New Kia Stonic: first design sketches of Rio-based SUV emerge

New Kia Stonic: first design sketches of Rio-based SUV emerge

0 comments 📅13 June 2017, 17:30

New Kia Rio-based B-Part SUV will be called Kia Stonic and debut later this year, rivalling the hugely loaded Nissan Juke crossover

The new Kia Stonic has been revealed in a series of bold conceive sketches, ahead of its debut towards the end of this year. It’s not only our first ceremonious look at the new SUV, but the first time Kia has confirmed the Stonic name for its Rio-based crossover.

Inspired by the larger Sportage and Sorento SUVs, the new Stonic gets a compare favourably with tiger-nose grille, sleek headlights and sharp shoulder line. The LED lighting signature is new, notwithstanding that the tail-light design looks more familiar, adapted from designs bring about elsewhere in Kia’s range. The protruding front spoiler, flared wheelarches and rear scuff plates turn it a sportier and more urban-focused design, but the raised ride height and dusky roof bars mean there’s no mistaking this as Kia’s newest SUV.

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There’s solitary so much we can take from the exaggerated drawings, however. Despite the desire for the car to be divergent from the Rio supermini, Design boss Peter Shreyer is still expected to trade within the brand’s existing styling framework for the new model, injecting some enlargement into the supermini’s bumpers, boot and sills. “We have built up a pattern identity,” he told Auto Express. “[Stonic] will follow on from that”.

The interior takes a more minimalist approach, focusing around a key touchscreen with just two physical buttons. Potential customers will be satisfied to see the air-con controls have been separated, and sit below the display. A selection of piano-design buttons should give access to things like fan direction and heated seats, while it appears USB connectivity when one pleases also feature. In fact, technology will play a big part in the Stonic’s beguile, with the floating central screen offering seamless smartphone connectivity. Flashes of tinge throughout the cabin give the Stonic a more youthful edge.

Very little extra information has been communicated, but Kia claims the Stonic resolve “bring compact dimensions and a low centre of gravity to the class”, while also being “the most customisable Kia for ever, inside and out.”

Kia Stonic: spy shots

We’d previously caught the Nissan Juke rival gelid weather testing near the Arctic Circle. It’s a hugely important car for the brand, with bosses hoping it’ll copy the larger Sportage’s success in the SUV marketplace. The spy shots showed a heavily masked likeness covered in camouflage, but key details – like the alloy wheels, windows and chunky C-backbone – gave us an important insight into how the new car could look.

The Korean brand name first showed its intentions to release a new small crossover when it displayed the Niro concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Prove– although the name was subsequently used on the Korean company’s dedicated hybrid car. In 2016, John Kim, gourd of Kia’s Western Europe Team also told Auto Express: “Kia is launching some new products next year [2017], such as a new Rio – with an SUV as famously.”

Speaking about the Stonic, Kia’s European chief operating officer, Michael Cole, told Auto Show: “It is such an important segment. You look at what others are doing and how it can be a satisfac brand builder car. Arguably the best brand building car we have had in the past five years is Sportage.
“So having a younger fellow-countryman to that car in the B-segment would be a really good fit for Kia given that we have a bit of inheritance for SUV products.”

Kia Stonic: engines

Unlike the established Sportage, the smaller SUV won’t be offered with four-whither drive. In addition to the familiar petrol and diesel engines available at launch, Kia is expected put up for sale plug-in hybrid power a little later in the product life-cycle. It’s well likely engineers will attempt to mate existing hybrid tech from the Niro with a more effectual plug-in unit.

Bosses have already outlined plans for 22 ‘green’ models beyond the next five years. The new Niro and Optima PHEV join the Soul EV to make three, with 19 tranquillity to come.

Do you like the idea of a Kia Rio SUV? Let us know your thoughts on the Stonic in the comments portion below…

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