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Provo Concept Offers Clues About Future Kia Models

3/11/2013
The Kia Provo Concept debuted at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, a 3-door hatchback "for European tastes and conditions," according to the automaker. A compact 4-seater, the Provo Concept might be designed in Europe for Europe, but it still offers a number of clues regarding the direction Kia might be headed in terms of powertrains, design, and technology.

Starting with the styling, the Provo Concept displays a new interpretation of Kia's "tiger-nose" grille design, set between headlights that employ 850 tiny programmable LED lights that can perform a variety of functions. The Provo Concept has what Kia calls a "visor-style" windshield and black A-pillars, giving the roof a floating appearance that is enhanced by contrasting Blood Orange paint. Body-color (Storm Metal) C-pillars rise up and over the Provo Concept, bisecting the vehicle's orange roof. Tucked under swollen fenders, 19-inch milled-alloy wheels add visual attitude.

Inside, the Provo Concept provides seating for four people, though Kia refers to the rear seat as "occasional use." Quilted leather upholstery, neoprene door panel material, polished aluminum details, and a carbon fiber dashboard combine to create a dark, purposeful cabin illuminated by red LED ambient lighting. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has Blood Orange contrast stitching and a centering indicator, and because the front seats are fixed in place, the steering wheel and pedals offer power adjustment. A programmable digital display in the center of the control panel offers Normal, Cruise, Track, and Entertainment displays selected using a Multi-Media Interface.

The Kia Provo Concept is equipped with a Smart 4WD Hybrid powertrain. The gas-electric hybrid system includes a turbocharged, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with engine stop/start technology, which delivers 201 horsepower and drives the Provo Concept's front wheels. An electric assist motor generating 44 horsepower drives the rear wheels, providing a 4-wheel-drive effect when cornering or accelerating hard. In "creep" mode, the electric motor also powers the Provo Concept on nothing but electricity at low speeds. A new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission with paddle shifters is included.

Kia merely speculates about producing a vehicle like the Provo Concept: "The company remains committed to delivering desirable, dynamic and stunningly attractive vehicles that will deliver affordable enjoyment to real, everyday motorists. The Provo could be just such a car."

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