We have gotten a set of fresh spy shots of a Kia prototype that were taken close to the carmaker’s R&D centre in Germany.
There is a definite air of mystery around this car, as it looks unlike anything Kia has delivered in prototype form of late.
Car enthusiasts and the automotive media have all taken guesses as to what the vehicle might be, and all everyone can agree on is that it is indeed a Kia model.
What others may not know is the fact that we have an idea of what the vehicle in question is and where it will land in the Kia lineup!
But, let’s first discuss on what it definitely is not!
It’s not the next-generation Ceedd SW or Sportage CUV!
We can rule out the Ceed Sporty Wagon and Sportage crossover vehicle!
Some folks have guessed that it might be the either one of the vehicles mentioned above, but it almost certianly is not!
We can also rule out the KX-3 small SUV!
There has been some talk that the prototype might be the KX-3 for the European market.
That particular model was launched in China a couple of months back, and the talk was that it would arrive in Europe about this time.
This doesn’t appear to be it, though, as it looks completely different from the small KX-3 SUV sold in China, primarily because of its larger size.
What does that leave us with?
The prototype vehicle at the spy shots is almost certianly the new compact hybrid crossover that Kia have been working on, and which should come to the dealers sometime in 2016.
Kia has not said too much about this new model, but some unofficial details have been leaked about what we should expect:
1. Development Name
The codename that the vehicle is being developed under is “DE.”
2. Hybrid Car Platform
The platform that the vehicle will be built on will be a stand-alone hybrid platform that will not be used by any other vehicle in the Kia lineup.
That said, Hyundai, the parent company of Kia, are expected to use the platform for a similar type of hybrid vehicle to be released at about the same date.
Kia has revealed that the new platform has been designed to accommodate a specific set of eco-friendly technologies and powertrains.
The result is a blank canvas of sorts that allows engineers at Kia to work independently of other models, which gives them the freedom to create a car and powertrain that are built in perfect harmony to one another.
Kia looked at the Toyota Prius and discovered that while the hybrid owners are happy with their purchase and would buy again, they are less than happy with the unconventional styling of the car.
Kia took that information and worked hard to create an appealing design for their model.
The shape of the new car will be that of a crossover, albeit with a more rugged appeal.
The CUV-style profile will come complete with plastic cladding around the wheel arches and bumpers.
Think of it as a cross between a small wagon and an SUV, creating a crossover that is similar in style to the Mercedes GLA.
BTW, the Hyundai hybrid model we mentioned earlier will have a 5-door hatchback style that is more in line with the Prius.
4. Kia’s Second-Generation Hybrid Electric Drivetrain
Kia’s next generation hybrid electric powertrain technology will be used in the new vehicle.
There will be a pair of different options eventually made available.
The vehicle will start as a hybrid electric model, with a plug-in hybrid model expected to be introduced at a later date.
Regenerative braking and ISG start / stop system will be included in the mix!
There are no engine or electric motor specs available at this stage of the development.
As far as size and dimensions go, the new Kia hybrid vehicle will fill the gap between the Soul and the Sportage CUV, which means a length in the region of 4350mm.