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Frankfurt show: Kia confirms crossover concept

Third heat: Kia’s unnamed concept will be the company’s third this year, following on from the Provo and CUB concepts revealed in March.

Kia to appeal to “European tastes” with B-segment crossover concept at Frankfurt

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Kia logo12 Aug 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

KIA has confirmed it will wheel out yet another small-car concept at the Frankfurt motor show next month – its third in fewer than six months.

The unnamed vehicle, set to debut on September 10, hints at a potential future B-segment model for the South Korean brand, according to an official release.

Sketches released by the South-Korean car-maker reveal a low-slung, coupe-like car with aggressive front-end styling and featuring Kia’s now famous “tiger-nose” grille and fluorescent yellow highlights.

A second sketch reveals a futuristic interior with the silver material from the front seats stretching across the centre console, while the gear shift lever and other controls are housed on bars running between the dash and console.

Kia has released very few details about the tiny concept, but said it was designed in Europe, “with European tastes and expectations very much in mind.”

The statement from Kia said the concept “combines a mischievous character in a clearly robust and substantial yet stylish bodyshape featuring a mix of contrasting materials in compact, purposeful dimensions.”

One theory is the vehicle could preview a small crossover vehicle, potentially something to sit under the Sportage compact SUV as a rival for the Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax and Nissan Juke.

While Kia said it has “no current plans” for the concept to go into production, it will use the Frankfurt show to gauge interest and determine whether a development of it will end up in showrooms.

In March this year, Kia unveiled two small-car concepts within a month of each other, with the Mini-baiting Provo hybrid coupe shown first at the Geneva motor show.

The covers came off the Provo at the same time Kia debuted a production version of its Pro_Cee’d GT hot-hatch, indicating the brand was keen to move into sportier territory.

In a statement at the time of the Provo’s unveiling, Kia said it “remains committed to delivering desirable, dynamic and stunningly attractive vehicles.”

Just four weeks later, Kia revealed its chunky CUB concept at the Seoul motor show – a four-door hatch designed to appeal to “trend-setting urban dwellers” with its sights set on premium offerings such as the Fiat 500, Audi A1 and Mini hatch.

Kia will release more details about the crossover concept at the Frankfurt show next month.

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