Kia needs to put this premium pickup truck into production.
With Hyundai busy working on a production version of the Santa Cruz truck concept expected to arrive after 2020, it makes sense for Kia to enter the pickup segment with its own version of Hyundai's pickup truck.
This topic was recently raised with Michael Cole, chief operating officer and executive vice president at Kia Motors America, who admitted that "there's enough opportunity" for Kia to build a small pickup truck, but "it's a long way down the road." While we wait for Kia to make a decision, a user on the KiaTellurideForums has created a render to show what Kia's first-ever pickup could potentially look like.
While Hyundai is planning to enter the compact pickup segment with the Santa Cruz, the render artist has envisioned Kia's first pickup as a premium mid-sized truck based on the flagship Telluride SUV to rival the Honda Ridgeline. The potential pickup could use a unibody construction and feature the same all-wheel drive as the Telluride.
To give the pickup truck a more rugged look, the Telluride's copious amounts of chrome has been replaced with dark black plastic on the roof rails, and the artist has added a custom Kia-badged grille. It rides an inch higher than the SUV and would come with 18-inch wheels, slightly flared fenders, and higher-profile all-terrain tires.
If it entered production, the artist predicts that power would be provided by Kia's 3.8-liter V6 engine detuned from 291 hp in the Telluride to 280 hp, while torque would increase from 262 lb-ft to 275 lb-ft. The brand's 8-speed automatic transmission would be offered as standard. While Kia's first pickup truck hasn't been given the green light yet, the artist imagines a Telluride-based pickup to start at around $34,000 and top out at $44,000.