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Kia's all-new dual-cab might just have been named, with a new trademark application possibly dropping the official model name of Kia's Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger rival.
Just a week after the new model was finally confirmed through solid sources, a new nameplate trademark has appeared in Australia, and one that specifically calls out "trucks" in its model description.
And it seems the model that Kia hopes will propel it to the top of the sales charts could be given a name that will particularly resonate with buyers in Australia and New Zealand.
And that name? The Kia Tasman, which Kia has just filed to trademark in Australia, with the application currently under review.
Tasman will be instantly recognisable to Australian buyers, with Trans-Tasman the long-standing term used to describe the relationship between our country and New Zealand, and relates directly to the Tasman sea which separates our two nations.
To make it even more Australian, Abel Janszoon Tasman was the first European to discover Tasmania. Take that, Toyota Prado Kakadu!
The news follows CarsGuide sources last week revealing new and exciting details about Kia’s attack on the dual-cab market, with the ute locked in for a diesel engine, along with substantial payload and towing targets.
The model will be tailor-made for Australia, too, with Kia’s international engineers undertaking top-secret missions to Australia to see exactly how and where we use our utes.
The name Tasman would make even more sense when you consider that Australia was a key guidance market for Kia, as there are few places on Earth where diesel-powered dual-cabs are as popular as they are here. CarsGuide understands Kia has funded several top-secret missions to our market to study its competitors, its customers and Australia's unique conditions, with development stretching way back to 2020.
The ride and handling tuning program that's been rolled out across all Kia vehicles will apply to the Tasman too, with the testing and changes made in Australia genuinely transforming the way the brand's vehicles hold up to our conditions.
While the powertrain remains a mystery, we do know the Hyundai Group is home to a thundering straight-six diesel producing 205kW and 588Nm. That would make the Kia ute Australia’s most powerful diesel-dual cab, out-performing everything from the HiLux and Ranger to the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara.
Kia in Astralia has been contacted for comment on the trademark application but is yet to confirm or deny the name Tasman.