Kia is making a rad, production-based light military vehicle too, y’know – Roadshow

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Kia’s military vehicle program is way bigger than I’d ever have thought.


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It’s fair to say that, when most people think of Kia, the picture that comes to mind isn’t a badass military vehicle that’s designed to carry troops into battle over any terrain. Yet, that’s just what the company is doing in cooperation with the Korean army, because why let GM and the US have all the fun?

Yep, it’s basically Korea’s version of the HMMWV (aka Humvee), and it’s based on the Kia Mojave, a vehicle you probably know better as the Kia Borrego. The whole thing is totally mind-blowing, but what’s even more surprising is that Kia has been making military vehicles for years, with nine different models and over 140,000 examples sold to militaries worldwide.

The concept for this vehicle was known as the KLTV or Kia Light Tactical Vehicle, and it looked more or less the same as the production one. What sets this apart from many other light military vehicles is the decision to include modern driver aids like traction control, antilock brakes, a surround-view camera and parking assist. 

The prototype versions will be hitting Korean roads pretty soon, with plans to get the final production version into the South Korean military’s hands sometime after that. There are also plans to sell it to industrial and leisure customers — though what the latter means, exactly, I’m not sure.

Kia is also introducing some much heavier-duty trucks — 5-ton trucks, to be exact — that will also get loads of driver-assistance tech, 7.0-liter diesel engines and maybe even hydrogen fuel-cell tech, eventually. It’s all very cool, and I’d really like to have a go in the Korean equivalent of the Unimog.


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