Kia stretches out the hot hatch with new concept car
Traditionally, Kia hasn't been one of the brands we most look forward to visiting at major auto shows. But it's been changing that over the past few years, and has stepped things up in 2017. It kicked off the year by introducing the lovely Stinger, and now it announces that its Frankfurt Motor Show booth will host one of the nicest pieces of eye candy we've seen teased thus far. The deep-red "extended hot hatch" looks like an absolutely sexy and aggressive new estate concept.
Kia already sculpted one of the sportiest estates in recent memory in the Sportspace concept it showed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Bright red paint, just the right amount of slope on the roofline, and sharp facial features combined to make that concept very much an "extended hot hatch." A year later, the concept got domesticated into the Optima Sportswagon, a handsome enough estate, but not the sharp, curvy production Sportspace we were hungry for.
Apparently Kia's Frankfurt design team also had some appetite left, satiated only by preparing itself a piping hot wagon even more delicious than the Sportspace. Or at least it looks that way in the one teaser picture we have to go by.
The new concept appears to pick up where the Sportspace left off in terms of red-hot, dramatically sporty estate design. The car has four doors but looks more shooting brake-like, with the roof dropping sharply to frame a powerful, rear-set sports car that looks quite eager to fire off to 62 mph (100 km/h). That sports car just happens to have enough room to pack the family, full picnic and water toys for a day at the beach.
The heavy side glass surround really drives home the quick decline of the roofline, making the eye expect to wander down to a single door on each side, instead of the pair. Toward the rear, the upper edge of the roof itself splits off from the surround's path, terminating in a roof spoiler.
The deep sculpting along the flanks adds dynamism while also serving to better accentuate the strong fenders. The low-set bodywork, wedge-shaped side skirts and large wheels add to the aggressive feel. At the back, there's a full-width lighting strip and what looks like a diffuser and vents down below. The entire package, save for the contrast aero components, is wrapped tightly in a reflective cherry red paint that helps bring to life every curve and crease.
Kia frames the concept as a possible member of the next-generation c'eed lineup. Hopefully, a little of that DNA will permeate the entire lineup and give it some serious heat.
Whatever the future, we look forward to learning more in Frankfurt. New Atlas will be on the ground to bring you the latest, and we anticipate getting more than a couple photos of this one. Until then, whet your appetite with some photos of the 2015 Sportspace.
Update (September 7, 2017): Kia has released a few more shots of the car ahead of its debut in Frankfurt next week. We've added them to our gallery.