Extravagant new Imagine by Kia show car showcases brand’s electrified intent, and could turn showroom ready in 2022
Kia has revealed a new electric concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, which the Korean brand says is a ‘visual embodiment’ of its move towards electrification and could be toned down for production early next decade.
The car is called Imagine by Kia and takes the form of a tall roofed C-segment saloon with a sharp, fastback style rear end.
• All the latest from the 2019 Geneva Motor Show
Powertrain specifics have not been outlined, and the brand has only said that the concept is underpinned by a low-mounted battery pack capable of wireless charging.
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“It’s a large C-segment car – the vehicle size that’s incredibly popular in Europe – but the only things it holds on to are Kia’s brand values,” explains Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s vice president of design. “I think of it as a category-buster”.
The front end of the concept features a new interpretation of Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ style grille, as used on the brand’s conventional vehicles. On the Imagine by Kia, it’s referred to as a ‘tiger mask’, and is an illuminated motif encircling the main headlights. The Kia lettering on the nose is also illuminated, and sits completely flush with the bodywork. Kia says that the front of the vehicle gradually lights up as the driver approaches.
The buff front end is underscored by one or two aerodynamic folds, such as the air curtains attached to the bottom of the front apron, and the creases running up and down the bonnet.
Kia says that the paintwork is supposed to represent warmth. Six hand-applied layers of chrome effect silver form the base coats, with a bronze tint added on top.
The windscreen stretches all the way over the interior compartment to form a full-length panoramic roof. It meets a vast steel C-pillar at the rear of the vehicle, which loops over the rear passengers. The Imagine by Kia rides on 22-inch wheels with four diamond shaped spokes featuring transparent glass inserts, intended to shimmer and shine like a gemstone.
Imagine by Kia features suicide doors lined with metallic fabric and leather. Opening them reveals a four-seat interior making full use of the space offered up by the electric powertrain. A champagne and cream colour scheme is used on the surfaces and the seats.
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The front two seats boast striking, diamond cross-cut shells, while the rear seats form a bench. The dashboard is home to 21 individual high-resolution displays, curving from one side of the cabin to the other, while a long, floating centre-console flows out of the dashboard.
Though it’s an out-and-out show car, Kia has thought about practicality too – the Imagine by Kia features a large ‘frunk’ under the front bonnet, while a capacious boot is found around the rear too.
It may seem hard to imagine by looking at the Imagine by Kia, but it could well translate into a production model early next decade. Kia has had a strong track record of turning concept cars into showroom ready models of late. As such, an electric car inspired by the Imagine by Kia could emerge by the end of 2022.
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