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Kia Interactive Cockpit at CES Shows Off Suite of New Technologies

Kia Interactive Cockpit at CES Shows Off Suite of New Technologies

A new HMI system, Separate Sound Control System, and the world’s first in-car 5G connection are all on the menu

The Kia Niro EV Concept made its debut at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. As ground-breaking as the concept was, the Niro EV also played host to Kia’s suite of new interactive cockpits that point directly to the company’s “Beyond Autonomous Driving vision. The cockpits feature plenty of new technologies, including a new HMI tech, Separate Sound Control System, and the world’s first in-car 5G connection.

The cockpit concepts are more than just novelty items; they’re previews to a future that Kia is pursuing. The first of these two cockpits features the Niro EV Concept’s new HMI system. This new system takes human interaction with the car’s infotainment center to a new level, including the ability to control the infotainment system and HVAC through by touch and gesture. Different gestures denote different commands; these commands range anywhere from switching music tracks, adjusting the sound system’s volume, and changing cabin ventilation settings. Even the steering wheel is in on the advancements, specifically the perforated leather area on its base that drivers can swipe to unlock different commands. The cockpit also has face and voice recognition technology, a development that came to life thanks to Kia’s collaboration with Amazon Web Services. This partnership unlocks the latter’s “Rekognition” and “Polly” software in the car.

The second of these two cockpits is no less groundbreaking than the first. If being the first at anything still counts in this industry, Kia can puff its chest knowing that its cockpit concept carries the world’s first in-vehicle 5G connection. As fast as 4G connection is, 5G connection is the future. Streaming content into the car should be faster and easier if the Korean automaker can leverage this concept application into something real and tangible. At the very least, watching content while running on 5G connection will be more of a spectacle with the cockpit’s other ground-breaking development, the Separate Sound Control System. In so many words, this tech creates two sound zones in the car, one in the two front seats and another in the rear seats, without one intruding on the other. Eight speakers are installed in the headrests, and the addition of noise-canceling technology helps mute the sound coming from the other seats, allowing a specific occupant, whether it’s the driver or the passenger, to enjoy his brand of music or podcast on his own.

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Kia Niro EV Unveiled with 238 Miles of Range at CES

Kia Niro EV Unveiled with 238 Miles of Range at CES

Includes voice and facial recognition too

Tested on public roads since 2017, the all-electric version of the Kia Niro was unveiled in concept form at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As seen in the teaser photos, the Niro EV is pretty much a slightly modified Niro with conceptual features inside and out. While some will make it into production in the future, there’s no word on how many of them will be found in the electric crossover.

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2018 Kia Niro EV Concept

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept

Concept car previews 238-mile capable production EV

Launched for the 2017 model year, the Kia Niro is a subcompact crossover positioned below the popular Sportage. Previewed by a concept vehicle introduced in 2013, the Niro is built on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq, and it’s available with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and electric motor combo, in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. A gasoline-only version isn’t on a drawing table yet, but a fully electric model is definitely underway. Already spotted testing on public roads in 2017, the Niro EV broke cover at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in concept form.

Heavily based on the production model, the electric concept is more than just a Niro with an electric motor and a battery. Kia also meddled with the exterior design and created a new lighting system for the show car. Inside the cabin, it features an updated "human-machine interface" and an array of new safety features. Surprisingly enough, Kia redesigned the Niro’s interior for the all-electric model. Alongside the Niro EV, Kia also unveiled plans to launch 16 new electrified vehicles by 2025. The range includes five hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five all-electric models, and a hydrogen-powered vehicle. The latter is planned to arrive in 2020 and could be based on the Hyundai Nexo, also unveiled at the 2018 CES.

The production version of the Niro EV is likely to debut by the end of 2018.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Niro EV concept.

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Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept

Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept

There’s more to the Nero EV Concept than meets the eye

Kia will head to the Consumer Electronics Show in full force with a new all-electric concept car. The new concept is called the Niro EV, and it’s actually a model that we’ve seen recently in the wild getting some test runs under its belt. The Niro EV is unlikely to hit production anytime soon, but it does feature a slate of new technologies that Kia hopes will be introduced on production models in the coming years.

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2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian

2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian

Designed by West Coast Customs

For the 2017 SEMA Show, Kia teamed up with iconic custom car builder West Coast Customs for two unique versions of its existing production models. One is based on the awesome Stinger GT, which will arrive in the U.S. for the 2018 model year, while the second one is based on the Cadenza, the company’s second-largest offering in North America. Called the Cadenza Obsidian, the concept car brings together features usually found on luxury cars and flashy color accents that define most aftermarket builds.

