This is what Kia's equivalent to the Hyundai Santa Cruz could look like.
It's no secret that Kia is building a new pickup truck that will compete against the Ford Ranger. Designed as a "ute" for the Australian market, Kia's pickup is expected to utilize a rugged ladder-frame chassis, a one-ton payload and a 7,700-pound towing capacity. With the global pandemic continuing to cause disruption in the auto industry, Kia's pickup is unlikely to debut for another two or three years. But what if Kia developed a softer pickup combining elements of a crossover SUV?
Since Hyundai is developing the compact Santa Cruz, we think there's a good chance Kia will develop its own small pickup to complement it.
And as these renders by Autocar New Zealand show, a lifestyle Kia pickup truck would look great if it adopted styling inspired by the Stinger.
Hyundai's Santa Cruz pickup is expected to ride on the Tucson's unibody platform and go on sale for the 2021 model year as a smaller alternative to the Honda Ridgeline. While you would expect a Kia pickup truck to share design cues with other SUVs in the Korean automaker's lineup, Autocar's render artists have added styling cues from the Stinger. In terms of proportions, the hypothetical Kia compact pickup is similar in size to prototypes of the Hyundai Santa Cruz that have been caught undergoing testing and has been blended with details found on the Stinger.
The Stinger's side vent is repositioned above the front fender to accommodate for the truck's shorter dash-to-axle ratio and the Stinger's entire front fascia has been carried over. If it went on sale in the US, Kia could have a formidable rival to the Honda Ridgeline and the upcoming Ford Maverick upcoming pickup. Outside of the US, it could also compete with the recently unveiled Ram 700.
In Australia, coupe utility vehicles like the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore used to be popular, but these models have been discontinued. This hasn't stopped the artists depicting the Kia Stinger as a coupe ute. Sadly, the chances of this creation entering production are practically zero, but it's still fun to imagine what it could look like it if it was given the green light.