Military spec Kia could be a Land Cruiser rival
The next Kia Mohave could be a full-on Land Cruiser killer.
Kia is best known for elevating Korean vehicle design, but the company has a tougher side to its business.
Since 2001, Kia has been producing military vehicles for the Korean government. It has delivered over 140 000 of these, to the Korean army, with 100 derivatives spread across nine model types.
That experience has never really been leveraged into the company’s civilian vehicles. Which is a shame, as Kia could make good money with a rugged 4×4 station wagon. The kind of vehicle, to compete with Toyota’s all-conquering (and highly profitable) Land Cruiser.
The possibility of Kia transferring some of its military vehicle technology to SUVs that are purchasable at your local dealer could soon become a reality.
Kia has announced a new advance military vehicle project, set to mature in 2024. The Korean military has requested an agile and modular all-terrain tactical vehicle platform and Kia’s engineers are deploying design and prototyping resources to achieve that.
What does this mean for followers of the Korean brand? The probability of a much tougher and more capable range of large Kia SUVs or even bakkies.
Hyundai proved the concept of a Korean Land Cruiser rival, many years ago, with its Terracan. Although Kia never produced a platform twin of the Terracan, its original Sorento had a low-range transfer case.
The possibility of military-grade suspension, traction control systems and robust drivetrain components being integrated into a large Kia exploration vehicle, will trigger the interest of many.
A likely candidate to benefit from the new military vehicle development budget at Kia, is its Mohave large SUV. It has the proportions and size to rival Toyota’s Land Cruiser.
Unlike many other large luxury SUVs, the Mohave retains a traditional body-on-frame design, allowing for platform flex in technical off-road terrain. And superior platform durability, when driven for huge mileages in harsh conditions.
The body on frame design could also be leveraged for its upcoming bakkie, which it will share with Hyundai.