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2011-04-01 08:40

NICE AND SQUARE: Naimo's boxy exterior conceals a number of handcrafted interior features.

Its name may be taken from the Korean word for square, but Kia’s latest electric concept shows the manufacturer is certainly thinking outside the box.

The latest Kia concept made its global debut at the Seoul Auto Show on March 31, 2011. The electric crossover concept, whose name is derived from the Korean word “Ne-mo” (meaning square space), shows off funky styling with its boxed off design and bulky stance.

But while the exterior styling is quirky and futuristic, the cabin is where chief designer Peter Schreyer has really shined.

Naimo takes is inspiration from traditional Korean arts and crafts – the pale green paintwork, for instance, is informed by a colour used in traditional Korean pottery.

Handcrafted materials are used throughout the cabin, ranging from the Korean oak for the door panels and floor area, to the Hanji paper used for the roof lining.

TESTING: Kia's third electric car concept in a year, Naimo will join Kia’s test fleet of hybrid, electric and fuel-cell vehicles being driven to develop future production models.

Other fun features include a high-powered air jet as replacement for the traditional windscreen wiper blade and miniature cameras in the A-pillars where door mirrors would usually be.

The four-seater’s power comes from a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor with a maximum output of 80 kW and maximum torque of 280 Nm. This allows Naimo to reach a top speed of 150 km/h.

A twin-pack 27 kWh battery, using Lithium Ion Polymer technology, is located under the boot floor. With this, Naimo is good for a driving range of 200km on a single charge, the manufacturer said.

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