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Tasman to get Kia’s 2.2L diesel

Kia Tasman ute confirmed to use ‘familiar’ diesel for 1000kg payload, 3500kg towing

20 May 2024

KIA Australia will offer its first ever ute with a familiar turbo-diesel engine from 2025, the brand confirming to GoAuto that its powertrain is one that many Australians will already be acquainted with. 

That can only mean that it will be a reworked take on the existing 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine currently employed in the Kia Sorento and Carnival models. 
In those applications, the diesel produces 148kW and 440Nm, well below what is available from popular utes such as the 2.0-litre bi-turbo engine deployed in the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok to develop 154kW and 500Nm. 
Kia Australia general manager of product planning Roland Rivero confirmed that the powertrain will not be an all-new one, and nor is it going to be a six-cylinder. 
“The brand is heading towards electrification. That’s the horse that’s been backed by our brand in totality,” he said, referring to the fact there will be no further investment in new diesel powertrains. 
“Therefore as you head more and more towards that electrification, investment in ICE starts to diminish, so don’t be surprised if the powertrain that powers it (Tasman) is a familiar powertrain that you all have driven,” Mr Rivero said. 
“We think that, irrespective of what you may deem an ‘older powertrain’, it’s what you do with it and how you build around it that determines how good the product is going to be, and our initial testing is looking really, really good at the moment,” he added. 
This suggests that the Tasman’s oil-burner will not just be the same unit seen in the family-friendly offerings where it currently plays a key role. 
“We’re only in prototype mode, and it only gets better and better as you get closer to mass production,” he said, before revealing that the brand has laid down the law to its R&D department to hit the targets expected of a true-blue Aussie ute. 
“Because it’s got towing requirements and off-road requirements … a bigger fan, and a few little techniques will be applied to try and get the most out of it. So there could be some tweaking in that regard, but so far what we’ve experienced with it, it’s pretty good.  
“We had three non-negotiables that R&D is working towards: 3.5-tonne towing; 10 per cent downball weight is equally important; and over a tonne payload,” Mr Rivero said. 
He also pushed the point that payload is not just a number that looks good on a billboard. 
“As you know with payload – for the amateurs out there, you can’t just assume payload is a whole one-tonne chucked into the tray. 
“Payload is a formula of GVM (gross vehicle mass) minus kerb (weight), and kerb doesn’t include four burly blokes, bullbar, winch… you’ve got to subtract all of those (and a trailer/caravan on the back),” he said. 
“The definition of payload is what we’re targeting, at 1000kg. By the time you add four burly blokes, bullbar, winch, it’s probably only about 600kg.” 
Mr Rivero would not say much more on the topic of power and torque outputs, but it is expected that a more assertive output figure is on the cards, and further details such as the transmission, four-wheel-drive componentry, and engine changes are still under wraps. 
The brand has previously stated that it intends to sell 20,000 examples of the Tasman ute in its first full year on the market, equal to the combined sales of the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara in 2023. 

Diesel versions of the Tasman are due to launch in 2025, with a fully-electric take on the theme due a year later.

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