Kia is hungry for blood and developing new vehicles for war. While that will surely be bad news for the enemies of South Korea and its allies, it could also mean good news for anyone hoping for more off-road capable SUVs and light trucks in America.
The new ATV military vehicle is so-far unnamed, but it will be built on the chassis of the Korean-market Kia Mohave SUV, which itself is an extension of the ill-fated U.S. 2009 Kia Borrego SUV. Kia is also developing 2.5- and 5-ton 7.0-liter diesel trucks for the South Korean military as well.
While U.S. boys and girls likely won’t be charging a battlefield in a Kia anytime soon — General Motors still has that covered for us — Kia is getting in on the war games for the South Korean government, and it’s already promising that its lesson learned in war will be applied directly to your family van.
Kia pointed out the lessons it learns from developing the ATV will help it improve the durability of its civilian models. Better yet, the yet-unnamed truck will spawn variants for different industries, including the industrial and leisure sectors. While nothing is official yet, the lucrative leisure segment’s gravitational pull is what transformed the Humvee into the Hummer, and what turned the BXD10 into the BXD20, which was also called Mega Cruiser and sold in tiny numbers during the 1990s.
Much of the coverage of this news is about how similar Kia’s new All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) prototype looks to GM Defense’s recently-revealed Hummer replacement based on the Chevy Colorado ZR2. They look similar because South Korea is an ally and has basically exactly the same requirements, which results in two extremely similar vehicles. The reason you can’t tell them apart with Chevy and Kia badges is because those companies aren’t stupid and don’t want the corporate grille in the background of war crimes videos.
As far as this potentially spawning some new vehicles for Kia, offering a Borrego with some serious off-roading potential in the vein of the quality introduction of the Kia Telluride 7-seater in a world of Wranglers and Broncos doesn’t sound like a bad idea. So far the vehicles are just renderings and actively in development, with the first prototypes set to start testing next year and go into service by mid-decade.