[UPDATE] Kia has released the first teaser image of the Tasman wearing a colorful wrap.

Although Kia has said the Tasman will be its first global truck, it hasn't confirmed whether or not the model will be sold in the United States. Officially, at least for now, it's only coming to South Korea, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa. Interestingly, a new spy video shows the mid-size pickup undergoing testing on US soil. Wearing Michigan plates, a heavily camouflaged prototype has been caught in California.

It's not unusual for an automaker to test a future vehicle in a country where it doesn't intend to sell the product. But what if the Tasman is coming to the US after all? If it won’t be built at the plant in Georgia, we estimate a steep asking price after factoring in the Chicken Tax. It's a 25-percent tariff on light trucks imported to the US. It goes back to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, originally imposed in 1964.

The separate video attached below and published on TikTok shows a different Tasman prototype in Australia. That one is also covered in camo, but someone apparently had the key and was able to unlock the truck and hop inside. The cabin likely belongs to an upper-spec version judging by the generous amount of equipment: memory seats, a sunroof, dual screens, ambient lighting, and a wireless charging pad.

You'll also notice the gear selector on the steering column and the left-hand-drive layout even though Australia is a right-hand-drive market. The cabin appears to take after the EV9's but seems to be a bit more rugged with those chunky door handles. The black honeycomb mesh on the dashboard conceals the air vents controllable via chunky knobs. Although this is a double cab, there will be other body styles available, including a single cab and a chassis cab.


The Ford Ranger-rivaling truck was reportedly spotted in metropolitan Sydney, presumably to be shown behind closed doors to dealers ahead of next year's launch. Kia intends to sell the workhorse in 4x4 and 4x2 configurations with a 2.2-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rumor has it a GT derivative with a V-6 is under consideration as well. A fully electric Tasman is reportedly locked in for a late 2026 launch.

Meanwhile, the world premiere is scheduled to take place before the end of 2024. It's worth noting the Tasman will be a ladder-frame truck bigger than the unibody Hyundai Santa Cruz. It'll go up not just against the Ranger but also the Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok.

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