Kia’s new concept hints at the Sorento’s luxurious older sibling.
Following a set of leaked online images, Kia's new Cross GT Concept has been revealed at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show giving the Korean automaker's biggest hint yet that it plans to make a large premium SUV positioned above the current Sorento. Based on the same chassis at the GT sedan concept unveiled at the 2011 Franfurt Motor Show, the Cross GT sits lower and wider than the Sorento but is larger in size. At 4897mm in length, it's 213mm longer than the Sorento, with a 399mm longer wheelbase.
Being wider, but 41mm shorter affords it a low roofline that's become a common feature of modern crossovers. Kia's California-based designers penned the Cross GT's design, having previously created the 2014 Forte sedan and Track'ster concept. Being a hybrid, power comes from an electric motor and a 3.8-liter V6 gasoline unit that combine to produce 400 hp and 500lb-ft of torque, delivered to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. An all-electric range if 20 miles is claimed. Designed as a four-person car, rear-hinged suicide doors make for easy access to the back bucket seats.
The cabin itself feels light and spacious thanks to the multi-paneled skylight and hexagonal glass inserts. Environmentally-friendly materials also feature, with the American walnut on the instrument panel selected from recycled stock, and the leather seats tanned with chemical-free Almond Terra-colored dyes. A touchscreen gives access to climate control, entertainment functions and telematics, while rear passengers can go online and access infotainment options via flat-panel screens mounted on the rear of the front-seat headrests. While the Cross GT will remain a concept, newly appointed president and global design chief, Peter Schreyer, hints that it could give rise to a future production model.
"The debut of the GT in 2011 heralded a new frontier for Kia, both from a design and a business perspective. It beautifully illustrated to the world that the brand was ready to explore the possibility of perhaps one day offering a full-size rear-wheel-drive luxury saloon. 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."