Continues to Study Pickup for U.S. Buyers
By: Mike Levine Posted:
05-04-07 18:17 PT
© 2007 PickupTruck.com, Illustration ©
2006 Mark Stehrenberger Design Studios
recent news after South Korea signed a free trade agreement with the
United States, Hyundai is contemplating using its new 'BH' rear wheel
drive platform for a lot more than sedans, coupes, and sports cars.
new chassis opens up new doors. We're considering using it to build
a pickup," says Miles Johnson, a Hyundai product public relations
'BH' architecture was highlighted by Hyundai during the 2007 New York
Auto Show. It served as the foundation for the Concept Genesis
full-size luxury sedan, which was also powered by Hyundai's all-new
DOHC 32-valve 4.6-liter 'Tau' V8 engine.
Genesis was a look at our new flexible architecture. It's scalable.
And a rear wheel drive, V8 pickup based on it could be something that
we build. We're studying this very closely," says Johnson.
does spawn a pickup, Hyundai would be following Honda's build approach
instead of mimicking truck offerings from General Motors, Ford, Dodge,
Nissan, and Toyota.
Honda Ridgeline uses
a heavily modified, car-based chassis for its underpinnings instead
of traditional body-on-frame construction. The advantage of such a
setup is a more comfortable ride, better handling, and under-box trunk
space, by using an independent rear suspension instead of rear leaf
springs and a solid rear axle. Disadvantages include potential towing
and hauling limitations and the lower ground clearance of a soft-roader.
Honda Ridgeline though, which uses a front-wheel biased, all-wheel-drive
system, the Hyundai's rear-wheel-drive solution could work better
for carrying heavy loads over the rear wheels. The 'BH' platform
is actually more similar to GM's 'Zeta' rear-drive architecture,
which will be used for the 2009 Chevrolet Camaro sports car, 2010 Chevrolet
Impala sedan, and, we've been speculating, could lead to the return
of the Chevrolet
isn't the only thing that's flexible, so is the 'Tau' V8. Hyundai says
the new eight cylinder motor can produce well over 300-horsepower in
its current form and Johnson adds, "We can increase its displacement
to get more power if we're going to use it in a pickup." A 'Tau'-propelled
pickup would also have two extra cylinders over the Ridgeline's 255-hp
also said that Hyundai is studying offering a compact pickup, not
based on the 'BH' platform. This truck would likely be powered by a
four-cylinder engine and would be front-wheel-drive. Its specs would
be similar to the small
Chevy pickup we recently
gave no indication when a decision would be made regarding either
truck, or where they might be manufactured.