Kia has a dual-cab ute coming, codenamed TK and expected in Australia around 2025, and we can now reveal the ‘non-negotiable’ items Kia Australia has injected into the program ahead of the vehicle’s launch.
Speaking with CarExpert at a recent media event, Roland Rivero, general manager for product planning at Kia Australia, said that there were three key items that were non-negotiable for the team.
“A lot of work has begun already around 12-18 months ago. So it’s been a very extensive program. And we welcome it because with a lot of product Australia has never been brought in this early in the development piece,” said Mr Rivero.
“So definitely from Kia’s perspective, Australia is a major market, an important market that they need to talk to and listen to with respect to the development of this product.
“We laid out to HQ [Kia global product development] some of the non-negotiables….they were 3500kg braked towing capacity, over 1000kg payload and a five-star ANCAP rating.”
At this stage we know the ute will be diesel-only, at least for the Australian market. A petrol version will be sold in other markets, but is unlikely to make it to Australia.
For Kia’s ute to properly compete it’ll need to have at least 470Nm of torque given the latest entrant, the Mitsubishi Triton sits at the lower end of the band in comparison to the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux, both of which sport a 500Nm four-cylinder diesel powertrain.
A V6 would also be a nice to have, given Ford and Volkswagen are currently the only brands to offer a V6 diesel option to dual-cab ute buyers in this segment.
There are a couple of six-cylinder diesel engines within the Hyundai Motor Group: a 3.0-litre V6 with 189kW and 560Nm used in the Korean-market Kia Mohave, and the Genesis GV80’s 3.0-litre inline-six with 204kW and 588Nm.
One of Kia’s focal points for this product is the fleet market and it’s understood the company is pushing hard to ensure it hits all the touch points required by that market. Things like the seven-year warranty and five-star ANCAP rating will be appealing to large organisations with strict requirements.
Kia is also working on a full electric dual-cab ute that’s expected to also fill the gap required by fleets wanting green work vehicle options.