Kia Australia has been pushing for a ladder-frame SUV and ute for our local market for some time now, with proper off-road capability to compete against the dominant Toyota LandCruiser.
The obvious choice would be to use the Kia Mohave's ladder-frame chassis to develop such models. This idea was all but confirmed recently when The Korean Car Blog spotted a prototype out testing, using a raised Mohave chassis.
"We have been very transparent for a while now about our want to add a large ladder-frame SUV and/or ute to the Australian line-up of Kia vehicles," a Kia spokesperson told CarAdvice.
Meanwhile, Kia announced it was developing its next-generation of military vehicles overnight, with a new all-terrain (ATV) model based on the Mohave's platform.
While not widely known for its military products, the company has produced 140,000 vehicles for the South Korean Army as well as other armed forces. This includes the Kia Light Tactical Vehicle (KLTV), which has more than a passing resemblance to the iconic Humvee used by the US military.
"The developed ATV will not only be deployed for military purposes ... drawing on bare chassis from the robust Kia Mohave SUV," the statement read.
"Kia will continue to grow its reputation as an SUV brand by applying technology and know-how from military vehicle development to improve the durability of its road-going SUVs."
It's thought the four-wheel-drive system and suspension developed for the Mohave-based military ATV could potentially transfer to Kia's LandCruiser rival, giving the SUV/ute legitimate off-road capability.
Having some military development baked into the vehicle could help position the Kia models as compelling alternatives to Toyota. That credibility could help Kia take some market share away from the upcoming 300 Series LandCruiser, expected to be revealed in 2021.
Kia recently announced it would be relaunching the company in January 2021, with a new logo and a number of electric-vehicles designed to position the brand as a more upmarket proposition.
What do you think? Would military credentials help convince you to buy a Kia SUV? Let us know in the comments section.