Kia Motors Corporation will unveil its latest concept car at the Paris Motor Show on 26 September. Developed by Kia’s European design centre, the new KCV-II showcases the direction that Kia is heading in terms of styling and technology.
Aimed at youthful car owners, with an active lifestyle, the Kia KCV-II matches a flexible seating system and open pick-up load bay to a chassis capable of road car handling and light, or soft off-roading.
"The KCV-II is really a fun car to go out with your friends to have fun and enjoy the sun. It’s aimed at drivers who want the practicality and command driving position of a sports utility, but want their car to drive like a car while being an affordable package," says designer Carlos Arroyo.
Arroyo’s concept was picked from an in-house competition held amongst staff at Kia’s European design studio in Frankfurt, Germany. A multinational team of designers under Jay Baek, chief of the design centre, and Peter Arcardipane, chief designer, pushed the concept to reality.
Powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to full-time four-wheel drive, Kia’s innovative sport utility is underpinned by an all-new platform, code-named KM. This is a unitary-construction platform with flexible body architecture capable of supporting a number of bodystyles, from a conventional sports-utility vehicle to a lifestyle variant, like the KCV-II.
The KCV-II also introduces a significant number of technical innovations that will be expected to be seen on future Kia hatchback, saloon and sport utility models.
These include safety features like advanced airbags, tyre pressure warning sensors, active headrests and emergency brake assist.
Other technical features new to Kia include keyless entry, photochromatic glass and an integrated satellite navigation system with MP3 download software and in/out jacks for additional audio equipment.
"We have created the car to European proportions," says Arroyo, " and picked-up elements from motorcycles, furniture design, architecture and consumer products to make a fusion of different design elements.
"I wanted a car that made me feel good when I walked to it every morning," he adds. "If it’s something that I have to see every day, then it has to be beautiful."
Founded in 1944, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.co.kr ) is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. A part of the Hyundai Automobile Group, the company currently exports around 600,000 vehicles per year through a network of distributors that covers 160 countries. Kia Motors is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open.Published 23 September 2002