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Kia Goes Off-Roading with Trail’ster Concept

Kia testing waters for electric all-wheel-drive runabout.

by on Feb.12, 2015

Kia's Trail'ster Concept is ready for a winter romp. The concept debuting at the Chicago Auto Show is the maker's take on a rugged off-roader.

Can a “cute ute” also deliver some serious off-road credentials? That’s what Kia is determined to show with the Trail’ster Concept it’s debuting at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. It takes only a quick glance to recognize the show car is based on the familiar Kia Soul.

In Trail’ster trim, the quirky compact crossover gets not only the skid plate treatment, but also a rollback canvas roof. But even more intriguing is what Kia refers to as an eAWD system, something that has also been called “through-the-road” all-wheel-drive, with a turbo gas engine driving the front axle and an electric motor running the rear.

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With Kia and its sibling Korean brand Hyundai rolling out an assortment of new hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, might a production Trail’ster be in the offing? (more…)

Kia Teases Geneva Concept: Are You the New Optima?

Show car could feature battery-based drivetrain.

by on Feb.10, 2015

Kia offers a hint of what could be the next Optima.

Kia has some big news coming in Geneva. And it’s confirming plans to reveal a new concept vehicle it says it has “created as a spacious and versatile accessory to an active lifestyle.”

Unlike other Korean concept cars of the recent past, this D-segment, or midsize, show vehicle appears – at least from this teaser image – to be nearly ready for production, which suggests that it may very well be a thinly disguised version of the next-generation Kia Optima.

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It is, the maker, hints, “a purposeful, energetic design study for the style-conscious, and as a sanctuary from the stresses of the modern world.”

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Kia Generating Buzz with Stinger Concept

GT4 2+2 sports car is a daily driver doubling as a track star.

by on Jan.13, 2014

Kia's GT4 Stinger concept is designed to be a daily commuter and a track-ready beast. Photo credit: Len Katz.

Strong design has been the foundation of Kia’s growth in the past few years. While he has moved upstairs to a new job that put him in charge of design at both Kia and Hyundai, Peter Schreyer remains one of the industry’s influential designers and he is encouraging his designers around the world to build on the company’s design success.

For the North American International Auto Show, Kia debuted a lightweight concept car: the GT4 Stinger. The concept suggests that Kia’s management is thinking about building a sport car that could put a halo around the brand as a companion to the new Kia 900 luxury car unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto in November.

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Kia designers from the company’s U.S. studio in Irvine, Calif., said the GT4 hearkens back to the glory days of purebred, affordable sports cars. The design language moves in a new direction, while the concept pushes the boundaries of performance with a rear-drive 2+2 sports car, where Kia has made a substantial investment developing a racing team to challenge competitors, such as Mazda.  (more…)

Can Kia Reinvent the Van?

Maker offers a tease of its KV7 concept.

by on Jan.07, 2011

Is Kia readying a new minivan based on the KV7 concept debuting at the Detroit Auto Show?

Reports of the minivan’s demise have been greatly exaggerated and, if anything, the proliferation of new product, such as the all-new Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, and updates of the Chrysler vans, have started pumping new life into the niche.

But other players continue to find it a hard slog to carve out share of their own.  Just ask General Motors, Ford – and the Koreans, who haven’t done very well with their initial attempts to gain traction in the minivan market.

With segment sales still topping 1 million and showing signs of a modest rebound, Kia is ready to give it another try.  Or so it hints.  The smaller of the two Korean carmakers is offering up this less-than-revealing tease of the KV7 concept, which it plans to reveal during its Monday afternoon news conference at the Detroit Auto Show.

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