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Kia Provides Peek at Cross GT Concept

Maker also bringing “Superman” Optima to Chicago show.

by on Jan.30, 2013

Kia offers a hint of the Cross GT concept.

Auto show season is well underway and makers are rolling out a string of new models and concepts as they look to both update existing product lines and find ways to attack the proverbial white spaces they’ve so far ignored.

Considering ongoing market trends, it’s probably no surprise we’re seeing so many products that slip into the nebulous crossover category. The recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit was full of them and we’ll be seeing still more before the show season wraps up.

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That includes a new “premium” crossover-utility vehicle from Korea, the Kia Cross GT scheduled to make its debut at the Chicago Auto Show in little more than a week.

The maker has released a first teaser image of what it confirms will be larger than the current 2014 Sorrento. It brings to mind the size gap between the 2- and 3-row versions of the Santa Fe launched this year by sibling maker Hyundai.

Look, up in the sky... Kia will bring the Kia Optima Hybrid show car to Chicago.

But we’ll be looking for other details once we reach Chicago’s vast McCormick Place convention center. Kia hints that the Cross GT concept also “hints at the future” of its evolving design language.

From what we’re able to see in the teaser image that doesn’t mean a wholesale move away from the distinctive Tiger-Nose styling them introduced by Kia design director Peter Schreyer – who recently became one of the maker’s three presidents. “Evolution” does seem to be the active word here.

We’re expecting to discover even more about this new design direction at the Geneva Motor Show, a month from now, where Kia plans to introduce yet another CUV, which it has so far dubbed its “urban concept.”

(For more on the Kia Urban Concept Click Here.)

A release from the maker suggested the original Tiger-Nose styling can be seen “morphing into a mischievous yet friendly grille and headlight arrangement, coupled with strong styling lines that exude speed and energy from every angle.”

Returning to the Kia Cross GT concept, other subtle hints might suggest the maker could be planning to use a hybrid or some other advanced propulsion system under the show car’s hood.

What seems highly likely is that a production model will follow in the relatively near future.

Don’t expect to see another Kia show car for Chicago make it to your local showroom, however. The maker will roll out the sixth in ongoing series of rides inspired by DC Comics’ Justice League heroes. We’ve already seen vehicles honoring Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg and Green Lantern – which means the most powerful hero of all is finally about to get his due.

The Kia Superman Optima Hybrid is part of the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign linking the maker and comic company parent DC Entertainment. It’s meant to “bring help and hope,” Kia explains, “to the children, women and families affected by drought and famine in the Horn of Africa.

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