Kia has hinted at plans to produce a large premium SUV to be positioned above the current Sorento by unveiling the Kia Cross GT concept at the Seoul motor show today.
The Cross GT, which is based on the same chassis as the striking Kia GT concept displayed at motor shows since 2011, is larger but lower and wider in stance than the Sorento SUV.
The concept is 4897mm long (213mm longer than the Sorento) and has a 3099mm wheelbase (399mm more than the existing production SUV). It is also wider, but 41mm shorter, giving it a low roofline that's redolent of many crossovers.
The Cross GT is a hybrid, with power coming from a 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine and an electric motor. The two power sources combine to produce about 400bhp and 500lb ft of torque, which is delivered to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Kia says the concept has an all-electric range of 20 miles.
The four-person cabin is designed to be light and airy – a sensation that's emphasised by the multi-panelled skylight with hexagonal glass inserts. It features dual rear-hinged 'suicide' doors for easy access to the back bucket seats, while the boot opening incorporates a traditional glass hatch and a tailgate.
Although Kia stresses that the Cross GT is purely conceptual, it hints that the car and the hybrid powertrain could inform a future production model.
Kia president and chief of design Peter Schreyer said: "The debut of the GT in 2011 heralded a new frontier for Kia, both from a design and a business perspective. It beautifully illustrated to the world that the brand was ready to explore the possibility of perhaps one day offering a full-size rear-wheel-drive luxury saloon. The Cross GT, with its raised stance and large cargo area, allows us to envision the GT in the form of a full-size luxury crossover."
Unlike the GT, which was designed in Frankfurt, Germany, the Cross GT is the work of the Kia's KDCA design centre in Irvine, California. If the Cross GT spawned a production model, it seems likely that it would be angled at the US market.