Kia will soon launch a completely new model based on the SP Concept which was shown at the Auto Expo in February 2018. Called the Tusker, this SUV will spearhead Kia India’s operations locally. It will also be added to the brand’s US and South Korean range of SUVs.
Compared to the concept car, the new model won’t look drastically different. The spy pictures show 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 heavy camouflage, but the honeycomb inserts of the tiger-nose grille is still visible. Other bits spotted are five-twin-spoke alloy wheels, flush roof rails, shark-fin antenna and split rear combination tail lamps.
The Kia Tusker 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.
Engine options for the global markets are not yet confirmed, but we can expect a 138bhp 1.4-litre T-GDI turbocharged petrol unit, as well as a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre engine delivering 147bhp. 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-litre. An AWD option won’t happen in order to not to cannibalize with the Kona.
Kia India recently surprised us all with this model during its commencement of trial production at its brand new manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh. We are expecting Kia to introduce their range of 1.5-litre petrol and diesel motors with this car. These engines will come with an option to be paired with either a manual or an automatic gearbox. When launched, the Tusker will go up against cars like the Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks and the Tata Harrier.