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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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.
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