Posts Tagged ‘k5’
The 2020 Kia Telluride, the largest SUV in the Kia Motors lineup, sure made quite the splash didn’t it? Although still going strong, the likes of the Kia Seltos have quickly garnered this compact SUV attention. Earlier this year, the Kia Telluride succeeded in winning “Triple Crown” of Prestigious Automotive Awards, locking in MotorTrend SUV of the Year, a place on the Car and Driver 10 Best list, and winning the 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award during the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) Awards. January is still some time away, but 2021 NACTOY has just released the vehicles that made it to the semifinals, and Kia Motors appears more than once.
“Many of the new models on our semifinalist list make bold statements that are intended to distinguish them within their segments…Several are all-electric, while others have groundbreaking designs or off-the-charts capabilities. It will be fascinating to see which risks pay off this year as our evaluation process continues.” – NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg
Because the NACTOY awards focus on vehicles available to consumers this year that are either all-new or substantially new, the Kia Telluride was not in this competition. Instead, out of the 27 new vehicles that made it to the semifinals for the 2021 awards – out of eight passenger cars, 15 utility vehicles, and four pickup trucks – the Kia K5, Kia Seltos, and Kia Sorento all made the cut.
Near the end of October 2019, renderings of the K5 in South Korea started making rounds on the internet. One of the reasons why the new K5 garnered interest was because K5 is the name given to the Kia Optima in the South Korean market. Put two and two together, and word was that these new renderings were also concept renderings for the new 2021 Kia Optima. It may not look as futuristic as the rendering, but we’d be lying if we didn’t say the new 2021 Kia Optima is looking fresher than ever. There’s even some sports car appeal in there.
From Render to Reality
You know, it’s not often that a concept or render will keep the same looks and features once the vehicle goes into production. The 2020 Kia Telluride SUV is a prime example of an automaker beefing up a concept with a bunch of cool technology that gets left on the cutting room floor. We expected the same to happen to the 2021 Kia Optima, but so far, it’s looking a lot like the render Kia Motors promised. Starting with the front fascia, those lightning-bolt shaped headlights are still drawing attention to the new mean tiger-face grille that Kia Motors is using to replace their well-known tiger-nose grille. This vehicle is most likely not electric, so there are still two grilles integrated into the front, but with the Kia Futuron concept, an all-electric vehicle from Kia Motors may already be on the way.
When Kia Motors first said it was going to become an all-electric automaker, there was a little confusion. How can an automaker that has plans to produce GT vehicles like the recent 2020 Kia Forte also become an all-electric automaker? Kia Motors GT-line is how it sounds – it’s a lineup within the lineup and only certain vehicles like the Kia Forte, the Kia Soul, and the Kia Optima may get GT-specific trims. Electric vehicles on the other hand? Well, Kia leaked a rendering of the new 2021 Kia Optima, known as the K5 overseas, and the grille is all but absent. So, imagine our excitement when we saw this little number – the Kia Futuron concept (pictured above).
Yeah, that’s hot. Although the 2019 SEMA Show is happening between November 5 – November 8, 2019, Kia Motors decided to debut their new concept overseas during the 2019 China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. A bit of a shame, we’d love to get a better look at a prototype, but all the current media on it only shows renders. Either way, the Kia Futuron concept is an all-wheel drive SUV coupe with a fully electric powertrain.
Based on first looks alone, this concept definitely looks like a sports car. The flowing shapes and streamlined design definitely create an aero-efficient profile that can slice through the atmosphere, and the low-profile keeps it looking strong yet also elegant. Some may be wondering why we’ve never seen a design like this before, with the wide stance and long wheelbase. It’s the Futuron’s fully-electric powertrain that makes this possible.
Mounted low in the vehicle’s body, beneath the cabin floor, a high-capacity battery not only provides electrical energy to four powerful electric motors embedded in the wheels but can also help to keep the vehicle grounded with a low center of gravity. Matched with a cutting-edge e-AWD system, and we have the beginnings of an all-electric sports car. We assume they’re talking about the all-wheel drivetrain transfer case Kia Motors was working on back in 2018.
Shown in the concept renders, the roof is a diamond-shaped panoramic glasshouse that floods the cabin with natural light and offers everyone inside a great view. On top of this, inching closer to self-driving vehicles, the Futuron concept comes with a network of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors capable of providing Level 4 autonomous driving. That’s when the driver doesn’t even need to control the vehicle in a majority of driving conditions.
The new “tiger-face” Kia Motors keeps pushing is also apparent in the design of the Futuron. No longer subtle and soft, Kia is going for a tighter, more aggressive, yet elegant “tiger face”. If we’re being real, this concept looks a lot like the Imagine by Kia concept the automaker unveiled at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. The Futuron also has a new interesting take on headlamps with a “Star Cloud” design made to reflect the look of nebulae in the night sky with a geometric patchwork of matrix LED lighting.
Step inside and an all-electric powertrain definitely makes for a more spacious cabin for the driver and passengers. Plus, the two front seats are made out of flexible materials and can offer an upright “driving” position or a reclined “rest” position. With the level 4 autonomy engaged, the two front seats will actually fully recline, and the steering wheel retracts to offer a “zero-gravity” seating position for some rest and relaxation on a long drive.
Going for a little unique flare, the interior comes with Star Cloud lighting and scaled Dragon Skin motifs that pay respects to Chinese legend Dragons and the scaled armor that adorns Chinese dragons in mythology and modern-day cultural celebrations. Drivers and passengers will definitely feel like they’ve stepped into a fantasy world with a glittering interactive ambient lighting system in the cabin. The most notable feature though, although a little difficult to see in the provided images, is a graphical user interface (GUI) that merges the instrument cluster and the audio-visual display into the center of the dashboard. Operated by artificial intelligence (AI), the GUI displays useful information about the vehicle, such as various autonomous driving features, powertrain, and navigation.
Here’s hoping we get a better look at the Kia Futuron Concept here in the states. Share your thoughts about the new concept on Miami Lakes Kia social media.