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New Hyundai Santa Cruz 2021: Twin four-cylinder engines and everything else we know so far - including why the Korean baby ute could still come to Australia

The Hyundai Santa Cruz imagined by Brazil-based graphic artist Kleber Silva.

Unofficial details have begun to emerge about Hyundai's new Santa Cruz baby ute, with international reports suggesting the double-cab pick-up will be offered with a choice of diesel or petrol engines, and in 4WD only.

Just to be clear, this isn't Hyundai's also-confirmed workhorse ute - the one that will do battle with the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Mitsubishi Triton, VW Amarok and Nissan Navara - though sister brand Kia has confirmed "work has begun" on that project, too. 

No, this is the Santa Fe-based "lifestyle" ute first revealed in concept form some five years ago, and that will finally go into production in the USA next year. 

While Hyundai is yet to officially confirm details of the Santa Cruz, other than the fact it will be built from 2021 in Alabama in the USA, American media outlets have begun unearthing key information about the Korean brand's first ute offering.

According to Car And Driver, the Santa Cruz will arrive with a choice between a 2.4-litre petrol and turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol, both borrowed from the US-spec Santa Fe and both paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to all four wheels

If those estimates prove correct, the Santa Cruz would deliver some 137kW and 241Nm in 2.4-litre guise, and a considerable 175kW and 352Nm with the 2.0-litre turbo engine. Not Ranger Raptor levels of grunt, sure, but also not insignificant for a vehicle of this size. 

Speaking of size, Hyundai is yet to confirm official dimensions, but the spy pics we've seen of the Santa Cruz undergoing winter testing to appear to show it has grown a little from its concept form.

When it was first revealed, the pint-sized pick-up was a kind of 2.5 door, but recent testing pics show the ute is now a proper four-door double cab, and will be offered with a single tray size. 

Now, onto Australia. While Hyundai is far from confirming the Santa Cruz will arrive down under, it has confirmed - as recently as November last year - that the new ute is now "under study" for our market. That marks a change from earlier comments, with the brand having previously - and comprehensively - ruled it out for our market. 

So will the Santa Cruz make its Australian debut? We'll have to wait and see. But it's no secret, and also unsurprising, that the brand has its sights more firmly set on the company's upcoming HiLux and Ranger rival.