Show cars envision anchoring opposite ends of Kia's expanding crossover lineup.
Geneva is over, and New York is just around the corner. But in between, the Seoul Motor Show has opened in the South Korean capital. And Kia, for one, was on hand with not one, but two new crossover concepts, both unveiled to the world for the first time.
The larger of them is called the Masterpiece. It's a full-size SUV that, to our eyes, looks an awful lot like a reskinned version of the Telluride that Kia just rolled out primarily for the North American market. But its badges tell a slightly different story.
Alongside the Masterpiece nameplate, the concept also bears the handle Mohave – which may not be familiar to American readers, but in other markets, denotes a mid-size crossover that was briefly sold in the US as the Borrego. That, in turn, was replaced in Kia's North American lineup by the Sorento, which was just updated with a facelift last year. Between that and the Telluride, then, we wouldn't expect to see the Mohave Masterpiece (pictured in black) arrive on these shores. So our attention shifts instead to the Signature concept (shown in orange).
Billed as a small SUV for global markets, the Signature follows the SP Concept that Kia revealed in India last year (and bears those same two letters as well). Its compact form wears a new take on the brand's signature "tiger-nose” grille, melding cleanly into the narrow headlights in a very different approach from either Kia's current production models or other concepts like the Imagine unveiled in Geneva just weeks ago (and which was also shown alongside the Signature and Masterpiece concepts in Seoul). The back-end styling reminds us of a Ford, while the black roof contrasts nicely with the bright bodywork.
Whether the Signature stands any better a chance of making its way to US showrooms, we couldn't say. "Global" could include North America or mean everywhere else. But between the Soul, Niro, Sportage, Sorento, and Telluride, Kia's crossover lineup is getting pretty full.
For what it's worth, though, sister-brand Hyundai is set to reveal a new small crossover of its own, called the Venue, in New York next month. And if Kia ends up launching its own version of the same, it could end up looking a lot like the Signature concept shown in Seoul.