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Kia Sportspace Concept First Look

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/4/2015 Jason Udy
Kia Sportspace Concept First Look

With its unique roofline, the Kia Sportspace concept shown at the 2015 Geneva auto show is said to defy categories. It is neither a sedan, wagon, hatchback, nor shooting brake. Rather, the four-seat Sportspace was designed to be a fast, efficient, and comfortable grand tourer ideal for long road trips.

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The focal point of the concept is its rear cargo area, which features a wide, forward-leaning D-pillar and concave tailgate. The turn signals in the wider rear LED taillights "pulse outward." Twin trapezoidal exhaust tips poke out from the full-width carbon-fiber diffuser, which combines with the roof spoiler to improve aerodynamics.

"The normal wagon treatment would include a long third window to suggest and show the luggage carrying capacity," says Gregory Guillaume, chief designer for Europe. "But by applying a strong D-pillar treatment and a much more swept-back rear hatch, we have given the back of the car a strong character -- muscular and athletic. It has great power and strength within its mass.

Kia Sportspace Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Kia Sportspace Concept "The visual weight of the rear is reduced with careful shaping of screen, door, and rear bumper. The edges cut into the mass to make its raked appearance believable and less wagon-like."

Up front, the Kia Sportspace concept features the automaker's tiger-nose grille with a louvered Plexiglas insert that rotates when more airflow is required. Kia says the satin aluminum strip across the leading edge of the hood and the ice-cube LED headlights give the concept "a sense of strength and determination." Other front end details include curved fascia below the headlights. The bumper cover also sports another stain aluminum strip that hides the turn signals.

Along the side, a well-defined, high beltline runs from the front to the rear. Other profile features include a carbon-fiber kickplate toward the bottom. Kia says those two features give the Sportspace an athletic muscularity. A satin aluminum strip also runs across the top of the greenhouse, while each side mirror features a turn signal inspired by those in the front fascia. The concept rides on a set of 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels with carbon-fiber inserts.

Kia Sportspace Concept 5© Provided by MotorTrend Kia Sportspace Concept 5 Kia Sportspace Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Kia Sportspace Concept Inside, the Kia Sportspace concept features a black interior illuminated by a full panoramic moonroof. Leather, carbon fiber, and anodized aluminum give the concept a modern feel. Black leather and silver brushed aluminum-look fabric cover the dashboard and center console. Other details include a floating instrument panel and side air vents mounted on the full-length center console rather than the center stack. The seats feature hand-woven polished black leather and carbon-fiber shells. Endurance Graphite anodized aluminum is used on the flat-bottom steering wheel, paddle shifters, sport pedals, automatic transmission shifter, and switchgear.

A configurable digital instrument cluster provides vehicle information, while the infotainment system features a large center-mounted screen. The infotainment system is operated by an iDrive style center console controller. A rearview camera sends information to a small screen that replaces the traditional rearview mirror.

Kia Sportspace Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Kia Sportspace Concept The padded leather armrest between the rear seats doubles as a ski rest for carrying skis inside the vehicle. A rear storage compartment houses a pair of tablet computers that can be mounted to the back of the front seats. The rear cargo area is lined with matte leather and features 28 rolling balls for easy loading and unloading of luggage or sports equipment. The balls recess into the floor when the ignition is turned on.

Power for the front-drive Kia Sportspace concept comes from a 246-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinder. An automatic transmission of an undisclosed number of gears backs the engine.

Although designed to potentially fill the void in the automaker's lineup of a wagon-type vehicle in Europe, the Kia Sportspace concept could likely influence future design for the U.S. bound models.

Kia Sportspace Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Kia Sportspace Concept
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