In typical West Coast Customs fashion, the Cadenza gained a custom paint job with contrasting highlights and a new set of wheels. Inside, the sedan became a tad more luxurious thanks to soft leather and hand-stitched suede. To top it off, the tuning firm added dark window tint and a lowered suspension for a gangster look. It definitely looks like something Kia should put into production in limited numbers, but I don’t think it’s going to happen very soon. But keep reading to see what makes the Cadenza Obsidian a cool sedan.

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2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

The Stinger GT goes wide and low

Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the Kia Stinger not only proved that the Korean brand had what it takes to give the German companies a run for their money but also signaled its intent to become more active in the high-performance market with the GT model. Powered by a high-revving V-6 with more than 350 horsepower and sporting an aggressive design, the Stinger GT could mean trouble for the likes of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. With the sedan just a couple of months away from arriving at U.S. dealerships, Kia paired up with iconic customization shop West Coast Customs for a unique take on the Stinger GT.

Displayed alongside other modified Kia models at the 2017 SEMA Show, this bespoke Stinger GT stands out thanks to a sporty-looking wide body kit and an array of carbon-fiber body parts. It also has a customized interior and a lowered ride height, demonstrating that the sedan has plenty of potential for aftermarket add-ons. Whether Kia is planning some sort of body upgrade in the future remains a mystery, but there’s been a lot of talk about a higher performance Stinger GT. Until we find out more, let’s have a closer look at this widebody version of the sedan.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Wide Body.

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2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation

2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation

A few tasteful mods for Kia’s performance star

South Korean automaker Kia just introduced the hot-to-trot Stinger GT five-door earlier this year at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, with sales slated to kick off in December of this year. When it was introduced, enthusiasts just about wet their pants with delight, and for good reason. Not only does it look fantastic, but it’s got the performance credentials to back the aesthetic. And that makes the speedy mid-size luxury machine a fantastic fit for the customized glitz and gloss of the annual SEMA show. As such, Kia is introducing a variety of bespoke examples, including this tasteful rendition you see before you. Upgrades include a few body mods, new paint, minor engine enhancements, and complementary suspension pieces.

SEMA attendees will have a chance to experience the Kia Stinger’s cornering prowess first hand on an autocross course, as Kia will be offering ride-alongs with professional drifters at the show. Meanwhile, those of us admiring from afar can gaze upon customized offerings like the GT Federation and anticipate a forthcoming deluge of parts and accessories, which Kia acknowledges as confirmation of its move towards further performance offerings. In fact, Kia says interested buyers will be able to pick up these performance parts via specific suppliers following the car’s launch. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Federation.

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The Kia Stinger Gets Baptized For SEMA

The Kia Stinger Gets Baptized For SEMA

West Coast Customs gets one of the first cracks at unleashing the Stinger

It was only a matter of time before the Kia Stinger would attract the attention of aftermarket tuners. As it turns out, it was even sooner than we all thought. Kia’s new GT sedan is headed to the 2017 SEMA Auto Show, and it’s bringing West Coast Customs with it for the ride.

By now, it’s become the status quo to expect the extraordinary at SEMA, and it’s no surprise that the Stinger’s baptism in the event comes by way of one of the most famous tuning shops in the world. In true West Coast Customs fashion, the kit it prepared for the Stinger is nothing short of a statement on the tuning potential of the performance sedan. The aero kits are insane. The aesthetic details are just as incredible. And, let’s not forget what West Coast Customs is capable of if given a chance to go all-out on redesigning a car’s interior. There are no photos of the Stinger’s cabin at the moment, but you can be assured that it’s going to be overhauled, West Coast Customs style. Weird lighting? Perhaps. An ear-pounding audio system? Don’t sleep on it. Maybe an HDTV or two? Wouldn’t be a shock to the system either. The full story of West Coast Customs’ aftermarket build of the Kia Stinger is going to be told in all its glory at SEMA. As far as can’t-wait moments for the show, the unveiling of this project now sits high atop my list.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 Kia Proceed Concept

2017 Kia Proceed Concept

The company’s most daring design yet?

