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The camouflage-covered SUV seen here is the redesigned next-generation Kia Sorento, which was captured during testing in Death Valley. It's expected to arrive in late 2009 as a 2010 model, about three years after its 2007 mid-cycle facelift. Unlike the current model and the recently launched Kia Borrego, the next Sorento will not be a proper body-on-frame SUV. Instead, it will be built on the same unibody architecture as the Hyundai Veracruz and will grow to be about the same size as the large crossover. The switch from body-on-frame to unibody construction is expected to become more common in the SUV market as buyer demands shift in favor of better ride quality and fuel economy.
The 3.8L V-6 engine offered in the current Sorento will be the powertrain of choice, but will be joined by Hyundai's 3.0L diesel V-6 that should also see duty in the Borrego and Veracruz and be equipped with the Veracruz' six-speed auto instead of the current five-speed gearbox.