Say Hello to the Tasman, Kia's First C-Segment Pickup Truck

Kia Tasman - Teaser 8 photos
Photo: Kia
Kia Tasman - TeaserKia Tasman - TeaserKia Tasman - PrototypeKia Tasman - PrototypeKia Tasman - PrototypeKia Tasman - PrototypeKia Tasman - Prototype
Actually, make that say a first official hello to the Tasman, as Kia has kicked off the teaser campaign and confirmed its name at the same time.
The model was named after Tasmania and the Tasman Sea, with the moniker initially proposed by the brand's Australian arm. After some internal brainstorming, they decided to keep this nameplate, which is said to "encapsulate the spirit of adventure" and "reflect the rugged nature and capabilities" of this upcoming product.

Besides revealing the name of its rugged open-bed model, the Korean automaker has also released a teaser showing a blacksmith creating the Tasman emblem. As for the actual pickup, Kia has refrained from showing it, even as a prototype. However, we have seen it multiple times testing in various environments, so we have a good idea of what it will look like.

When the wraps finally come off, it should reveal a boxy design. The vehicle's face is expected to resemble other fresh products in Kia's modern portfolio, like the Sorento and EV9, complete with a large grille. It is also believed to sport vertical LED taillamps. It will have large side mirrors and a tech-infused cockpit that should likely come with two infotainment systems, the largest of which being reserved for the upper specs and the usual connectivity and safety gizmos.

Kia Tasman \- Prototype
Photo: Baldauf
It won't be an all-show with no extra-go workhorse either, as the Kia Tasman is understood to utilize a body-on-frame construction. The architecture might be the one used on the Mohave/Borrego, so it will be quite potent off the beaten path, aided by the low-range gearbox. The engine family could comprise a 200+ hp 2.2L CRDi diesel and maybe the Sonata N-Line's 290 hp 2.5L mill. Base versions are expected to have two-wheel drive, and the 4x4 system will probably be limited to the more expensive grades.

We originally thought the Tasman would be similar in size to the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150. However, it will take on the likes of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux. But where will it launch? According to Kia, it will be available in Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and in its homeland of Korea. The model will be introduced sometime next year, and that is also when Kia will open the order books.

This is where the official information about it ends, yet on a slightly different note, we will wrap it off by reminding you that the automaker also has a battery-electric pickup in the making, and this one is said to launch in North America. As a result, it will be a rival to the Ford F-150 Lightning, Ram 1500 REV, Chevy Silverado EV, and Tesla Cybertruck, among others. It is expected to be built on the same platform underpinning the EV5, EV9, EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6, and Genesis GV60.
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About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
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After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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