Let’s make a couple of things clear from the outset.
No, this is technically not a ‘convertible’ Santa Fe from Hyundai, as the roof has been lopped off completely.
And no, there will not be a production run, as this particular crossover was a one-off example designed specifically for an advertising campaign.
Indeed, this ‘chopped’ model had been destined to hit the crusher, but was given a temporary lease on life when Australian publication Car Advice, after no little amount of finagling, took the one-off for a spin on closed roads.
If nothing else, the, ahem, ‘convertible’ offers another headline-grabbing opportunity to showcase the new Santa Fe’s striking, aggressive front end design, as well as its emphasis on more cabin space and driver-assistance technology heading into 2019.
As you’d expect, the one-off model also features the same four-cylinder engine that will power the Sante Fe when it starts hitting showrooms.
Two options of said unit are available, including a 185-hp 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated example; and its 235-hp 2.0-litre turbocharged equivalent, both of which will be mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that sends power and torque – 178 lb-ft and 260 lb-ft, respectively – to all four wheels.
With the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet now off the table, fans of open-top SUVs are pretty much left with two options: a Range Rover Evoque convertible that will take $40,000 to $50,000 from your wallet; or a base-level $30K Santa Fe you don’t mind taking an angle grinder to. Decisions, decisions…