By on June 7, 2017

Kia Stonic, Image: Kia Motors

Few automakers can afford to sit on the sidelines while rivals do battle in the growing subcompact crossover segment, and Kia sure isn’t one of them. Back in January, a trademark filing revealed Kia was developing a vehicle bearing an odd name — Stonic — which many rightly guessed would become the brand’s newest crossover. Well, that mystery vehicle is no longer a mystery.

The automaker has released concept sketches of its upcoming subcompact crossover, a high-beltline, low-roof runabout with wheels tailor-made for pelting stones off its sickly off-gold paint.

Kia describes the vehicle as having styling drawn from the larger utility vehicles in its lineup, albeit with the exaggerated proportions we expect from early drawings. A corporate nose and taillights similar to the Sportage ensures everyone will recognize the vehicle’s lineage. The automaker references the model’s “true European design flair” — a term used to describe any utility vehicle not reminiscent of a box.

Kia Stonic, Image: Kia Motors

Kia claims the Stonic will go on sale in the second half of this year. With this timing, it’s likely we’ll see an official debut at September’s Frankfurt auto show. Crossover-mad Americans should get a chance to eyeball the vehicle soon after.

Sportiness and youthful appeal factors heavily in the description, so there’s no mystery as to what demographic Kia hopes to woo. (Reality states Baby Boomers will actually make up a large part of sales.) Calling it “the most customisable Kia ever, inside and out,” the automaker fails to provide any details to back up the claim. The same opaqueness surrounds the vehicle’s drivetrain. As the two models share the same segment, it’s assumed the Stonic will share a platform with Hyundai’s upcoming Kona.

What Kia is willing to reveal is the vehicle’s maximized interior space and a “floating HMI (human-machine interface),” which most normal people will refer to as a infotainment screen.

Now, about that name. Stonic. Sonic? No, that’s a Chevrolet many people forget about. Kia has explained its motivations behind the name, claiming the “name ‘Stonic’ combines ‘Speedy’ and ‘Tonic’, which refers to the first and last note in the musical scale.”

Okay.

[Image: Kia Motors]

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