There are two basic approaches for companies developing a truck in the midsize segment: use a real, body-on-frame chassis, or a unibody type, which for instance is the case with the Honda Ridgeline or the new truck in development at Hyundai.
In the case of Hyundai sister company Kia, the chosen path is the traditional ladder-frame one for the pickup we’ve just learned the Korean automaker is working on. The idea is to take on the likes of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma. Here’s what Damien Meredith, COO of Kia in Australia said to Australian website CarsGuide:
"Work has begun. We're talking about a dual-cab, a single-cab; what we've requested is the full gambit for the ute, and that includes a dual-cab with diesel and petrol options."
- Damien Meredith, COO of Kia in Australia
The executive added that the truck is not meant to be a “lifestyle” vehicle, which tells us pretty clearly what will be the principal role of this vehicle, which is to be built on a new platform.
Other than that confirmation we know very few details about the new Kia truck. It’s expected to be ready to go to market by 2022 or 2023 at the latest. It will be interesting to see the design direction the company takes given that it’s working with a near-blank slate since the company has never ventured into this segment before.
The other big question of course is whether the new model will make its way over to North America. Our first guess is that it won’t. The news after all came from Kia’s division in Australian, where mid-size pickups sell like hotcakes.
Still, when you consider the ambitious and bold nature of the automaker behind the project, we shouldn’t be at all surprised to see a Kia pickup in our market by 2025, say.