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First Look: Kia Naimo

A battery car for squares?

by on Mar.31, 2011

Naimo, Kia's third battery car concept, adopts the square shape familiar to fans of the Soul.

A first look at the new Naimo concept vehicle and you might think you’re looking at the next-generation Kia Soul.  They do share some basics, including the hard-edged new prototype its name, Naimo derived from the Korean word for “square shape.”

But with its pottery-like finish, the new Kia Naimo is the latest in a string of battery-powered prototypes from the Korean carmaker, this one making its debut today at the annual Seoul Motor Show.  As with many recent electric vehicles, Kia’s concept targets an urban market where today’s relatively limited batteries won’t produce excess range anxiety.

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A relatively simple design nonetheless boasts some distinctive features, including a wraparound windshield and an unusual, asymmetric sunroof.  The front and rear LED lamps use a dot-like design.

Though it sits on a modest B-segment platform, Kia targeted a more upscale market for the Naimo, offering a Korean oak-laden interior contrasted by the use of a classic Korean paper-finished headliner.