Kia Motors has revealed a trio of new concepts – Masterpiece, Signature and Imagine by Kia – at the 2019 Seoul Motor Show, previewing the brand’s future design direction. From India’s perspective, the Signature concept is an evolution of the Kia SP Concept, which is essentially meant to be a new small SUV for global markets, showcased at the Auto Expo 2018 in Delhi. The Signature concept previews the near-production-spec Kia SP2i SUV, which is set to be launched in India later in 2019.
The Signature concept previews a near-production-ready Kia SP SUV. It still features small, fancy-looking ORVMs and 19-inch alloy wheels (the production model will get 18-inch alloys) but the Kia SP Signature also sports a number of changes over the SP Concept we saw at the 2018 Auto Expo.
While it retains the bold ‘Tiger Nose’ grille and sharp-looking LED lights, the Kia SP Signature gets a contrast roof, studded mesh finish for the air dam, slim LED fog lamps, pull-type door handles (as opposed to the flush-fitting examples seen on the original concept), a different treatment for the D-pillar, prominent roof rails, a chunkier chrome bar connecting the mildly reshaped tail-lights and a tweaked design for the faux exhaust garnish and rear diffuser. The SP Signature is effectively the production-spec Kia SP SUV, which is expected to make its global debut at the New York Auto Show in April 2019.
The Kia SP’s interior is expected to be well appointed and will get a handful of segment-first features as well. Equipment on offer is likely to include a large touchscreen infotainment system, a 360-degree camera, wireless charging and in-car WiFi. A head-up display, an ambient lighting package and a fully digital instrument cluster (as seen on the concept) will also likely be on offer on the top-spec variant.
Engine options for the Kia SP (Trailster) SUV are expected to include a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. Both engine options are likely to be BS-VI-ready, but will be BS-IV-compliant at launch. Both engines will be available with a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes, and Kia is even said to be working on a sportier variant of the SP SUV, with a 140hp, 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.
When it is launched in India in the second half of 2019, the Kia SP’s price is expected to be in the range of Rs 10-16 lakh (ex-showroom). At that price point, the SP will rival the Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks, Renault Captur, Tata Harrier, and even the lower variants of the Jeep Compass and the upcoming MG Hector.
Kia Masterpiece: The Kia Masterpiece concept, a rugged and robust large SUV, is targeted at the large off-road SUV segment. Like other recent Kia models, the exterior is characterised by sculpted bodywork and bold lines. Combined with a purposeful SUV stance and raised body, and a powerful all-wheel drive system, its looks are matched by true ‘go-anywhere’ capability.
The front features a new incarnation of Kia’s iconic grille, the ‘tiger nose’ yet extended outwards across the whole front section of the concept, with no clear boundaries between grille and LED headlamps. The frontal design is echoed at the rear of the car, with signature lines at both ends of the vehicle giving the car a consistent design all round.