Before the end of the year, the PR newscenter of the NY AutoShow announced a list of major automakers that will showcase world debut cars at the Big Apple event on April. Genesis and Kia appeared on that list, and we had pretty clear which model will be announced by Genesis, but we weren’t sure about Kia model, until today.
To be called Tusker, it will be a completely new model, based on the Kia SP Concept released at Auto Expo Show in India on February 2018. This SUV will be added to the US Kia SUV line-up in order to reinforce the presence of Kia under big SUV offensive and to fight against compact SUVs like the Nissan Kicks. The Tusker will be available in the US as well as South Korean and Indian markets.
Compared to the concept car (pictured below), it certainly won’t look drastically different from what is heading to showrooms. The spy pictures shows the road-ready version featuring a similarly high beltline that rises with a curve at the rear, and squarish wheel arches. The greenhouse doesn’t look as sleek as on the concept, however.
The details get a little hazy at the front because of the poor quality of spy pictures, but the changed honeycomb inserts of the tiger-nose grille are visible. Other bits spotted are five-twin-spoke alloy wheels, flush roof rails, shark-fin antenna and split rear combination tail lamps.
The Kia SP Concept will ride on the same platform that will underpin the next-gen Hyundai Creta. This platform is capable of spawning a seven-seater, but despite that, the Tusker will be offered only with 5-seater configuration on the US-market.
Engine options are not yet confirmed, but we can expect a 138 hp 1.4-litre T-GDI turbocharged petrol unit, as well as a naturally aspirated 2.0 engine delivering 147 hp. Both engines will be offered with automatic transmission, with a 7-speed DCT of the Turbo variant, leaving the all-new IVT transmission for the 2.0-liter. An AWD option won’t happen in order to not to canabilize with Kona.
Stay tuned for more details soon!