Point Taken: Kia Mystery Concept Pokes Fun at Ridiculous Design Trend

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
point taken kia mystery concept pokes fun at ridiculous design trend

Last week, Kia teased a mystery concept bound for a Geneva Motor Show unveiling as a way to show off its consistently improving skills in automotive design. With a second batch of teaser photos cropping up on Thursday, it’s now abundantly clear the brand made no small effort to create a shining beacon of vehicular style. But it also happens to have more screens than the TSA, indicating that Kia willingly engaged in one of this year’s biggest concept car styling trends.

Truthfully, the display bandwagon probably left town in 2018 — about the time when Byton revealed a crossover at CES with a screen that literally replaced the entire dashboard, plus one mounted on the steering wheel for good measure. The company could be seen disappearing beyond the horizon, whipping its horses while other manufacturers attempted to catch up and climb aboard.

Now, Kia is holding the reins. And it’s laughing maniacally.

There are key differences between Kia and Byton’s approach. The Chinese firm’s massive central display is clearly intended to be functional — Byton even said it intends to implement it on production vehicles. But Kia’s design is a purely creative pursuit, resulting in something equally beautiful and ridiculous.

The Korean company even called the setup “a humorous riposte to the industry’s current obsession with ever increasing dashboard screens.”

Eloquently insulting other brands and showcasing a sense of humor? You have our attention, Kia.

The concept features a 21 ultra high-resolution screens, synchronized together as they cascade across the dashboard. It’s very pretty, but also much easier to appreciate — as the automaker isn’t trying to convince us it’ll be the next option added to the Sportage or Rio’s order form.

As for the car itself, Kia said it will be an all-electric four-door passenger car with a massive glass roof that “draws together elements of a muscular sports utility vehicle, a sleek and athletic family saloon and a versatile and spacious crossover.” Sadly, the release was not devoid of the fluff that accompanies most concept vehicle announcements.

“Kia prides itself on its power to surprise, which is why we wanted to move away from the rational and focus on the emotional, and embrace a warmer and more human approach to electrification,” said Gregory Guillaume, Vice President of Design for Kia Motors Europe. “After all, electricity is found within every atom – it’s the energy that flows within us and around us on our planet. Harnessing its potential has propelled us from one innovation to the next.”

Rather than view Kia’s mystery concept as some progenitor of a specific model, we’re inclined to see it as a testbed for potential design choices that could gradually find their way into production models. The manufacturer wants to see what the public clings to and how receptive it might be to the choices made.

We’ll have a complete look at those decisions after Kia debuts its new concept on March 5th.

[Images: Kia]

Join the conversation
7 of 12 comments
  • NG5 NG5 on Mar 01, 2019

    I appreciate the joke but I am sure this car if produced will have at least two screens. I'd now pay a premium for a car with no screens. Just provide a way for me to know my phone is paired for calls, and a way to put my phone into view on the rare occasion I use directions. I currently have a screen in my car and I was elated when a software update included a "true off" setting I can use when driving at night. Now if only I could take the screen off the dash...

    • See 3 previous
    • DrSandman DrSandman on Mar 04, 2019

      As always, Saab was way ahead with the "Night Panel" button on the dash... circa 1993.... Damn, I miss my Saab.

  • Multicam Multicam on Mar 02, 2019

    “After all, electricity is found within every atom – it’s the energy that flows within us and around us on our planet.” It’s the Force?

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 02, 2019

      Did you know electrons drift? But not very quickly...

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.
  • William I'm a big fan of 70s Lincolns. I really liked the 1980s Mark Vl. I thought it was very classy, and I never thought of it as a restyled Town Car. I did own a 1990 LSC, it was black over black leather interior. I loved the LSC as soon as they were introduced. I loved the sound of the duel exhaust, I thought it fit the car perfectly. I never had any problems with it. The 5.0 is a great engine, and never had any issues with the air suspension system. It had the the analog dash and I made good use of the message center. I highly recommend this Mark. The black paint and interior fit the car and me perfectly.
  • ChristianWimmer 1974 Dodge Monaco. I’m a nostalgic guy and want one of these so badly.