Korean maker to show off a sporty, upmarket SUV concept at Detroit
14 December 2006

Kia Motors is hoping to continue shedding its staid, budget-brand image with the unveiling of the Kue concept car at Detroit in January - and on the strength of this sketch at least, you certainly can't fault the brand for a lack of ambition. The South Korean manufacturer's latest concept is an SUV with added attitude, focusing on performance rather than practicality, driving experience rather than carrying capacity – without entirely sacrificing those useful SUV characteristics and capabilities.

Its monocoque platform sits on 22-inch wheels, and is packaged within an overall length of just over 4700mm - about that of a Range Rover Sport. Kia is calling it a CUV: a compact utility vehicle.

Though an out-and-out concept, Kia is stressing that the Kue does hint at the marque’s future styling direction. It’s certainly a long way removed from the humdrum Sportage (right) and Sorrento models sold in the UK, and if it comes here in production form, could do wonders for the brand’s image.

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