If the future is electric, then this futuristic glimpse of what we can expect on New Zealand roads from Kia Motors indicates exciting times ahead.
The Kia Futuron Concept is a sporty all-wheel drive SUV coupe that showcases the company’s views on its next generation of electric cars.
Kia unveiled the Futuron Concept at the 2019 China International Import Expo in Shanghai, to illustrate how electric vehicles will progress. The Futuron name itself is a portmanteau of ‘future’ and ‘on’, hinting at the switched-on, electric nature of future SUV designs from the brand.
Kia is already experiencing dramatic uptake in demand for its Niro EV in New Zealand and other markets thanks to its popular SUV styling, roominess, technology and long driving range.
The SUV theme is expected to drive Kia’s future electric drive path, as envisaged by the Futuron Concept.
Its low-profile SUV coupe body makes a strong statement of intent for Kia’s future cars, which will be confident, sporty and modern, yet also elegant. At 4,850mm in length, 1,550 mm tall and with a 3,000 mm-long wheelbase, the Futuron’s elevated ground clearance is matched with a low, lean body to create a dynamic, confident posture.
The Futuron’s fully-electric powertrain makes this shape possible. A high-capacity battery is mounted low in the vehicle’s body, beneath the cabin floor, providing electrical energy to four powerful in-wheel electric motors. The elevated stance of the car is matched with a low centre of gravity and a cutting-edge e-AWD system that delivers lightning-fast responses to driver inputs.
Another nod to the future can be seen at the front of the Futuron Concept, highlighted by a re-interpretation of Kia’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille, now widened across the front of the car to create a restrained, yet elegant ‘tiger face’. Kia says this represents a new design interpretation for future electric vehicles.
The new grille incorporates an innovative ‘Star Cloud’ lighting design that gives the car a dazzling new night-time identity. This new lighting concept takes inspiration from nebulae in the night sky to create a geometric patchwork of matrix LED lighting. The Star Cloud also melds into the rear of the car, displaying a distinct light signature to anyone following the Futuron.
The layout of the electric powertrain and incorporation of Level 4 autonomous driving systems has enabled the creation of a spacious and flexible cabin unlike any other vehicle on the road. The two front seats are made from flexible materials, offering an upright ‘driving’ position, or a reclined ‘rest’ position, similar to the flexibility afforded to first-class airline passengers. With the activation of the Futuron’s autonomous driving features, the two front seats recline as the oblong-shaped steering wheel retracts. The ‘zero-gravity’ seating position this creates helps to reduce fatigue on long journeys.
The dashboard and instrument display is similarly futuristic, playing out with different shapes, textures and lighting.
“With the success of the current Niro EV in New Zealand, it’s exciting to see how the next phase is already taking shape,” says Todd McDonald, Managing Director of Kia Motors New Zealand.