Kia has been working on a compact pickup truck for a while now, and trademarks in Australia might have revealed its name.
This could be a more rugged version of the current Hyundai Santa Cruz.
The automaker has yet to confirm if this model will be available in North America.
A recent trademark application in Australia might have revealed the name of the upcoming Kia pickup as Tasman.
This nameplate is a reference to the Tasman Sea that separates Australia and New Zealand, two countries where compact pickups are very popular.
According to Australian publication Carsguide, the Kia Tasman will be available in Double-cab configuration and buyers will be able to choose a diesel engine that could provide competitive towing and hauling capabilities.
The same source also believes there is a possibility that this diesel engine could be a 3.0L inline-six-cylinder unit which is currently found in the Genesis GV80.
In the luxury SUV, this engine delivers 274 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque, which could make the Kia Tasman the most powerful small pickup in Australia.
Kia has yet to say if this model will be offered in the United States and Canada, but if it is, it is likely to be positioned as a more rugged alternative to the current Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Like the Hyundai, a North American version of the Kia Tasman is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder gasoline engine, without the option for a diesel powertrain.
An electric version is also said to be in the cards and could be proposed alongside the combustion-powered versions in the automaker’s lineup.
While Kia clearly focussed its development efforts on Australia and the Asian-Pacific region by sending engineers on study missions over the last few years, the growing competition in the compact to mid-size truck market in the United States and Canada could present an opportunity for the Korean company.
More details will be announced over the coming months since the Kia pickup is expected to launch as a 2025 model.