Kia ushers in the future with the Ski Gondola, a self-driving, terrain-decimating Kia Sorento custom built for SEMA

SEMA is that one auto show where manufacturers put serious time and effort into building the coolest custom cars you can imagine. We’ve already learned about a lot of custom cars, but Kia has been pretty secretive about what they’re bringing to the show – at least until now, that is. Meet the Ski Gondola, a heavily customized Kia Sorento. Focusing on a theme of autonomy, Kia pulled out all the stops, fitting this custom Sorento with equipment like you’ve never seen. Dubbed the Ski Gondola, it’s most notable feature are those wild tank tracks that give it the ability to navigate just about any terrain with ease. Pair that with those ridiculously bright LEDs, the custom roof rack, and those side-view cameras, and this Sorento is ready to play anytime, day or night, with eagerness and enthusiasm. But, that’s not all that makes this one-of-a-kind Sorento special.

The moment you try to open the doors, you realize there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. The doors open in suicide fashion, and entry is super easy thanks to the removal of that B-pillar. Beyond that, this concept is all about function and comfort. Since Kia’s theme this year was autonomy, the Ski Gondola mixes all-terrain prowess with the luxury of autonomous technology. As such, the front seats have been turned around for easy interaction with rear passengers and the entire vehicle can be controlled by that custom center console and tablet. The seats themselves have been upholstered in black and orange leather, all of which is held together by orange stitching for the perfect amount of contrast. Finally, since this amazing concept is built to spend time on the slopes, the entire floor has been equipped with weatherized rubber coating.

As you can see from the video, Kia wasn’t playing around this year and is showcasing what the future of autonomous vehicles could look like. This specific model is focused on off-road or all-terrain duty, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s a Sorento that can literally go anywhere, and it will take you there all by itself – now that’s style and class rolled into one impressive package. Stay tuned for a full picture gallery and in-depth review of one of the coolest concepts at SEMA 2016.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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