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2013-02-08 13:25

BEASTLY: Kia stunned visitors to the 2013 Chicago auto show with their Cross GT Concept CUV.

  Gallery

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CHICAGO, Illinois –  Kia turned heads at the 2013 Chicago auto show on Friday when it revealed its Cross GT Concept CUV (crossover utility vehicle? just guessing).

It’s a mixed breed from Kia's GT concept and a luxury CUV: picture “elegant yet powerful” and its supposed to be a bigger offering than the current Sorento.

LUXURY CROSSOVER

Kia president and chief designer Peter Schreyer said: “The debut of the GT in 2011 was a new frontier for Kia from design and business perspectives.

“It showed the world that the brand was ready to explore the perhaps offering a full-size, rear-drive luxury sesdan. The Cross GT, with its raised stance and large cargo area, allows us to envision the GT in the form of a full-size luxury crossover.”

IMAGE GALLERY

The concept CUV is derived from the GT's rear-drive platform with short overhangs and "inspired from nature". It also has a long wheelbase and wide posture but is significantly higher with all-wheel drive and all-weather capabilities.

The fusion copper-coloured car runs with a 3.8 V6 hybrid powertrain mated to an eight-speed auto gearbox. The hybrid system works in conjunction with a pancake-shaped electric motor sandwiched between the V6 and the transmission.

POWER FIGURES TO BOAST

Together, these two units make 298kW/500Nm of torque with a battey range of 32km. While the GT CUV is purely a concept, the combination of Kia’s hybrid technology crossed with all-wheel drive could be seen soon in a production vehicle.

To get an idea of the size, the Sorento wheelsbase is 38cm shorter than the Cross GT’s wheelbase of 308cm and is 21cm longer. Although the car’s roof is much lower, it’s still bigger.

While it’s supposed to be a larger car, it can only accommodate four people. It has nifty dual rear-hinged doors, better known as “suicide” doors which makes for easy access to the rear bucket seats.

The boot has a “clamshell” design with a traditional glass hatch and tail hatch. There’s also lots of advanced diode technology to highlight Kia’s signature “tiger-nose” grille, as well as a multi-panelled skylight with hexagonal glass inserts.

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