And it's coming sooner than we thought.
Last March at Geneva Kia unveiled its stunning Imagine concept, an all-electric SUV that doesn't really look like any current Kia. Consider it the next phase of the South Korean brand's design language. And now, Automotive News Europe reports it's coming to production. Speaking with Kia European COO Emilio Herrera, the Imagine concept will "become a mass-produced vehicle in one or two years." In addition, it will ride on its own "dedicated electric platform", instead of, say, a modified version of the Niro EV's architecture.
Herrera refused to go into much detail about the new EV but we know it'll be a C-segment vehicle and is part of a plan to launch more electrified models, including plug-in hybrid and hybrid versions of the also upcoming next-generation Sorento.
Kia also intends to launch a fuel cell vehicle by 2020 or early 2021. The Imagine concept's styling was previously described as "a muscular sports vehicle, a sleek and athletic family sedan, and a versatile and spacious crossover." Notice its illuminated "tiger grille" and suicide doors, though the likelihood the latter will make production is slim.
Like most all other EVs, the Imagine also featured a very practical frunk. The interior is equally impressive, featuring a floating center console and 21 high-resolution displays. And no, those displays won't reach production because, well, they were kind of a joke to begin with. Kia stated they were "humorous and irrelevant riposte to the on-going competition between some automotive manufacturers to see who can produce the car with the biggest screen."
What we will likely see, however, is a very spacious interior – just like in the concept. No details were given regarding its EV powertrain specs. Interestingly, we recently learned an all-electric version of the Seltos small crossover is also in the works, so it remains unclear whether or not the production-spec Imagine will be a global model or limited to specific markets, such as Europe.