Kia embraces adventure with rugged, new SEMA concepts
The Korean auto industry is getting its wheels dirty this November. We've already seen a sneak preview of two highly ruggedized Hyundai Tucsons – the Adventuremobile and the Rockstar. Kia, meanwhile, will roll into SEMA with no less than six adventure concepts. Each will celebrate a different region of the United States and, based on the Pacific West and Deep South versions, they'll be a whole lot of messy fun.
In a twist even more unexpected than a Tucson overland vehicle, Kia has turned the Forte Koup into the high-riding, fun-loving Mud Bogger designed to celebrate the muddin' culture of the American South. It's jacked the Forte up with a 4-in (10-cm) body/suspension lift, while carved out rivet-flared fenders make room for the beefy 28-in off-road tires wrapping the white wheels.
The Mud Bogger includes a panoramic roof with pushback vinyl top, and the owner won't have to worry too much about muddy boots because the carpets have been stripped out and replaced with Line-X protective coating. A white powder-coated, hand-built roll cage sturdies the structure, and a pair of Sparco Evo II Red Race Seats stands in for the stock seats.
Stray about as far as you can from the American South while still staying in the contiguous United States and you'll end up somewhere on the West Coast, the inspiration for the PacWest Adventure Sorento. Kia hasn't detailed as much about this one, but it has confirmed a custom suspension to go along with the snorkel, off-road front bumper, rugged tires and off-road lighting that we can see in the single teaser photo. The green paint job is a nod to the lush, deep forests of the American West.
While the first two SEMA cars are off-roaders, that doesn't necessarily mean all six will be. Kia's language is general enough to leave open the possibility of other types of vehicles. It says each concept embraces the "spirit of adventure found on the open road" and brings to life the "various car cultures that help define America’s love of the automobile". So we could see a Heartland K900 5.0 V8 muscle car or a SoulCal Woodie Beach Cruiser. Maybe a Sedona camper van?
We look forward to finding out all about those remaining four concepts, and we won't have to wait long. SEMA gets underway on Tuesday, November 3.