Kia Provo Concept
Revealed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the Kia Provo Concept is a muscular coupe-style hatchback that hints at a potential future B-segment vehicle.
The Provo Concept is equipped with a 1.6 T-GDi engine that delivers 204 HP, coupled with a seven-speed DCT transmission and a regenerative-powered electric motor driving the rear wheels either automatically when required during cornering and in strong acceleration – giving a power boost of up to 45 HP.
Pointing to Kia Motors’ future B-segment expansion plans, the Provo has a design purely focused on fun, with a distinctive front end featuring programmable LEDs and a body defined by muscular volumes and a surface tratment made of rather clean, essential shapes.
The graphic identity is defined by the wraparound DLO with hidden A-pillars and the color-contrasting roof, interrupted by a stripe connecting the C-pillars, which result into a single surface framing the rear window.
The side panels feature a chrome insert that contributes to break the surface and color continuity and serves as a distinctive styling element.
The interior treatment mixes high-tech and premium materials with a retro-inspired, sporty look featuring quilted seats.
From the official Press Release:
The main design cues are the steep leading edge featuring an aero-style splitter, carbon-fibre panels and tiny LED cluster front lights, over the long hood and sculpted flanks, visor-look windscreen to the sharply cut-off rear treatment (also featuring an aerodynamic splitter with an adjustable vent system to direct airflow).
The dimensions are compact, with a length of 3.88-metres long, a width of 1.77-metres wide and a height of 1.35 meters.
Described by Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Kia’s European styling base in Frankfurt, as “an emotional and muscular car aimed at delivering pure fun and performance for today’s city-based enthusiast driver who longs for the curves of the open road,” the Kia provo isn’t just a styling exercise.
“This is entirely a car for European tastes and conditions. Designed purely at our Frankfurt studios the provo was conceived as a confident and single-minded statement of dynamism and energy to deliver a new sense of fun into the B-segment. The potent shaping displays a balanced and refined outline within a compact overall shape and the tiny front and rear overhangs enhance the balance within its proportions.”
Hidden behind a single piece of glass is the latest take on the Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille treatment linking straight into the Schreyer-inspired headlamp units that are made up of more than 850 tiny LEDs.
The programmable LEDs can be used to provide daytime running lights, full beam or even race-style configurations – as well as more humorous and decorative displays to add to provo’s sense of fun!
This thin, sharp glass panel is echoed at the rear of provo’s body and separates a purposeful splitter-style lower valance from the long, flat bonnet panel sculpted with twin creases to hint at, but not slavishly copy, the muscle cars of old.
A wrap-around front screen hides the A-pillars and frameless doors, giving a visor-style appearance to the cabin glass with the clamshell-like roof floating above. This is divided at the rear by different color sections rising up from the C-pillars in an almost roll-over bar appearance.
Color is used on the provo to enhance the almost-masculine stance with sharp points echoed throughout the design.
High-intensity blood-orange accents contrast with the grey-green ‘Storm Metal’ body color to draw the eye to particular aspects of the structure and equipment, while carbon fibre surfaces interplay with traditional materials and high-gloss or anodized aluminum to strengthen the connection to the track cars that inspired provo.
Planting provo firmly in touch with the road are distinctive 225/40-shod, 19-inch milled-alloy wheels with a traditional ‘cast’ look fixed by single centre nuts finished in anodized blood-orange.
Guillaume commented: “The interior is very, very black – as we believe it should be to allow drivers to focus on the experience. But we have also looked to make the functional aspects of the car fit the modern demands of today’s motorists.”
Opening the two side doors – via flush-fitting push-up electronic handles that operate with a satisfying electric click – reveals that the polished aluminum panels featured in the external sculpted flanks extend to create a relatively high-level two-step sill into the car – cut-away at the leading edge to allow easier ingress and exit.
The next surprise is the door construction itself – the doors are made from three individual panels – the outer panel, a carbon-fibre inner panel and a neoprene-covered inner section that also features the Storm Metal body color. The inner door releases are reassuringly solid polished aluminum.
The dashboard is made from a single expanse of carbon fibre, but does not extend down to the floor – deliberately – in order to keep the footwells clear and uncluttered except for polished aluminum footrests and pedals.
Echoing the sculpted flanks of the provo, the dashboard has a business-like main binnacle containing large analogue dials on a digital display and a smaller central display of other minor gauges, but because the display is digital it can be programmed to offer a selection of functions. Set on the centre tunnel are two control hubs – the engine stop-start button and drive selector for the seven-speed DCT transmission and a Multi-Media Interface control.
This latter control allows the driver to select a variety of screen displays – as well as controlling infotainment functions. In ‘normal’ mode the driver sees a speedometer, rev counter and sat-nav route instructions. In ‘cruise’ the display is centered on a large scale map, route instructions and a speedometer, while in ‘track’ mode the display features just a large rev counter, a track-map and a lap-timer. There is also a full ‘entertainment’ mode allowing visuals of music, radio and other information.
The centre-mounted display provides appropriate gauges to the mode with a series of aluminum toggle switches set underneath – including an anodized blood-orange toggle for the hazard warning lights.
Modern materials allow the front seat construction to be made from a single wave-like panel running from one door sill to the other – covered in quilted leather. The seat backrests are cleverly mounted on a rotating aluminum track so that instead of folding forward, they spin into the centre of the vehicle allowing easy access to the admittedly occasional-use rear seats.
Guillaume commented: “The whole interior concept was designed around not having a big centre console, but instead using latest technology to provide excellent functionality in a clean, clear and attractive manner.
“By using a DCT gearbox we were able to get rid of the floor-mounted gear-shift and use paddles behind the steering wheel, which has blood-orange stitching and a race style straight-ahead indicator, allowing us to use the floor space for other controls resulting in a much tidier environment. And because the seats are fixed we have full electric adjustment for the pedal box and steering column – further simplifying the interior and giving a perfect-fit for any driver.”
Completing the moody cockpit feel are tiny red LEDs set in the multi-layered doors, in the air vents and also in roof to give a low-glow ambient illumination.
The roof panel also incorporates aluminum window toggle controls.