The pickup segment is key to taking over the US.
Conquering the global automotive landscape is no mean feat, but when you have sights squarely on the US market that task becomes even tougher. Why? Because the US market cares little for small city cars that are usually the staple of small European countries. Americans like SUVs, and more than anything Americans love trucks! That's why Hyundai is already building one, having teased the market numerous times before with the Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup to try and whet our appetites. But with Hyundai developing one, it wouldn't be much of a stretch for Kia to build one too, perhaps with styling influenced by the Kia Telluride. After all, the Korean sister brands share platforms, engines, and tech between a number of vehicles, so a co-developed truck platform might be just what Kia needs to extend its growing influence in the States. We've now been given a glimpse as to what that might look like, courtesy of KooKiSung Studio - an automotive renderer on Instagram.
In this solitary render, we get to see what a Kia rival to the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger might look like. It's this midsize segment that Hyundai will be entering too, when the time comes. The render is a bold take on Kia's latest styling, focusing little on smooth lines and instead going for all-out aggression. It gives the render a sense of size more akin to an F-150 (which makes sense since the original photo manipulated for the render is of a Chevrolet Silverado). Across the front is a large take on the tiger-nose grille spanning the whole width of the front end and tying in to LED headlights with signature LED daytime running lights. Both look to have been inspired by the face of the new Kia Cadenza.
If Kia ever entered the pickup game, it's likely the firm's entrant would utilize the same engine as the Hyundai equivalent. We already know the Hyundai truck will derive power from a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel six-cylinder in foreign markets, with Albert Biermann suggesting it can be used in the US too. This is the same engine that debuted in the Genesis GV80 luxury SUV.
The concept of a pickup from Kia isn't completely foreign, and it's worth noting that in 2004, Kia released the KCV4 Mojave Pick-up concept, although this was more of a single-cab ute than a true pickup. Still, the prospect of another entrant in the midsize segment is enticing to us, and this render might hopefully get the big-wigs at Kia thinking.