Although Kia pickups have been discussed for many years, the South Korean automaker didn’t officially announce intentions to introduce two electric pickups by 2027 until March 2022. We’re about to see one of these utes for the first time. During the EV Day held in South Korea, Karim Habib, the company’s design manager, informed the Australian magazine Carsales that a teaser is about to come: “I think you’ll get a peek pretty soon.”
The Kia truck, which is rumoured to be called “Tasman” based on a trademark file, would probably use the same design language as the EV3 and EV5 crossovers debuted this week during the EV Day. “Our role,” Habib remarked as designers is to serve the brand and serve customers. We design products for people to use… within the framework of our brand. So design has to have those attributes and that automatically creates a family look.”
2020 Kia Mohave
Although spy photos from Korea appeared to show a pickup with a front fascia modelled by the Mohave, that vehicle was likely a test mule lacking the final production body. Habib’s statement suggests that the new truck will draw influence from current EVs. According to sources, the first of the two trucks won’t be electric-only and will have a double cab design. In actuality, a diesel version is expected to debut first, followed by a zero-emission version.
The Tasman is anticipated to be a harder, four-wheel-drive truck than the Hyundai Santa Cruz thanks to its unibody design. It will reportedly have a 3,500 kg (7,716 lb) tow rating and a payload capacity of over 1,000 kg (2,204) pounds. This first truck is most likely the “strategic” pickup that Kia showed in March 2022 along with plans for a “dedicated” vehicle. According to logic, the latter will only be sold as an EV.
The truck is expected to make its debut somewhere in 2024, according to a spokesman for the local Kia business who spoke with Australia’s Drive magazine in August. According to reports, production will begin in South Korea at home in 2025, with dealers to get the first pickups from the middle of that year.
The Tasman, code-named TK, is rumoured to come in a variety of versions, from a basic utilitarian model to a potential performance edition that might compete with the Ford Ranger Raptor. According to estimates, work on the project began in 2020, and Kia Australia is heavily involved in the engineering phase.
Given that the Bongo is still offered in South Korea, the Tasman theoretically won’t be Kia’s only pickup truck. The fourth-generation model was introduced in 2005, underwent a redesign in 2014, and in 2020 an electric vehicle (EV) option was added to the lineup.