KIA is taking a military route with a new generation of vehicles specifically designed for use by the armed forces.
The brand is developing a new standard platform for future military vehicles with an aim for them to be operational by 2024.
This mid-sized standard vehicle development project is the result of joint investment by the Korean military and Kia Motors.
The large-scale programme will see the replacement of 2.5-tonne and five-tonne military standard vehicles currently in operation, and the development of new five-tonne bulletproof vehicles.
The standard vehicles will be equipped with a range of the latest commercial technologies, including high-torque 7.0-litre diesel engines and automatic transmission systems, ABS and anti-spin regulator (ASR), rear parking assist, around view monitor, satellite navigation and hot wire seats.
Kia's modular approach to developing new vehicles on the platform will enable the development of other derivatives in future, such as vehicles equipped with a range of weapons systems and those designed with more specialised specifications and technologies.
The company has developed a brief for its new military All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and plans to introduce a prototype early next year.
The developed ATVs will not only be deployed for military purposes but will also be used in various fields, such as industrial and leisure sectors, drawing on bare chassis from the robust Kia Mohave SUV which is sold mainly in the US.
To contribute to the development of the military's future combat systems, Kia is also carrying out advanced research and development, combining the latest automotive technology with military vehicles.
The company is developing autonomous driving technology for military vehicles which could assist with delivering supplies.
Kia is also exploring the potential for hydrogen fuel cell technology across diverse military applications, including fuel cell vehicles and emergency power generators.
Fuel cell technology is considered suitable for future military vehicles as it can supply large amounts of electricity in combat environments.
Kia Motors has produced a range of vehicles for the Korean and overseas military, including 0.25-, 1.25-, 2.5- and five-tonne vehicles. To-date, Kia has supplied nine model types and 100 derivatives, and produced a total of 140,000 military vehicles.
The company produced the BV206 all-terrain tracked carrier and in 2001 developed a 15-tonne rescue vehicle and heavy equipment transport tractor, establishing a full line-up production system for military vehicles ranging from small to large segments.
Kia also created Korea's first multipurpose tactical vehicle, a light tactical vehicle replacing existing 0.25-tonne and 1.25-tonne vehicles.
The vehicle was equipped with the same engine, automatic transmission and brake system from the Kia Mohave, and also adopted the latest commercial technologies and military special specifications, including an electronic four-wheel drive system.
At the start of 2020 Kia announced its ‘Plan S' mid-to long-term strategy, encompassing a range of diversified business activities, including the development of purpose built vehicles.