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Chicago show: Kia teases 4WD EV

White out: Kia's all-paw EV concept could be another Soul variant or a completely new model but the car-maker is saying little at this stage.

“Advanced” electric off-road Kia concept to debut at Chicago Auto Show

30 Jan 2015

KIA has released a single teaser shot of a new all-electric four-wheel drive concept vehicle ahead of its official unveiling at the Chicago Auto Show next month.

No accompanying detail or even a name has been provided with the image but the South Korean auto-maker says its “advanced and capable electric all-wheel drive” is aimed at people who live in urban areas but like to get away.

“Intended to enable a wide array of outdoor activities... this rugged runabout captures the essence of adventuring at higher elevations with the promise of surefootedness in the wild,” Kia says.

The computer-generated image offers a side view of the vehicle’s nose in a snow flurry revealing typical crossover styling, a higher ride-height and a chunky unpainted front bumper with matching wheel arches.

Its profile is loosely akin to the Kia Soul crossover, which is only currently available as a front-wheel drive, but the concept's similarity is only vague, featuring a different headlight design, plastic wheel arches and an entirely redesigned and more bulbous front bumper.

Born at the company's California design studio, the nameless SUV rolls on red highlighted wheels, driven by Kia's e-AWD electric transmission system, but no explanation of how the technology works has been offered.

If the concept is related to the Soul, it may borrow electric drive technology from the hybrid Soul showcased at the Geneva show in last year, or the all-electric front-drive version that broke cover a month earlier at the Chicago show.

More images and information are expected prior to the full unveiling on February 12.

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