It's not uncommon to see armoured-up tactical vehicles from a variety of global automakers, but we don't often see such things from Kia. The brand does have a tough side, having supplied light tactical vehicles to the South Korean military since 2016. Now, Kia's parent company Hyundai is keen to expand its marching boots by displaying a new Light Tactical Cargo Truck concept at the 2021 IDEX Defense Expo in the UAE.
To answer the obvious question, this vehicle isn't just a tweaked version of something found at a Kia dealership. The concept truck is a four-seater with provisions in the back to carry 10 soldiers and their gear, or as much as three tonnes of cargo. As such, the underpinnings of the concept are decidedly heavy duty with a ladder frame and independent suspension at all four corners. In fact, Kia also sent a bare chassis concept to the show along with the decked-out truck, showing potential customers what lies beneath.
Gallery: Kia LIght Tactical Cargo Truck And Bare Chassis Concepts
The concept is designed to be modular, accommodating a wide range of bodies that can serve everything from weapons delivery to command-and-control, reconnaissance, and more. A 225-bhp (168-kilowatt) Euro 5 diesel is used for power, turning all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. As you'd expect in a military machine, run-flat tyres are part of the package, though air conditioning is a welcome perk for inside passengers. It also apparently has an electro-magnetic interference system, though to be honest, we have no idea what that means.
"Our participation at IDEX 2021 is an opportunity to promote Kia's latest developments in the design of future defense vehicles," said Ik-tae Kim, vice president of Kia's Special Vehicle Division. "Both concepts on display have been developed to be highly flexible and durable, with the capability to be used in some of the world’s harshest environments."