|The Kia SPORTSPACE, the ultimate gateaway car, is bound for its 2015 Geneva Motor Show preview in March. In a nutshell, the Kia SPORTSPACE is all about muscular proportions and a cosseting and refined interior.|
Unlike traditional estate cars, wagons or even shooting brakes, the Kia SPORTSPACE presents an architectural outline that is distinctly different and sophisticated. Its long and lean profile with unbroken surfaces and purposeful lines is emphasized by a very forward-positioned D-pillar and almost hatchback-like rear door arrangement.
Kia SPORTSPACE is considerably the future of the marque’s design language
At the front, SPORTSPACE wears an evolution of Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille. Close examination reveals it is actually louvred and ‘rotate-able’ to allow greater air intake when required. A powerful satin aluminium strip runs across the front of the bonnet above the ‘ice cube’ LED headlights blend well to the curves along the underside of the headlights.
Further satin aluminium strips set into the chin-spoiler hide inset turn signals that become apparent when switched on. In profile, the Kia SPORTSPACE is just as vivacious. A strong character line runs along the body, visually connecting the front and rear. The car’s high beltline, the simple yet gracefully shaped flanks and the low-down inset carbon fiber kick-plate add to the sense of athletic muscularity.
From the rear, the car’s ‘Ignition Red’ bodywork with satin accent strip and aluminium arcs from front to rear give the car a long and narrow glasshouse. Wider rear pillars which slope forward are combined with tapering side surfaces and a dramatic concave tailgate. The wide rear tail lights and a full-width carbon-fiber diffuser further emphasize the car’s wide stance and sporty appeal. The tail lights incorporate the turn indicators, which pulse outwards when in operation. Finally, a roof-level spoiler and twin tailpipes complete the car’s general outlook. The SPORTSPACE is finished with unique 20-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels inset with carbon fiber, which emerge from a pentagonal hub at the center.
Moving to the interior, the cabin is simple with bold, definitive styling thanks to a balance of luxurious leather with materials such as carbon fiber and milled, anodized aluminium. Relevant highlights include a floating instrument panel, anodized aluminium bar that links the side air vents, central air vents, unique center console, formed metal door pulls and door panels, and the hand woven cuoio intrecciato seats with black-polished leather and carbon fiber shells. Generous rear seat legroom maximises passenger comfort and heightens the feel of spaciousness.
Anodized aluminium in ‘Endurance Graphite’ is used elsewhere: on the flat-bottomed steering wheel, paddle shifters, sport pedals, barrel-shaped auto transmission shift and tunnel-mounted switches. These elements represent a strong technical contrast with the black leather and distinctive silver brushed aluminium-look fabric covering the instrument panel and the center console.
Ahead of the driver is a highly configurable digital instrument cluster paired with a fully operational infotainment system. The large infotainment screen, which sits clearly within the driver’s view in single or split screens. Operation is via the anodized aluminium in-car infotainment controller located behind the gear shift, flanked by four shortcut buttons that enable fast and intuitive interaction. Additional functions are via a row of fast access buttons, integrated below the center screen. Where the rear view mirror would usually be located, a slim screen replaces it, fed by images from the rear view camera. Other driver information is also fed into this screen.
The rear section of central tunnel seamlessly connects to the boot space. An innovative loading system comprising 28 rolling balls is set within the matt leather trunk floor. In combination with the low tailgate, these allow the easy loading of heavy suitcases and sport equipment. When the SPORTSPACE’s ignition is switched on, each of the stainless steel balls lowers into its recess by 3 mm, ensuring cargo doesn’t slide when the journey begins. This system is especially useful for ski enthusiasts.
In the engine department, the SPORTSPACE adopts a compact and lightweight 1.7-liter diesel engine, with the conventional variable turbo charger supported by an electric booster. This 48V booster enhances engine torque at very low engine speeds, as well as under acceleration for more effortless overtaking. Estimated output, torque, consumption and emissions figures will be released after its Geneva Motor show preview.