Kia’s 86-fighter debuts in Geneva

2013-03-04 16:54

SEOUL, South Korea  – Kia unveiled its stunning Provo concept  at the 2013 Geneva International Auto show.

The model mixes a petrol-fuelled turbo-charged engine with regenerative-electric motors. The concept hints at Kia’s B-segment future.

According to Kia, “The car is meant to be cheeky and cheerful in its compactness and to hint at the fun awaiting on the open road.”


Kia Europe’s chief designer, Gregory Guillaume, said: “An emotional and muscular car aimed at delivering pure fun and performance for today’s city-based enthusiast driver who longs for the curves of the open road.”

The model combines a four cylinder 1.6-litre Turbo GDI engine capable of 150kW coupled with 4WD-hybrid technology from an electric motor delivering an additional power surge to the rear wheels when required. The hybrid also an electric-only mode at low speeds.

The engine is mated to a seven-speed DCT transmission, a first for Kia.

Guillaume said: “This is entirely a car for European tastes and conditions.  Designed purely at our Frankfurt studios the provo was conceived as a confident and single-minded statement of dynamism and energy to deliver a new sense of fun into the B-segment. 

“The potent shaping displays a balanced and refined outline within a compact overall shape and the tiny front and rear overhangs enhance the balance within its proportions.”

The provo measures 3.88ms long, 1.77m wide and 1.35m tall. The model rides on 225/40 19” alloy wheels and has a 2.53m wheelbase.


Hidden behind a single piece of glass is the latest take on the Kia’s “tiger nose” grille linking straight into the Schreyer-inspired headlights that are made up of more than 850 tiny LEDs.  The programmable LEDs can be used to provide daytime running lights, full beam or even race-style configurations –as well as more humorous and decorative displays.

Guillaume said: “The interior is very, very black – as we believe it should be to allow drivers to focus on the experience.  But we have also looked to make the functional aspects of the car fit the modern demands of today’s drivers.”

The doors are made from three individual panels;  the outer panel, a carbon-fibre inner panel and a neoprene-covered inner section that also features the metal body colour.  The inner door releases are reassuringly solid polished aluminium.

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The dashboard is made from a single expanse of Carbon Fibre but does not deliberately extend down to the floor  in order to keep the footwells clear and uncluttered.

The dashboard sports large analogue dials on a digital display and a smaller central display for other gauges. The displays can be programmed to offer a selection of functions.  The Provo has a unique transmission which eschews the tradional gear lever in favour of two control hubs. The first sports the engine control button and the drive selector for the auto as well as the multimedia interface.


Drivers can choose four modes for the displays – Normal, cruise, track and entertainment. In normal mode the driver sees a speedometer, rev counter and sat-nav route instructions.  In cruise the display is centred on a large scale map, route instructions and a speedometer. In track mode the display features a large rev counter, a track-map and a lap-timer. 
The entertainment mode allowing visuals of music, radio and other information.

The seat backrests are mounted on a rotating aluminium track so that instead of folding forward, they spin into the centre of the vehicle allowing easy access to the rear seats.

Guillaume commented: “The whole interior concept was designed around not having a big centre console, but instead using latest technology to provide excellent functionality in a clean, clear and attractive manner.

“By using a DCT gearbox we were able to get rid of the floor-mounted gear-shift and use paddles behind the steering wheel, which has blood-orange stitching and a race style straight-ahead indicator, allowing us to use the floor space for other controls resulting in a much tidier environment.  Because the seats are fixed we have full electric adjustment for the pedal box and steering column – further simplifying the interior and giving a perfect-fit for any driver.”

Completing the moody cockpit feel are tiny red LEDs set into the doors, air vents and roof.  The roof panel also incorporates aluminium window toggle controls.

Whilst no specific production schedule for provo is on the calendar, the arrival of the new Kia pro_cee’d GT makes it clear that the automaker remains committed to delivering “desirable, dynamic and stunningly attractive vehicles”

Kia's new concept car, Provo, is designed to provoke comment but to many across Ireland, the name sounds too much like a celebration of terrorism.

Check out the latest models in our Geneva show section.

  • Thabz Madi - 2013-03-05 11:47

    I want one!!!

  • jeremy thorpe - 2013-03-05 15:28

    Stunning? It looks ridiculous - like a squashed Evoque with a sneery little mouth! Regardless of its mechanicals, it's not a patch, lookswise, on the Toyota 86.....

      jango.za - 2013-03-08 10:39

      Your opinion, and you are entitled to it. But, opinions are like a s s h o l e s, we all have one, and I disagree with yours entirely.

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