Kia Imagine EV Concept
- Electric concept sports new Tiger Nose grille, now called Tiger Mask
- All-electric powertrain built on a new platform
- Imagine is designed to appeal to emotional, rather than rational, point-of-view.
Kia Motors Europe revealed a new all-electric concept car they’ve named “Imagine by Kia” at the Geneva Motor Show. In addition to a performance-oriented approach to EVs, the show car also previews a new direction for Kia’s signature Tiger Nose grille.
Gregory Guillaume, Kia Motors Europe’s Vice President of Design, described the background for Imagine by Kia. “When they talk about their electric cars, many carmakers promote the same rational and empirical data-driven messages as they do with their internal-combustion-engined cars, such as range, economy and performance criteria,” he said. Kia’s approach with Imagine was to address consumer question and concerns “by approaching electrification purely from an emotional point-of-view.” As a result, the concept car is more of a design study than a production prototype. In fact, beyond stating that the vehicle’s powertrain will be all-electric, no specific facts and figures about it, beyond chassis architecture, were revealed.
Imagine is Kia’s first four-door pure electric passenger car. Unlike the Kia Niro EV, which is more of a wagon or crossover, the Imagine is designed to be a C-segment car.
The powertrain is mounted low in the chassis, using a wireless induction-charged battery pack that powers a compact drivetrain. The architecture of the powertrain is designed to maximize interior cabin space, and to provide innovative storage and cargo solutions. A “frunk” or front trunk will complement a rear storage space that is accessible via a glass hatch. The rear side doors will be hinged at the rear for easier cabin access.
Tiger Mask instead of Tiger Nose
Imagine premieres a new iteration of Kia’s Tiger Nose grille, now referred to as the Tiger Mask that encircles the main LED headlamps. High and low beams are housed in a single block of acrylic glass, and separated by horizontal eyelids to create the illusion of a pair of eyes floating free of visible support. “This identifiable lighting signature could potentially be deployed as a unifying design element across Kia’s future electric vehicle range,” said Guillaume.
The sheetmetal features a rippling effect that mimics the effect of throwing a stone in a still mountain lake. Six layers of chrome-effect silver paint covered with a tanned bronze tint enhances the concept’s curves and contours.
Glass roof design
A single sheet of glass flows from the base of the A-pillar over the cabin, creating the windshield and roof in one swoop, before tapering into a double-bubble over the rear passenger compartment.
Clear acrylic glass is a recurring theme, housing the headlights, taillights, and front and rear turn signals. It also shows up as inserts in the 22-inch alloy wheels.
The cabin features four leather- and silk-covered seats with diamond-cut shells and a shockwave design. A floating center console hovers above the flat cabin floor. The steering wheel and control pedals retract when not in use, opening up the interior space.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the cabin design is a ring of 21 individual ultra-high-resolution screens that curve across the top of the dashboard. The synchronized screens are highly function, creating a unified display from the driver’s point-of-view.
Kia has not announced any plans for a production version of Imagine by Kia.