Kia showed off its Sportspace shooting brake concept at Geneva, which it intends to put into production next year. Essentially, it is the new Optima wagon and it foreshadows a general move by the brand towards a more performance-led direction. Kia wants to be “a sporty innovative company with great design”, according to Kia’s European chief, Michael Cole. The concept is as much of a styling statement as it is a load hauler. Up front is an evolution of the existing Optima design, with a narrow tigernose grille, and dual LED headlights.
Expect the composite brakes, flush door handles and tiny mirrors of the concept to go west on the production vehicle. However, the elongated roof, LED lights, finned bonnet and fender vents will likely remain. The wagon is aimed at active people with space for four and their gear.
The concept Sportspace runs a 1.7-litre turbodiesel boosted by an electric motor and offers part-time all wheel drive. There’s also a sequential shift-by-wire automatic transmission, activated by steering wheel paddles. A new turbocharged engine is likely to power another version.
Also on the Kia stand at Geneva was the Kia Ceed GT Line, featuring the company’s new three-cylinder direct injection turbocharged 1.0-litre engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine pumps out 88kW and 172Nm, with lower CO2 figures than the 1.6-litre GDI engine and this along with the twin-clutch tranny will be seen in various future Kias. It can handle torque outputs of up to 300Nm. The Ceed GT line introduces a sporty trim line, for models between the Ceed GT and regular versions, but with the more fuel efficient engine. So a fast looker but a frugal runner. Styling details include ice-cube shaped LED daytime running lights, sportier bumpers, side skirts, twin exhausts, a rear diffuser and 17-inch alloy rims.