Hyundai has admitted that it is thinking about launching a ladder-frame SUV that could rival vehicles like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition.
Hyundai and Kia both produce large SUVs in the form of the Palisade and the Telluride but they feature unibody constructions and are simply not as capable off-road as the many ladder-frame SUVs currently on the market, including the Toyota Land Cruiser.
During a recent interview with Car Sales, Hyundai’s head of global product management Lorenz Glaab said such a vehicle could make sense for Hyundai.
“Nothing can be excluded. There is some dynamism in that segment you just described and we are very much aware of that. We monitor [it] very closely,” he said. “And if we believe there is an opportunity for us, we can move pretty fast.”
Neither of the car manufacturers’s currently have a chassis to suit such SUVs but it is believed the companies could work together to develop a modular frame that would work for flagship Hyundai and Kia SUVs. Kia has previously indicated it is also interested in a body-on-frame SUV.
“Yes, I mean from a brand perspective obviously that is thinkable,” Glaab said when asked directly about the new off-road SUV. “And now whether it makes sense and in what region and with what particular concept remains to be seen.”
It is not just off-road SUVs that Hyundai and Kia are considering. Hyundai is readying its lifestyle-oriented Santa Cruz for production and Kia is developing a pickup to rival the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger. What’s more, Hyundai is also said to be developing a full-size pickup to chase after the likes of the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ram 1500 that will also use a ladder-frame chassis.