Hyundai is getting in on the latest off-road craze with what it calls the Tucson “Beast” concept. This gussied-up Hyundai Tucson will appear in the upcoming Uncharted movie, based on the video game series that goes by the same name. But I think Hyundai is being generous with the “Beast” designation, because this is basically a Tucson that Hyundai’s designers bolted an off-road starter pack onto and called it a day.
I mean, it’s fine. The “Beast” is harmless. The wheels are cool. The bumper manages to not swallow up its front end, and the trimmings are there. Snorkel, roof rack, lights. Still needs more fender, though. Maybe a truck bed?
Hyundai admits the Tucson “Beast” is basically a Tucson XRT, which is a “rugged” model for sale in the U.S. that gets off-road styling. The Tucson is available with all-wheel drive with or without the trim, but at least if you buy it you can look ready to conquer any service road? Well, the one in the Uncharted movie gets more kit, but it’s just this mild-mannered crossover under there:
I understand that this is Hyundai trying to sell some Tucsons and that many modern tentpole films are just long commercials, but it’s not like Hyundai didn’t have better cars to draw inspiration from. When Hyundai says they’re unleashing a “Beast,” the first thing that comes to mind is the diesel-powered Santa Fe that went to Antarctica — on a nearly-stock platform, no less!
Or if it wanted to do something distinctive, why not feature the Hyundai Santa Cruz with some upgrades? The Ford Maverick is getting all the attention, with good reason, but the Santa Cruz could’ve easily benefited from the Hyundai and Sony Pictures partnership. Really, we’re overdue for a bonkers Santa Cruz build.
In any case, I hope the Uncharted movie features some beat up, old off-roaders that are more or less in line with the aesthetic and the spirit of the game. Fans of the tomb-raiding action series deserve to see Tom Holland’s Nathan Drake go flying over the windscreen of a Wrangler, or some other weathered, topless 4X4.