Hyundai ‘watching’ Amarok V6 and Ranger Raptor…

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Hyundai seems to be moving closer to entering the double-cab bakkie market...

It’s no secret that Hyundai is considering bringing a double-cab bakkie to market, but now an executive in Australia has hinted that a high-performance version may well form part of the as-yet unconfirmed range.

Speaking to, Andrew Tuitahi, senior manager of product planning at Hyundai Australia, said that the proposed Korean pick-up’s performance would be a key consideration when executives made a case for production.

“When we feed back [to Hyundai’s global head office in Korea] with key criteria, one of the elements is cabin appointments, another is engine performance,” Tuitahi said.

“What we’ve seen typically is a four-cylinder diesel workhorse, but we’re watching [the Volkswagen] Amarok come with a V6, the [Ford] Ranger Raptor with a 2,7-litre V6 turbo maybe,” he added.

The Korean brand, of course, already has a 3,3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine in its stable, while the automaker’s luxury Genesis arm is apparently working on a high-output diesel mill that may well fit the bill, too.

“Definitely it’s something we’re mindful of and we’ll watch that space and see what customer acceptance is. They’ll be quite pricey and we’ll need to see if people are willing to pay for those performance trucks,” Tuitahi told the Australian publication.

“Right now, big volume is [in the] diesel segment, but when cars like Ranger Raptor come to market it will be interesting. If it’s anything like an F-150 Raptor, it will be very cool,” he added.

Of course, we may be getting ahead of ourselves talking about a high-performance flagship model when the basic bakkie itself – which is a project separate from the upcoming production model set to be based on the Santa Cruz concept – has yet to be signed off.

“There’s a few things that need to take place before we can really be confident in a product coming to market in the next two or three years. So, I think first we need to identify a factory, before we go through more milestones before we build the pick-up,” Tuitahi said.

“As it stands right now we don’t really see a suitable location. Once that’s been finalised then we’ll get through the gates pretty quickly,” he added.