The Detroit auto show kicks off on January 11th, and that means the unveiling of new concepts. But before that happens – and what I consider to be one of the best parts about major auto shows – manufacturers are releasing teasers of what is coming. One such teaser comes from Korean manufacturer Kia, and could be the representation of a new premium, large SUV.

The soon-to-be-revealed concept was designed at Kia America’s California design studio and is said to offer an abundance of new and advanced technology. The press release mentions a “state-of-the-art-and-wellness technology,” but I’m willing to bet we’ll get to see some early on developments of Kia’s recently announced DESIGN WISE technology. I expect to see things like gesture control and various autonomous technologies, but Kia has remained silent as far as whether or not these technologies will be integrated into this concept.

Until then, all we have for sure is the teaser image you see here, but that teaser image shows a bit more of the design language used on the concept than a lot of the teasers we’ve seen in the past. To be honest, outside of that crazy, metallic paint job and those rather unique wheels, the car looks almost production ready – assuming the concept will debut with a full functioning interior. There are a couple of things I’ve noticed that really stick out.

Continue reading to learn more about Kia’s future concept car.

Why it matters

Stating what seems like the obvious, I’m sure metallic paint of this nature would never make it into production, but did you notice those door handles and how they are joined together at the break between the front and rear doors? This could mean the SUV has rear-hinged doors, which would be pretty cool for an SUV from Kia. The problem I see with that is that the rear wheel arch, rather around 45 percent of it is integrated into the door. That leads me to believe the doors may be hinged at the top, and open up like Tesla’s Model X. The other thing I noticed is those really tall taillights, and how the rear fascia must pass under them, as there is no break shown where the fascia comes together with the rear quarters. Given the areas blacked out in the photos, I think the concept is going to have a rather dominate body kit on the front, sides and rear.

All that is just speculation on my part, and I can’t wait to see if I’m right or not. Either way, this could be a big deal for Kia, who is working tirelessly to make its mark and develop new technology for autonomous vehicles. Kia has been stepping into the luxury and premium segment slowly with cars like the Kia K900 and Kia Cadenza, but as far as SUV’s or crossovers go, the biggest it’s got is the $25,000 Kia Sorrento. I wouldn’t exactly place the Sorrento in the “premium” segment, so this concept could symbolize Kia’s take on battling against the likes of the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes GL-Class, or Audi Q7.

Press Release

Kia Motors America will reveal a new concept car January 11 at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. Conceived at the automaker’s California design studio, the concept offers an abundance of advanced technology – including state-of-the-art health-and-wellness technology – and takes Kia’s design language in a bold new direction, suggesting styling of a possible future premium large SUV in the brand’s lineup.

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