Kia has chosen the Chicago Motor Show to unveil its Cross GT Concept CUV. Designed at the Kia Design Centre America, which is also behind the designs for Kia’s Track'ster, KV7 and Soul'ster concepts, and the 2014 Forte sedan (which is still marketed as the Cerato in some markets), it’s intended as a demonstration of Kia’s plan to one day market a GT that is a full-size luxury crossover.
Essentially a larger version of the Kia Sorento, the Cross GT Concept CUV can accommodate four passengers and luggage with a higher ride in an enlarged passenger cabin for better visibility. Sporting a Fusion Copper finish, it’s based on the GT chassis with similar lines, proportions and features, such as short overhangs, a long wheelbase and wide posture.
The Concept features dual rear-hinged doors and a "clam shell" boot lid with a traditional glass hatch and a tailgate. LEDs are used to highlight the grille and there’s a multi-panelled skylight with hexagonal glass inserts.
The Cross GT Concept CUV is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 hybrid powertrain with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive. It’s a variation of Kia's parallel hybrid system – which sees a pancake-shaped electric motor sandwiched between the V6 and the gearbox. The hybrid powertrain generates 400 bhp (298 kW) and 500 ft-lb (678 Nm) of torque and provides a range of 20 miles (32 km) in all-electric mode. However, all this is theoretical because the powertrain is still in the concept stage.
Also at Chicago, Kia brought along its Superman-Inspired Kia Optima Hybrid. Built in collaboration with DC Entertainment and Super Street Magazine, it’s part of a 10-month partnership with DC to produce concepts based on members of the Justice League to promote DC’s "We Can Be Heroes" campaign for drought and famine relief for the Horn of Africa.
The customized Optima has been widened with bespoke fenders and a red/blue color scheme that extends to the car's interior. Superman’s emblem adorns the bonnet and the grille is designed to resemble the Man of Steel's belt. Red headlamps represent heat vision, while an adjustable suspension system can raise and lower the vehicle at the push of a button.
Kia has already produced models based on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg and a final eighth vehicle is in the works.
The Chicago Auto Show runs from February 9 to the 18th.
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