Kia has revealed a possible rival to Toyota’s Land Cruiser.
The Seoul auto show always sees Korean domestic auto brands reveal something special to impress attendees. At the 2019 Seoul show, Kia revealed something unusual.
Named the Mohave Masterpiece, it’s a large ladder-frame platform SUV. Encountering a new ladder-frame platform vehicle from a leading manufacturer at an international auto show is an increasingly rare experience, with most opting to produce unibody SUVs instead of the traditional body-on-frame design.
Toyota is one of the few brands which actively markets and achieves notable sales success with luxury SUVs which run on a ladder-frame chassis. Both its Land Cruiser models, the Prado and larger 200 GX-R, are built in this way.
Kia’s Mohave Masterpiece is sized more towards Prado than 200 GX-R dimensions and uses a chassis first seen on the new Telluride SUV, which specifically targets the U.S. market and will go on sale there soon, in both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations.
What distinguishes the Mohave Masterpiece design is its radical headlights, which feature a row of exposed LED probes, without any conventional headlamp shielding. The grille is notable too, showcasing a different interpretation of Kia’s recent design language, with a series of horizontal and vertical chrome details.
There is some context to consider regarding this new Korean adder-frame concept SUV. Kia has produced the first-generation Mohave since 2008, delivering the large SUV to select global markets. For many years it has been the only Kia with low-range gearing for dedicated off-road exploration work. After more than a decade in production, the time is due for a new model and this Masterpiece show car could possibly become the second-generation Mohave.
For those who like Korean reliability and Kia’s intuitive digital interfaces, a new Mohave Masterpiece could offer some pseudo-Prado off-road ability with a more pleasing appearance.