At this point, many people are aware that Kia Motors is working on not one but two new all-electric pickup trucks. The South Korean brand's entry into the ute segment may not come as a surprise, especially after Hyundai launched the Santa Cruz in 2021.
While Kia spoke of building battery-electric pickups during its 2022 Investor Day, reports have now emerged that at least one of those models could come with a diesel powertrain option.
The reports indicate that it's the mid-size truck that's getting the diesel treatment, meaning the model could go up against the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara, Mazda BT-50, and others.
Kia is allegedly exploring a body-on-frame architecture with several powertrain options for the new mid-size pickup. The automaker could also use an internal combustion engine platform for the vehicle before adapting it to fit an electric powertrain. The concept image used here is expertly rendered by KooKiSung Studio.
This move would allow Kia to appease diesel fans in emerging markets, including South Africa and Southeast Asia. It would also let Kia establish a new model that could become relatively simple to introduce as a fully-fledged electric vehicle (EV) down the line. So, if the reports prove true, it may not be out of the question for Kia Philippines to bring in an appealing pickup truck like this one.
Be that as it may, we still don’t know when the new model will launch globally—though Kia says the electric versions could come as late as 2027. The diesel version could come sooner, but there’s no confirmation of that so far.
Kia has also yet to launch an EV in the country, but its management has assured us in the past that things will change soon. Could launching this upcoming mid-size pickup truck pave the way for the first Kia EV in the Philippines? Only time will tell, but the brand could still go any number of routes in its quest for electrification. Kia also has the EV9 in the pipeline. That's another exciting model to watch. For now, though, diesel engines are still king in many markets, and Kia just might get the best of both worlds with its new truck.