Kia Developing Body-On-Frame SUV to Challenge Land Cruiser

Kia's full-size all-terrain vehicle will target customers from Australia and Russia.

Kia-Hyundai is working on a new body-on-frame SUV that will challenge the Toyota Land Cruiser. The future all-terrain vehicle will have a design in the Telluride style and will receive a new ladder-type frame and an all-wheel drive transmission with a downshift and mechanical differential locks.

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Kia Australia's head of marketing Roland Rivero admits that while the company already has big SUVs like the Sorento and Telluride in its line-up, none of these vehicles can offer traction and off-road capabilities as that of the Toyota Land Cruiser family.

The specialist stresses that “it would be nice to expand the Kia model range with a ladder-frame SUV,” but he declines to elaborate.

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According to insiders, the future all-terrain vehicle will be distinguished by a solid ground clearance, the presence of a transfer case and mechanical differential locks. It will also be able to tow a trailer weighing at least 3,000 kg. Probably, Kia's AWD SUV with a ladder frame will be the successor to the Mohave, which has been produced without upgrading since 2008.

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There is no doubt that the future Kia SUV will be equipped with a new 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo diesel unit (278 hp and 588 Nm). The powertrain, which debuted on the Genesis GV80, is more powerful, heavy-duty and eco-friendly than a 2.8-liter turbo diesel Toyota 1GD-FTV.

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Since the Kia Mohave experienced a second facelift only last year, the SUV will not have a successor in the next two years. According to Australian journalists, Kia's new SUV will be released in 2023, and the key markets for the model will be Australia, the Middle East and Russia.

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