According to Kia, the Novo is named after the Latin notion of making something new and fresh. Its design certainly feels like a departure from traditional Kia styling, characterized by a low profile, a solid, wide stance and thick, bold design features.
There is only a short overhang at the front of the vehicle, with a longer one at the rear. The Novo has both a large flattened nose and rear, to which the roofline curves down. Kia says this gives it a "raked sporty look." Both the laser headlights and taillights take a slightly elongated horizontal form, contributing to the design.
Inside, Kia has gone for a minimalist approach that it says is designed to provide a "sanctuary" for urban drivers. Leather and aluminum highlights abound, as do a wealth of high-tech features.
The instruments are shown on a three-dimensional holographic display in front of the driver. A "blind control" touchpad next to the steering wheel, meanwhile, provides a means of controlling the car's functions without the driver needing to look away from the road.
The touchpad also has a fingerprint scanner that allows the car to be automatically configured based on the preferences of each different driver. A touchscreen on the dash also provides a means of viewing the vehicle's functionality.
The Novo is powered by a 1.6 l (0.35 gal) "Kappa" turbo GDi engine and has seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It sits on what Kia calls adaptive concave profile tires, which are designed to clear excess road water away from the wheels for greater grip using a sunken middle channel.