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Kia ute: Vendor leak reveals particulars about Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux rival

The primary particulars in regards to the hotly-anticipated Kia dual-cab ute are right here.

CarExpert has obtained details about what is going to energy the ute, when it would launch, and which autos Kia is concentrating on, with Australian sellers briefed in regards to the upcoming mannequin this week.

Listed below are the headline particulars:

  • The ute is understood internally as “TK”
  • Kia engineers have used Australia as a check mattress for the ute
  • It’s been benchmarked towards the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux
  • Energy will come from a diesel engine
  • It’s because of arrive in Australia in 2025

Identified internally as TK, the brand new dual-cab ute will plug an enormous hole within the model’s Australian line-up, and has the potential to spice up Kia to new heights on the gross sales charts – probably overtaking Mazda within the race for second place, behind market chief Toyota.

“Kia is presently growing a future pickup truck mannequin that will probably be extremely succesful and match for function. Further particulars will probably be confirmed in the end,” a Kia spokesperson mentioned when questioned in regards to the ute.

After drip-feeds from executives, and an early prototype based mostly on the Korean-market Mohave ladder-frame SUV being noticed in South Korea, these are our first particulars on what might be the model’s most necessary new launch but.

What to anticipate? Learn on to search out out.

What’s it?

The Kia ute – recognized internally as TK – is one in all two upcoming pickup vehicles coming from the model, seemingly the car known as “strategic mannequin for rising markets” by firm executives final yr. The opposite will probably be a devoted electrical ute.

TK is simply the inner codename at this stage, and the brand new ute will little question acquire a correct title when it launches within the coming years.

In response to sellers briefed on the car, Kia has been benchmarking the TK towards the segment-leading Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux to “obtain towing capability and payload targets”.

That signifies Kia is working to make sure the TK meets the anticipated capabilities of a dual-cab ute in Australia, which means a braked towing capability of 3500kg and a payload across the 1000kg mark relying on variant.

It additionally guidelines out the ute being a Kia-badged model of the softer, car-based Hyundai Santa Cruz provided in North America.

When is the Kia ute coming to Australia?

A manufacturing model of the Kia ute will probably be arriving in 2025, 5 years after its growth started.

In response to leaked supplier data, engineers from Kia head workplace have been flown to Australia “on a number of events” to expertise opponents and native circumstances, so you possibly can count on the ute to be well-tailored to our roads.

The ute phase in Australia might look totally different by 2025 – Ford has confirmed a Ranger plug-in hybrid is launching in Europe in 2024, and it might be coming right here, whereas the subsequent Toyota HiLux is due across the identical time seemingly based mostly on the identical TNGA-F structure underpinning the LandCruiser, probably with hybrid and all-electric choices.

Past that, a brand new Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara are on the horizon based mostly on widespread underpinnings. Mitsubishi can also be engaged on an electrical ute to sit down alongside the Triton, although it’s unclear whether or not that is coming to Australia.

China may also be within the combine, with GWM set to launch the Shanhai Cannon with diesel and hybrid choices earlier than the tip of 2023, whereas the even bigger King Kong Cannon is into account for the Australian market.

What engine will energy the Kia TK ute?

Based mostly on the leaked data, CarExpert can verify the manufacturing model of the Kia ute will probably be powered by a diesel engine, although particulars round capability and cylinder depend are nonetheless unknown.

The actual fact a Kia Mohave SUV was used as a base for the prototype might supply some clues, nevertheless.

In Korea, the Mohave is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine growing 189kW and 560Nm – the latter from 1500 to 3000rpm. For reference, the three.0-litre V6 diesel within the Ranger and Amarok develops 184kW and 600Nm.

The Mohave presents four-wheel drive with digital low-range and a variety of terrain modes very similar to Kia’s different SUVs. An eight-speed auto is customary.

Kia has homologated its newest 3.0-litre diesel to Euro 6 requirements, aligning it with emissions laws seemingly coming to Australia quickly, and presently in drive in different markets around the globe. Few utes are presently EU6 licensed in Australia.

We might see Kia supply a number of engines to hit totally different worth factors and regional calls for, with the model’s 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel one other potential starter.

A business model of this engine presently does service within the Hyundai Staria van, making 130kW/430Nm and teamed with an eight-speed computerized transmission. Within the Staria it will get customary all-wheel drive, nevertheless it’s unclear whether or not Kia will persist with this drivetrain or develop a extra rugged 4WD system akin to the Mohave’s.

How a lot will the Kia ute tow?

As famous earlier, the point out of the Ranger and HiLux getting used as benchmarks signifies Kia is trying to give the TK ute a 3500kg braked towing capability not less than.

It’s understood the Mohave is already able to towing over 3.0 tonnes, so there’s already a strong base there.

The entire Kia ute’s important opponents supply a 3.5-tonne braked towing capability, together with the Ranger, HiLux, D-Max, BT-50, Amarok and Navara.

Presently, the car in Kia’s native line-up with the best towing capability is the Sorento SUV, which might haul as much as 2000kg with a braked trailer.

Keep tuned to CarExpert for the most recent, and inform us your ideas within the feedback!

MORE: Kia ute spied once more with Mohave hyperlinks
MORE: Kia ute snapped testing in South Korea

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