Even as automakers the world over push out an ever-widening range of SUVs for civilian use, many also produce vehicles for their country’s military forces. Kia announced plans Wednesday to do exactly that, developing a new platform for next-generation military vehicles for deployment by the South Korean military by 2024. Prototypes of their ATV, shown above, should arrive by next year.
As it happens, though, Kia’s ATV prototype won’t be a ground-up, bespoke design. Instead, it will use the bones from the Kia Mohave, a large SUV akin to the Telluride, but sold in the Korean market. That model, in its civilian form, just received a major overhaul for the 2019 model year, and itself is an evolution of the short-lived Borrego that did sell over here in the United States. So, the ATV uses a big, boxy SUV as the base for its Humvee-like military vehicle. The image above is just a rendering, and Kia says the know-how it gains from developing it will translate to the durability of its road-going SUV models.
While the boxy design may look a bit old school, Kia isn’t thinking entirely in the world of massive-displacement diesel engines for propulsion. Instead, their statement says, “Kia is exploring the potential for hydrogen fuel cell technology across diverse military applications, including fuel cell vehicles and emergency power generators.”
It’s not just small vehicles Kia’s building, either
While the ATV may be the most widely deployed military vehicle when it reaches production, the company said it isn’t stopping there. It’s also working on new 2.5- and 5-ton military trucks on a standardized platform. Those vehicles will use 7.0-liter turbodiesel engines mated to automatic transmissions. Heavier 5-ton vehicles will also develop bulletproof variants of their 5-ton vehicles.
Over the years, Kia has built 100 derivatives of military vehicles. 140,000 total vehicles have entered production. That includes the awfully-Hummer-like KLTV (or Kia Light Tactical Vehicle) shown above.