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Geneva: Imagine by Kia all-electric concept revealed

Concept vehicle would be Kia’s first all-electric four-door car, and debuts illuminated ‘tiger mask’ grille

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Kia has ‘imagined’ a new concept machine for the 2019 Geneva motor show — the Imagine by Kia.

Unveiled today, this all-electric machine is Kia’s first demonstration of a battery electric four-door car and is dubbed as a ‘category buster’ by the South Korean firm. It takes various design elements from SUVs, saloon cars and crossovers to create this jack-of-all-trades look.

Although Kia hasn’t given technical details of the concept, it says it uses a whole new platform designed for electric machines – unlike its current EV in the range, the e-Niro, which takes its underpinnings from its hybrid stablemate.

Its most eye-catching design detail is its illuminated ‘tiger mask’ grille up front, which encircles the main LED headlamps. Kia hasn’t confirmed if this feature will ever make its way to a production car, but its statement that ‘it marks [the concept] as a Kia for the 21st century’ strongly hints that we will see some of these styling cues in the future.

   

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The manufacturer has also paid particular attention to the way lighting affects the visuals of the car. Using ‘a human approach to design’, its bodywork catches light in such a way to give the constant impression movement — even when viewed at a total standstill. Its six-layer chrome-effect paint also reacts to lighting conditions to highlight the concept’s sharp look.

Other exterior highlights of note on concept include the use of a single piece of glass for the windscreen and roof to create an airy atmosphere in the cabin, while wrap-around brake light strips are a direct tribute to the Kia Stinger fastback. There are also 22-inch alloy wheels with glass inserts, again designed to manipulate light to highlight its aesthetic.

Hop inside the airy cabin — using either the conventional front doors or rear-hinged back units — and occupants will be met with 21 high-resolution screens. Yes, 21. Kia admits this is done somewhat jokingly, with vice president of design for Kia Europe, Gregory Guillaume, saying: “These 21 incredibly thin screens are a humorous and irreverent riposte to the on-going competition between some automotive manufacturers to see who can produce the car with the biggest screen”.

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Wondering when it’ll hit roads? Well, the Imagine by Kia has already confirmed to not be heading to production — so don’t pull wallets out just yet. Do expect many design elements to make it to future Kia cars though, albeit maybe not the 21 screens.

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Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

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