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Kia Challenges Ford and Toyota with New Tasman Pickup Truck

theguru Views  

Kia’s first-ever pickup truck, the Tasman, has been spotted in North America following sightings in Australia. It appears to be undergoing final performance checks before its global debut next year.

According to overseas test car reviewer KindelAuto, on the 23rd, Kia recently conducted a road test of the Tasman in North America. The test was done on a prototype with camouflage, not a test mule (a production vehicle used for driving tests). It seems to be amid final performance checks ahead of its global debut.

The fact that tests are conducted in North America is particularly noteworthy. Kia has previously announced plans to sequentially launch the Tasman in global markets, including South Korea, Australia, and the Middle East, starting next year. Still, there has been no mention of a release in North America. It appears that they will respond strategically, considering future market conditions. The Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger are considered potential competitors in the North American market.

The Tasman is Kia’s first pickup truck since the 1970s. It is known to have been developed based on the midsize SUV Mohave. Production will be handled by Autoland Hwaseong in Gyeonggi Province. Kia plans to shut down lines 1 and 2 at Autoland Hwaseong for up to four weeks, from late July to mid-August, to carry out facility work.

Although the overall design is complex to confirm due to the camouflage, the Tasman prototype stands out with its robust style. A large square radiator grill and a front end with vertical patterns feature square design headlamps with daytime running lights (DRL) and vertical LED lamp configurations of Starmap signature lighting applied to the inner graphics.

The side view features a typical frame-body pickup truck silhouette. It boasts a high ground clearance for off-road driving, creating a majestic atmosphere. The rear is mainly covered, making it hard to predict, but it is expected to have dynamic and robust styling with vertical tail lamps and the latest Kia design language applied.

Kia plans to release a double-cab and a single-cab version with only front seats. Various versions, including a five-seater and six-seater double cab and a two-seater and three-seater single cab, are known to be under development. As for the powertrain, they plan to introduce models with internal combustion engines equipped with gasoline and diesel engines and then sequentially release electric pickups later. The gasoline engine will be fitted with a 2.5-liter gasoline turbo, and the diesel engine will be equipped with a 2.2-liter diesel engine.

Meanwhile, Kia unveiled a camouflage model dedicated to the Tasman today. The camouflaged model, developed under the theme “The Paths Never Taken,” resulted from a collaboration with Australian/New Zealand artist Richard Boyd Dunlop. It is said to be designed inspired by the wild beauty of the Australian landscape.

theguru
content@viewusglobal.com

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