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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

New leaked info claims Kia’s Hilux rival debuting in 2025

Body-on-frame bakkie will be a double cab and reportedly, has been benchmarked against the Hilux and Ford Ranger.

A long awaited entrant into the global bakkie market that hasn’t attracted much attention since being spied for the first time in January, a fresh pair of reports from Australia has shed new light on Kia’s incoming new body-on-frame bakkie.

First mentioned as far back as 2019, the automaker’s direct rival for the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, Volkswagen Amarok, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara and Mazda BT-50 has been shrouded in secrecy ever since initial sighting occurred in November last year.

No more hiding

Described as a “sensitive topic” within Kia ever since the emergence of rumours pertaining to its production possibly happening, previously believed reports of it debuting in 2022 and subsequently this year have fallen by the wayside as evident by the depicted prototype’s heavy disguise.

ALSO READ: Incoming new Kia bakkie spied again in clearest form yet

“We still haven’t got a clear direction on what’s going to happen with LCV, that’s the honest truth. We would hope that in the next couple of years that something does occur with LCV for our brand, not just for Australia but globally,” Kia Australia’s Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith was quoted back in 2021 as saying by carsguide.com.au.

“I haven’t changed my view on that. It’s up to Korea HQ. We haven’t been given any validation that it’s going ahead at this point. (But) 2022 is… unless they’re hiding things from us, it’s not going to happen.”

According to newly uncovered details by Australia’s carexpert.com.au though, an apparent leaked dealer bulletin has revealed first details of the incoming model known internally as the TK.

Long awaited Kia bakkie set for apparent 2025 reveal
Lettering on the grille makes its clear. Image: kia_club_official

Hilux and Ranger within range

Set to became a reality in 2025, the leaked document states that the TK has been optimised “for developing markets”, that it had has been benchmarked against the Hilux and Ranger, will reportedly be a double cab bakkie and derive motivation from a turbodiesel engine.

The publication goes further by the quoting the report as saying that the TK will “achieve towing capacity and payload targets”, meaning a likely 3 500 kg tow rating and a payload of just under 1 000 kg.

In a related report, drive.com.au, who got hold of the same document, remarks that dealers are expected to be presented with a “genuine and serious rival” to the Hilux and Ranger come 2025.

Long awaited Kia bakkie set for apparent 2025 reveal
Captured last year, the heavily disguised prototype sported a look similar to the Tesla Cybertruck. Image: bobaedream.co.kr.

Mohave bakkie?

Unlike sister brand Hyundai’ Santa Cruz sold in the United States, the TK’s mentioned ladder-frame chassis is expected to be come from the Mohave SUV sold South Korea, while its confirmed diesel engines could be offered in two guises; the familiar 2.2 used in the Carnival and Sorento, and the Mohave’s 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 that develops 191kW/560Nm.

For now, no other details are known, though chances are that more sightings will become frequent throughout the rest of the year and into 2024, before the commencing of sales in 2025.

South Africa interested

Equally well known is Kia South Africa’s interest in the TK after CEO Gary Scott told The Citizen at the launch of the Seltos three years ago that “if it becomes available in the global line-up, it will come to South Africa whichever one it is. It has been on the five-year plan for about 20 years [and] it is being looked at very carefully”.

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