Kia has just revealed a new electric concept car in Geneva. One that the company says aims to keep the automotive heart beating even when the gasoline engine is a thing of the past.
“Automotive design is about capturing the heart and making it beat that bit faster for that bit longer. We believe that there’s absolutely no reason why that should change simply because the car is electric,” says Gregory Guillaume, Vice President of Design for Kia Motors Europe. “That’s why our all-electric concept is designed to not only get your pulse racing, but to also signpost our holistic and emotional approach to electrification.”
Thus Imagine by Kia was born, the company's first all-electric four-door sedan. Unlike the Niro, this one uses an EV-specific platform that mounts the wirelessly charged battery as low as possible in the chassis, powering a compact drivetrain.
It's on the large side of the C-segment, the class where Kia's Forte currently lives. The design turns Kia's "tiger nose" grille into what the company calls a "tiger mask". The inspiration was "headlamps being suspended within a transparent block of glass," said Guillaume. The long sloping roofline goes all the way to the end of the trunk. Kia says that each of the "impulse ripples" along the flanks are a different angle and length, making the concept look like it's moving at all times.
Inside, the car has 21 individual ultra-high-res screens that curve along the top of the dashboard. Interior design manager Ralph Kluge calls it "a humorous and irreverent riposte to the ongoing competition between some automotive manufacturers to see who can produce the car with the biggest screen." We call it a nightmare when it comes time for fingerprints, but the staggering array is unlike any other car we've ever seen. The ultra-thin leather and silk seats look extremely delicate, but Kia says they are actually strong, robust, and supportive.
The concept also features bespoke Goodyear Intelligrip EV tires, that are themselves a concept. They've been fitted with advanced sensor tech that would let the rubber communicate road conditions to the car, letting it adapt immediately to changing conditions.