. There's a standard 8-inch infotainment touch screen (a 10-inch is available) and a 10-inch digital instrument cluster. A premium Bose audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, navigation, and Digital Key are available.

Owners can use their Blue Link app to connect to the vehicle and perform a number of functions including remote start, remote door lock/unlock, and destination search.

Forward collision warning with assist, lane keeping assist, and driver attention warning come standard on the 2022 Santa Cruz. Buyers can upgrade and get blind spot monitoring with assist, safe exit assist, lane centering, 360-degree camera view, and rear cross traffic assist.

Hyundai will back each Santa Crus with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, and a seven-year anti-perforation warranty. Three years/36,000-miles of complementary maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations) is included as well.

Hyundai will produce the truck at its plant in Montgomery, Alabama, adding 1,200 jobs as a result of the addition.

Pricing is TBA. The company will offer reservations for the truck in late April. Deliveries are expected to commence by the end of the year.

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The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is new to the company's lineup.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz has arrived. Half a decade after the Santa Cruz concept was the belle of the ball at the North American International Auto Show, the production version of the truck has shown its face.

It's important that one thing is crystal clear. The 2022 Santa Cruz isn't designed to compete with the Ford F-150. It also isn't a Ford Ranger rival. Ford sees it as competition for its forthcoming Maverick pickup and it's not wrong. But, the Santa Cruz is also expected to compete more against the unexpected.

It's a model that likely appeals to Subaru Crosstrek and Outback owners in the same way that the Subaru Baja did back in the day. It's also one that owners of another Ford, the Bronco Sport, may have their eye on. It's adventure-ready thanks to its all-wheel drive technology and equipment, but not as off-road-ready as a Wrangler.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek The Subaru Crosstrek grew more powerful for the 2021 model year with a fresh engine option. Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Then there's the inevitable comparisons to the Honda Ridgeline. The two have a lot in common, but they're not necessarily for the same crowd though they both have untraditional looks, a trunk in the bed, and SUV-like interiors. That's not a bad thing. SUVs are notoriously more comfortable and tech-forward than trucks, but there's a lot of utility there as well. The Ridgeline is bigger than the Santa Cruz.

Sure, it's easy to look at the Santa Cruz and immediately think that it's just a Tucson wearing a truck suit. You'd be wrong, to an extent. The only shared components between the Tucson and the Santa Cruz are in the cabin. The platform and body of the Santa Cruz has been stretch sideways and lengthened beyond the dimensions of the SUV, and its wheelbase is longer. The grille and shoulders are designed to be more aggressive.

That length is a sweet spot in the automotive market as trucks grow in size. Have you seen a GMC Sierra HD lately? Massive presence! The Santa Cruz has dimensions more like a midsize SUV meaning that it is easy to parallel park and fits into a parking garage with aplomb, which is especially important for urban dwellers and those along the California coast.

202 The GM trucks - GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado - have grown substantially in the last few years, with their heavy-duty versions becoming even larger. Photo courtesy of GMC

The face of the Santa Cruz is the face of the new Tucson. That was the plan all along. The truck was never designed to be bigger or have a grille that is like the Palisade's. That plays into the whole thesis behind the truck's existence to begin with.

It's not meant for the job site, unless your job happens to be as an REI adventure guide. It's not meant to tow your 4x4s around the country, but it can take your surfboard and mountain bike on board. A tent and some luggage? Done. Easily handled.

The biggest thing that the Hyundai Santa Cruz isn't is a sacrifice. It checks many boxes, is obviously the product of a lot of customer research, and is likely to deliver a lot of bang for the buck (pricing isn't available yet).

Instead of trying to define the Santa Cruz, maybe it's time to start taking a look at redefining what it means to be a truck. The GMC Hummer EV would like a word.

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