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Hyundai ute's diesel engine would dominate HiLux and Ranger: All-new dual-cab could be crowned Australia's most powerful ute!

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Hyundai's new ute could be among Australia's most powerful. (image credit: William Vicente)
Hyundai's new ute could be among Australia's most powerful. (image credit: William Vicente)

With Toyota dragging its feet on its GR HiLux, Hyundai (and Kia) is looking like it will beat it to market with a tough-as-nails dual-cab ute complete with a thumping diesel engine that will shade everything from the Ford Ranger Raptor to the Mitsubishi Triton.

While the brand in Australia is yet to comment on its incoming ute - though, like with its Kia twin, we know work has begun ahead of an expected on-sale date in 2022 or 2023 - it doesn’t take much in the way of detective work to figure out what engine should be powering it.

And that’s good news for ute fans, with the most likely ICE candidate to be a thundering straight-six diesel producing a punchy 205kW and 588Nm.

For the record, that would make the Hyundai and Kia ute Australia’s most powerful diesel-dual cab, out-punching everything from the HiLux (500Nm), Ford Ranger (500Nm) and Mitsubishi Triton (430Nm). It even finishes ahead of the new VW Amarok W-Series (580Nm).

How do we know? Granted, it’s a hypothesis at this stage, but solid reporting out of Korea has pointed to Hyundai and Kia putting an end to diesel engine development in January this year as the brand moves to range-wide electrification.

As previously reported in CarsGuide, a source from within Hyundai Motor Group reportedly told the The Korea Times that the brand would not be developing any new engines, and would instead focus on the existing diesel donks at its disposal.

That means the thumping 3.0-litre inline-six diesel (currently powering the Genesis GV80) will be the last new diesel engine the brand develops. Saving the best 'til last, and all that, because it is the perfect diesel donk for a ute, too.

It's a point not lost on Hyundai R and D boss, Albert Biermann, who has previously told CarsGuide that the straight-six diesel would be “out there for some time” and pointed to its suitability for “commercial” applications.

“With this engine we can have so many applications. As you know, we make commercial vehicles and so on, so this engine will be out there for quite some time. You don’t need to worry about that engine,” he said, before clarifying that “we have not finally decided yet” where that engine will end up.

Hyundai is expecting to have a proper dual cab in Australia by 2023. Kia, too, has confirmed the project, and even thinks their version could be the first to arrive.

"The sooner the better," Hyundai Australia's former boss, JW Lee, has told CarsGuide. "All the time I’m crying and praying whenever I have the chance to bring this issue to headquarters, so the sooner the better.

"(But) 2023 is our target year. It depends on production and the plant. I think the candidate plant is still under study, where we’re going to produce those vehicles is yet to be decided."

The ute will offer everything a vehicle in its class should, including a one-tonne payload and a three-tonne braked towing capacity.

And, should our predictions prove accurate, it should also be Australia's most powerful diesel dual-cab ute. Which is something to be very excited about.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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