Although just a teaser, there's potential here.
SUVs and crossovers are taking over the industry, for better or worse. Traditional sedans and coupes are taking hits and automakers are scrambling to adjust their lineups accordingly. Kia, perhaps, has been one of the better automakers when it comes to identifying potential new niches and getting something to market. Its SUV crossover lineup continues to grow and will do so again this summer.
The automaker has just released a pair of teaser images for its first global small SUV that will go on sale first in Korea later this year. Its name has yet to be announced, but Kia says the overall styling is largely inspired by the 2019 SP Signature Concept, revealed earlier this year in Seoul.
Kia has also been moving upmarket and its new SUV will reflect that with LED headlamps, a "three-dimensional light graphic and a highly technical diamond pattern at their trailing edges." This design theme will also be replicated at the rear. Aimed directly at millennials, this new SUV will feature typical SUV design traits, "such as a long hood, a strong and sophisticated character line on the front bumper, and sharp lines pressed into the bodywork."
We don't expect this new SUV to be a so-called "real SUV" with a body-on-frame chassis, but rather a sedan-based crossover. That's pretty much the norm these days for numerous automakers, but the addition of an all-wheel-drive system will certainly add some off-road and rough weather capabilities.
Based on the SP Signature's design, however, Kia has clearly made efforts to give its new crossover an SUV look. Instead of a soft design, the concept is bold and off-road-inspired. For example, notice the black cladding on the wheel arches and a high step-in height. Hopefully, both will make their way to production.
"We have created a car which stands out everywhere, from the city to the countryside," said Byung Chul Juh, head of Kia styling. "Its robust yet sporty design will be matched by a wide range of features and technologies that are universally suited to younger buyers in markets around the world. Our new small SUV is a proposition that no other car in its class will match."