Kia shows off radical new vehicle

Kia has unleashed an army truck designed for “the world’s harshest environments” – and it looks like a modern day Hummer.

Revealed at the 2021 International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in the Middle East, the Light Tactical Cargo Truck is a four-seat concept developed in conjunction with the Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

As well as military must-haves such as run-flat tyres, the LTCT gets the luxury of air-conditioning and independent suspension (a rarity on vehicles designed for ruggedness and hard core off-road) and even gets an electromagnetic interference system, which could be exactly what Australian police have been looking for to stop people using their mobile phones while driving.

With its emphasis on military service, the LTCT still manages to vaguely showcase the shark nose grille used on Kia passenger vehicles, albeit with added toughness.

While it lacks the bonnet-mounted helicopter hooks of the real Hummer – a brand being radically born again as an EV brand by owner General Motors – the LTCT gets plenty of visual muscle thanks to angular edges and a utilitarian flavour capped off with exposed door hinges and exterior handles that allow troops to hang on or climb onto the roof.

Three windscreen wipers sweep the slim front glass that looks as though could be bulletproof the LTCT can be manufactured in armoured and unarmoured guises).

“Our participation at IDEX 2021 is an opportunity to promote Kia’s latest developments in the design of future defence vehicles,” said Ik-tae Kim, vice president of Kia’s Special Vehicle Division.

Kia also showed off the modular chassis of the LTCT to demonstrate its flexibility and the diesel engine that shifts the military machine.

The LTCT can be built in different lengths and with varying additions to its body depending on what the military has in mind. It also has a three-tonne payload on top of its ability to carry 10 troops in the rear.

“Both concepts on display have been developed to be highly flexible and durable, with the capability to be used in some of the world’s harshest environments.”

The LTCT is a radical departure for the Korean brand that has undergone a sales boom in recent years.

Kia is best known for its budget-priced city cars, affordable SUVs and the Carnival people mover that swallowed the once-popular Toyota Tarago in its charge up the sales charts.

Not that Kia is new to military vehicles. In 2013 it designed its first light tactical vehicles that eventually went into service with the South Korean army in 2016.

Clearly it has aspirations of building the order books, stating it “expects the added visual appeal [of the LTCT] and usability to stimulate further demand for its military vehicles”.

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