Kia Motors unveiled its new all-electric concept car, ‘Imagine by Kia,’ at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.
“Automotive design is about capturing the heart and making it beat that bit faster for that bit longer. We believe that there’s absolutely no reason why that should change simply because the car is electric,” says Gregory Guillaume, Vice President of Design for Kia Motors Europe.
“That’s why our all-electric concept is designed to not only get your pulse racing, but to also signpost our holistic and emotional approach to electrification.”
The model is an electric four-door passenger car underpinned by a low-mounted, induction-charged battery pack that powers a compact drivetrain. It brings together elements of a sports utility vehicle, a sleek and athletic family saloon, and a versatile and spacious crossover.
“It’s a large C-segment car – the vehicle size that’s incredibly popular in Europe – but the only things it holds on to are Kia’s brand values,” explains Guillaume. “It hints at something familiar, but is something entirely new. I think of it as a category-buster, and a disruptor – it’s familiar and understood but at the same time progressive and new.”
Imagine by Kia also features what the firm refers to as a ‘tiger mask’ that encircles the main LED headlamp units. The main beam units are housed with a single block of clear acrylic glass, creating the effect of piercing eyes.
“The inspiration for the ‘tiger mask’ was to create the look and feel of the headlamps being suspended within a transparent block of glass,” explains Guillaume. “This identifiable lighting signature could potentially be deployed as a unifying design element across Kia’s future electric vehicle range.”
The paintwork is created to be warm and inviting to the touch. A single sheet of glass is used for both the windscreen and roof.
The front turn signals are adorned by illuminated glowing elements.
The lighting is designed to welcome the driver.
“The flush-fitting Kia script on the front of the concept lights up and glows as the driver approaches the car, followed by the illuminated tiger mask – a welcoming gesture to the driver at the start of the journey,” explains Guillaume.
Even the wheels play a role in creating visuals surrounding the movement of light. Each of the 22-inch alloy bespoke Goodyear 255/35 R22 Intelligrip EV concept tires features four flush inserts of transparent acrylic glass to reflect and refract the light.
Finally, the interiors is just as sublime as the exterior following the same path. “We wanted the interior to have a twinkle in its eye, to be full of surprising and delightful touches that amuse, engage and attract both driver and passenger alike,” explains Ralph Kluge, Kia Motors Europe’s general manager of interior design.
The car is equipped with 21 individual ultra-high-resolution screens that curve their synchronized way across the top of the dashboard. It takes just a single glance to understand what Kluge means.
“These 21 incredibly thin screens are a humorous and irreverent riposte to the on-going competition between some automotive manufacturers to see who can produce the car with the biggest screen,” says Kluge.