Kia Tasman To Challenge Ford Ranger Raptor With Stinger's Twin-Turbo V6

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The upcoming pickup truck is also set to become a global model from the Korean marque.

Kia recently filed a trademark for the name Tasman, and it appears the brand will be going big with its pickup truck, targeting popular trucks like the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger. But the Korean marque isn't stopping there and is open to challenging a prominent, top-dog midsize truck.

We're talking about the Ford Ranger Raptor, and a Kia official from Australia confirms that the company isn't shying away from making a rival to the V6-powered truck, Drive reports.

"We're exploring all avenues. Kia Australia is committed to this product, as are the other regions around the world that will be getting it. And to achieve that success, you've got to look at all avenues to ensure that it's desirable across all buyer types," said Roland Rivero, Kia Australia product planner.

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Rivero was also asked whether the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 gasoline engine from the now-defunct Kia Stinger is still active. He confirmed that it's "very much so." This mill is one of the candidates to power the Ranger Raptor-rivaling Kia truck, along with the newer and improved 3.5-liter V6 used by Genesis vehicles. However, an official confirmation about the Tasman's powertrain lineup was not given.

To compare, the US-spec Ranger Raptor that debuted in May is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that produces 405 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. Kia's twin-turbocharged V6 in the Stinger produces 368 hp and 376 lb-ft, while the Genesis V6 churns out 375 hp and 391 lb-ft in the G90.

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While the trademark filing for the name Tasman - the sea between Australia and New Zealand - hinted toward the truck being exclusively for that region, Rivero confirmed otherwise in the briefing.

"It is a global product, and the business cases have to come from multiple regions too. All of the business cases come together - Middle East, South Africa, Asia, et cetera - and then it's all bundled together and looked at as a collective business strategy. All of those stars have to align to make a decision about a new product," Rivero said.

The Tasman name is not final, however. Rivero said it's still a placeholder, and the official name is still under discussion.

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