Launched in 2006 as a replacement for the Cerato, the Kia Cee’d is now one of the company’s most popular vehicles in Europe. Redesigned in 2012 into a more modern, better-looking car, the Cee’d, along with its Procee’d, GT, and station wagon variants, is getting a little long in the tooth, and a third-generation model is likely under way for 2018. While we don’t know much about it, Kia unveiled the Proceed concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, giving us a good glimpse of what the next-gen Cee’d might bring to the table.

Described as an "extended hot hatch that presents a new body type for Kia," the Proceed concept appears to be the bastard child of a Kia Stinger and a low, sleek shooting brake. And it’s one of Kia’s most intriguing design to date. Not surprisingly, it was penned at the company’s European design center in Frankfurt, only 500 meters (0.3 miles) from where it will be unveiled. Kia also says that the Proceed concept indicates what the next-generation Cee’d "could look like," so we might be looking at a fancier version of the upcoming hatchback.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Proceed Concept.

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This Fancy Interior Is a Sign that Kia Is Taking the Luxury Path

This Fancy Interior Is a Sign that Kia Is Taking the Luxury Path

Are we getting a luxury model soon?

When it comes to luxury cars, Kia isn’t the automaker you’d usually go to. But the brand that was once associated with cheap, poorly built cars has evolved to the point where it can compete head-on with class leaders. Granted, it’s not yet there in the full-size luxury market, where the K900 has yet to gain popularity, but it’s making tremendous progress. And proof of that are not only in the latest production cars, but also the Proceed concept that was just unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Essentially a slightly more futuristic, shooting brake variant of the Kia Stinger, the Proceed isn’t overly spectacular on the outside. However, the interior is an attention grabber due to its out-of-the-box design and fancy features. More importantly, it shows what the brand is capable of and looking at it make me very confident that Kia will climb higher and higher on the premium ladder. Sure, the Proceed will remain a concept for now, but if previous show cars are any indication, we could see many of these features production models really soon. Keep reading to find out why I think this is one of the most exciting interior designs launched in 2017.

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Kia's Upcoming Shooting Brake Concept has us Saying "Please Take our Money!"

Kia’s Upcoming Shooting Brake Concept has us Saying "Please Take our Money!"

The concept could previews the next-generation Cee’d

The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is just around the corner and, as usual, we’re in for a ton of debuts including both production and concept cars. Kia, which runs a design center just 500 meters from the Frankfurt Motor Show, is among carmakers that will bring new products to the event. The company’s main highlight is a concept car that presents "a new body type for Kia." It doesn’t have a name yet, but the Korean manufacturer points out that it indicates what the next-generation Cee’d "could look like."

It’s bold, athletic, and indeed brings a new body style to the current Kia lineup. While the company describes it as an "extended hot hatch," it’s actually some kind of modern shooting brake. Or a really sleek wagon with an almost fastback rear end. But it’s gorgeous, and the really wide wheel arches, the sculpted side skirts, and the rear diffuser suggest we’re looking at a performance model. Kia didn’t share any actual details about the car, but I might have an idea about what it may be. Keep reading to find out.

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2016 Kia Soul First Class

2016 Kia Soul First Class

The vehicle to make you rethink the use of autonomous technology

Like it or not, self-driving cars are coming, and they are coming fast. If you have fear of giving up the steering wheel, I feel you, as I don’t fancy the idea of giving up control either. Some automakers are pushing to allow a choice in the matter, while other manufacturers like Kia believe that cars of the future will be completely void of a steering wheel. But, what if there was a fair trade off that could make you forget that you hate the idea so much? Take the Kia Soul First Class concept that Kia built specifically for the 2016 SEMA show. This concept takes autonomous technology and mixes it with first class luxury in ways you’ve never seen before. And, outside of actually offering level-five autonomy, the concept is full of technology that could be used in new cars today. Highlights include rear facing front seats, a massive rear view screen, in-floor leg rests, and a cabin that is so inviting that you’ll start to rethink your stance on trusting AI to safely drive you from one destination to the other.

The funky little SUV that is so unique in an overcrowded segment has only been around since 2008 when it debuted at the Paris Motor Show. It evolved into a second generation model for the 2014 model year which brought a more balanced, modern look through the means of strategic nips and tucks here and there. Things like the grille, air dam, and fog lights were all revised while its width increased by 0.6 inches and the wheelbase was extended by 0.8 inches. The interior also went through a strategic redesign that brought new, soft-touch materials and a more premium feel over the outgoing model. The second-gen model that the First Class Soul is based on is set to be facelifted for the 2018 model year, but until then, sink your eyes into what the future of Kia looks like in our full review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Soul First Class.

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