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Big news for Kia and Hyundai's new dual-cab ute: Why planned 2022 launch for Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger rival is "not going to happen"

Kia's ute will be later than we first thought. (image credit: William Vincente)

Kia's (and thus Hyundai's) new ute won't appear in 2022 as originally thought, with the brand in Australia telling CarsGuide the new model is now more likely to turn up in the "next couple of years" - if at all....

The brand's tone in Australia has shifted somewhat, with the language changing from "when" to "if". That's not to say the project has been shelved, necessarily. But the production timings have clearly shifted, and the brand understandably wishes to keep a little mystery about the project.

Still, talk has definitely been toned down - as has the arrival date - with Kia in Australia saying its expected 2022 arrival date is "not going to happen".

"We still haven’t got a clear direction on what’s going to happen with LCV, that’s the honest truth,” says Kia Australia COO, Damien Meredith.

"We would hope that in the next couple of years that something does occur with LCV for our brand, not just for Australia but globally.

"The good thing is that if it does occur then I think we’ll have a lot of ownership on it, because we’re a big market.

“(But) 2022 is...unless they’re hiding things from us, it’s not going to happen.”

The brand in Australia still has high hopes for its first proper Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger in our market, with Mr Meredith saying that he told his HQ the brand will deliver as many as 20,000 sales per year in this market - causing people to "fall off their chairs".

"If it did occur then we’ve have a fair bit of equity in it, because we’re a big part of it," he said. "I think, if it happened, we’d be probably looking 10 per cent of LCV sales, so let’s hope it does happen.

“We got asked the question three or four years ago, and we were asked how many could we do, and I said we could do 20,000, and people almost fell off their chairs.

"They were blown away. At that time it was 20 per cent of the LCV market, which I thought was reasonable in terms of what we could do.

"I haven’t changed my view on that. It’s up to Korea HQ. We haven’t been given any validation that it’s going ahead at this point."

Based on last year's sales figures, Kia's target market share that would make the Kia the third-best-selling 4X4 dual cab in Australia, trailing only the HiLux and Ranger, but finishing ahead of models like the Isuzu D-Max, Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara.

Kia is also yet to confirm drivetrain details for its workhorse ute, but Mr Meredith, has previously told us to expect "Dual-cab, single-cab, diesel, petrol - what we've requested is the full gamut of a ute family".

Cast an eye over the Kia and Hyundai portfolio, and there are a few diesel engine options that could work, but with utes once again shifting towards six-cylinder engines (expected to be led by the new Ford Ranger), there is one powerplant in particular that has caught our eye.

And that would be the punchy six-cylinder diesel currently attached to the Genesis GV80- the new SUV rolled out by Hyundai's premium arm.

That engine - a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder turbo-diesel - produces a considerable 205kW of power and 590Nm of torque.