It appears that the long-rumored Kia pickup truck is finally starting to take shape, with a camouflaged test mule spotted recently in its home market. While it’s not clear from these photos if it’s an early development prototype or a test mule, several body panels are clearly sourced from the Mohave SUV, with the dual-cab truck boasting a healthy amount of ground clearance.
The Kia Mohave is based on a ladder-frame chassis and comes fitted with a 3.0L diesel engine sending power to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. While this configuration sounds perfect for a pickup that could rival the Toyota Hilux and the Ford Ranger, it is not clear if the tester is indeed based on the SUV’s underpinnings. In fact, it could be an EV under disguise.
Test mule of Kia’s upcoming pickup truck
During Kia’s Investor Day held back in May 2022, the South Korean automaker also announced its plans to launch an electric pickup truck. Kia’s president Mr. Ho-sung Song revealed plans to produce specialized electric vehicles in four major markets to expand the electric vehicle volume. Apart from the EV9, which will be built at the Hwaseong plant, some mid-size electric vehicle models will be introduced in China next year, while some entry and mid-size electric vehicles will be produced in India from 2025.
And then, they also announced two pickups, that will use a dedicated EV platform and an internal combustion engine-based architecture, respectively. It is expected that the former will be developed for the North American market and the latter will be developed for the emerging market and use a market-tailored strategy.
This is not the first time we heard about Kia could launch a pickup, many years ago Kia released (in 2004) the KCV-4 or Mohave pickup concept that never reached production. Then in 2021 when Hyundai launched the Santa Cruz pickup, there were rumors regarding Kia launching its own version based on the Santa Cruz, but that is yet to happen either.
Speculative renderings of Mohave-based Kia’s pickup truck
Based on the test mule & blending of the design elements from the Mohave SUV, artists have already started to come up with speculative renderings giving us an idea of how Kia’s pickup truck will look like. Although the final product is expected to be different than these renderings.
Fans of the South Korean brand have been dreaming about a Kia-branded pickup for years, and it looks to be finally happening. Though we will have to be patient until Kia reveals more details about its pickup truck.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com