With Its Mystery Concept, Kia Hopes to Cast a Sexy Glow Over Its EV Stable

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
with its mystery concept kia hopes to cast a sexy glow over its ev stable

Let’s face it — with the possible exception of the Stinger, Kia’s vehicle lineup is hardly the automotive equivalent of Britt Ekland, circa 1971. Few are. Still, the automaker has made great strides in terms of design, as well as quality. Also on the march is the brand’s technological prowess, and it’s this knowledge that underpins a new concept vehicle coming to the Geneva Motor Show next month.

It’s turning out to be a year of electrics for Kia, but the vehicle the brand plans to reveal in Geneva differs from the Niro EV and Soul EV in a key area: sex appeal, which is sorely — yet understandably — lacking in its brace of sort-of crossovers.

Kia doesn’t have a name for its concept, nor is there a promise of production. Given that the automaker doesn’t expect its existing EV models to become profitable for some time (the automaker’s estimate, last November, puts profitability two to three years away), it’s safe to say a stylish EV sports car from Kia is a back-burner idea for now.

And this concept does appear to be a car, which would seem to limit its sales potential, though perhaps not its price. But sales are not what this is about. For now, Kia sees the concept as the embodiment of its electric ambitions. A promise that future products might not be so tame and sensible.

“We imagined designing an all-electric car that not only answered consumer concerns around range, performance, recharging networks and driving dynamism, but one that also gave you goose bumps when you looked at it, and made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you drove it,” said Guillaume Gregory Guillaume, vice-president of design for Kia Motors Europe, in a statement. “That’s why our all-electric concept is designed to not only get your pulse racing, but to also signpost our holistic and emotional approach to electrification.”

There’s your daily fix of the word “dynamism.”

Until Kia builds just such a long-range performance/luxury electric car, environmentally conscious brand loyalists will have to settle for family-friendly transport. The Niro EV lands in 12 ZEV states this month, with the revamped 2020 Soul EV arriving by mid-year.

Neither vehicle wants for range or power. The electric Niro and Soul source their grunt from a 201 horsepower, 291 lb-ft electric motor juiced by a 64 kWh battery pack. Range for the Niro is 239 miles; the Soul, 243.

[Image: Kia Motors]

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4 of 17 comments
  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Feb 22, 2019

    Kia stopped being sexy when Hyundai brought out the g70 and everyone realized that the Stinger looked like someone went crazy in the Pep Boys accessory aisle.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Feb 23, 2019

      Agreed on the Stinger. The Kia styling that looked so good a few years ago was overdone on the Stinger. And I say this as a Kia partisan with two ofttheir products in my driveway. Not only that, but the Stinger's quality is turning out to be not so great.

  • BklynPete BklynPete on Feb 23, 2019

    This looks like the Olds Toronado Roadster that George Barris developed for the 1st season of "Mannix." I don't know if that's a compliment or not. https://www.postwarclassic.com/282881-george-barris-1967-oldsmobile-toronado-mannix-roadster

    • Jatz Jatz on Feb 25, 2019

      But at least that Toronado could be salvaged by simply replacing the hideous VW Type 4 front clip with factory stock. Whatever this thing from Kia is will be a fully laden PC projectile carrying all possible pathogens of progress.

  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.
  • Prabirmehta I charge my EV at home 100% of the time. The EV is used for in-town driving and the gas guzzling SUV is used for out of town trips. This results in a huge cost saving and rare trips to the gas station.
  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.