Kia Pickup Truck Teaser Video Hints At Tasman Name

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Kia has expanded its lineup with a plethora of models but there’s still a glaring omission in its ever-growing portfolio – a global pickup truck. The gap will be addressed soon judging by a teaser video for the new workhorse. Oddly enough, we don’t get to see the truck at all since the action takes place inside a bar somewhere in Australia.

Featuring numerous Aussie sporting legends, the video is chock-full of subtle hints the Kia truck will go by the “Tasman” moniker. For example, the name appears in a newspaper article while a dart shot at a map ends on the Tasman Sea. The clip ends by partially showing the name of the bar – presumably Hotel Tasman. Until the name is officially announced, the company simply calls it a ute and “the most Australian Kia ever developed.”

Internally codenamed “TK,” the new utilitarian vehicle from Kia will be a true truck by featuring a body-on-frame platform rather than using a unibody construction like the Hyundai Santa Cruz. It’s believed to have a maximum payload capacity of about 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds) and a towing capacity of 3,500 kg (7,716 lbs) thanks to a turbodiesel 2.2-liter engine. The oil-burner will reportedly route power to the wheels via manual and automatic transmissions.

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Reports from Australia state the Tasman will come in both 4×2 and 4×4 configurations as well as in single cab, double cab, and cab chassis flavors. A spy video showed switches for 2H, 4H, 4L modes, meaning it’ll have selectable two-wheel drive and a low-range four-wheel drive. That test vehicle had 17-inch wheels with Kumho Crugen 265/65 R17 tires. Expect an independent front suspension, rear leaf springs, a locking rear differential, and a wading depth of 800 mm (31.4 in).

As to why the company decided to focus on Australia to kick off the teaser campaign, it’s likely because the Tasman is being developed by an engineering team led by Kia Australia. The new ute will go up against the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, which were the two best-selling vehicles overall last year in the Land Down Under. The Tasman will also bring the fight to the Isuzu D-Max, the third most popular model in Australia in 2023.

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Aside from Australia, the Tasman will also be sold in the Middle East and South Africa. We haven’t heard anything about a potential launch in the United States. It’s worth noting Kia has promised to launch two electric trucks by 2027, including a “dedicated” model presumably on a bespoke EV platform.

A “strategic” pickup tailored to emerging markets has also been confirmed and is likely to adapt underpinnings from a vehicle powered by combustion engines. Perhaps the strategic truck is the Tasman? The latter has been in development since 2020 and will be unveiled later this year before going on sale in 2025. Australians can already express their interest on the firm’s regional website, so the premiere should take place in the coming months.

The Tasman won’t be Kia’s only ladder-frame model since the South Korean marque is still selling the Mohave (aka Borrego). It also won’t be its only pickup considering the Bongo truck remains available, complete with an electric version.

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