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Kia's Luxurious Mohave / Borrego Will Turn Into Military Open-Top, Humvee-Style

If we look back into history, one thing is for sure – humanity likes combat. That helped it, on occasion, achieve greater standards of life, when it fought poverty, discrimination, hatred, and illness. On the other hand, the modern military aspect of combat is undeniably attractive to many companies – including from the automotive sector.
Kia next-generation military vehicles 4 photos
Kia next-generation military vehiclesKia next-generation military vehiclesKia next-generation military vehicles
We talked just the other day about how GMC’s new Hummer EV has seemingly abandoned all of its war connections from the past, paving the way to glory for GM Defense’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) based on the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

Now it’s time to have a look at another carmaker with ample military connections, as Kia has announced its intention to hold a “critical design review for next-generation military vehicles.” The company’s military strategy will focus on the development of a standardized architecture for 2.5- and 5-ton military vehicles, while an open-top all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is already well under development based on the chassis that underpins the Mohave SUV.

The automaker said it will have prototypes of the mid-size standard vehicle by the end of the year in order to start official Korean government test evaluations sometime in 2021, with a tentative market arrival scheduled for 2024. Money for the project comes not just from Kia itself, but also from the main beneficiary – the Korean military.

Wondering why such a small country needs a large-scale program - well, just keep in mind how many times its neighboring war-mongering North Korea has exhibited its latest military innovations. While the jury is still out if those missiles and other stuff actually work, the South-Korean military most likely doesn’t want to find out on its own skin.

As such, the company is targeting the new 2.5-ton and 5-ton military standard vehicles as replacements for the ones that are already in use, while also developing a completely new series of armored 5-ton models. All of them will pack a host of commercially available elements – from 7.0-liter diesel engines coupled with automatic transmissions to creature comforts such as ABS, Rear Parking Assist, Around View Monitor, or satellite navigation.

Kia aims for a fully modular development process for the new standard platform so it can create further new versions down the line, such as weaponized or highly specialized mods. It’s also very interested in bringing to life a new military all-terrain vehicle – that would be the highly conceptual ATV resembling a futuristic Humvee we see in the gallery.

A prototype of that vehicle will be prepared for early 2021, and the strategy envisions a range of other usage scenarios – such as the industrial field, or for the leisure sector. It will be developed starting from the bare chassis of the Mohave / Borrego SUV, and Kia is also looking into applying its advanced autonomous or fuel cell technology to the military sector in the near future.

press release

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