After Hyundai recently revealed the radically front-ended Azera, it seems that its design language, and more, has been carried over to its sister company Kia. Just yesterday, Kia unveiled not a sedan, but an SUV coupe concept whereupon their EV dreams for the future rest: they call it the Futuron.
Compared to the usual concepts that we see, the Futuron features what Kia calls a “delicate diffusion of the body’s surfaces creates a series of taut, flowing shapes which twist, expand and contract around the body”. Its exterior design is smooth with barely anything adorning the panels, which results in a sleek, streamlined shape, and a more aerodynamic profile.
The new concept also shows a heavily adapted iteration of Kia’s “tiger nose” grill. While still maintaining its fundamental design, Kia has decided to widen it across the car’s entire front end. The grill also incorporates the Futuron’s headlamps and an innovative ‘Star Cloud’ design that gives the car a dazzling new night-time identity. The Star Cloud is also incorporated into the rear of the car, displaying a distinct light signature to anyone following the Futuron.
Inside, you will find that the doors feature the same Star Cloud lighting and scaled Dragon Skin motif found on the outside of the car, with uninterrupted surfaces flowing from the dashboard all the way to the door panels. As part of the novelty, the ventilation system is found behind the Dragon Skin “scales”; they open and close to allow air to circulate throughout the cabin. Minimalism seems to be a key with the interior design.
The most unique feature of the Futuron, though, is the cockpit surrounding the driver’s seat. A plethora of screens form a vast information cluster running from the doors all across the dashboard and even onto the steering wheel itself. The GUI is operated by artificial intelligence technologies, displaying useful information about the car various autonomous driving, powertrain and navigation features to create a unique user experience. The apex of the cockpit arc sees the GUI lunge forward towards the road, creating an interactive Star Cloud light display at the very front of the cabin.
The Futuron is powered by a fully-electric, all-wheel drive powertrain. This power plant is what makes Kia able to shape it the way they did. A high-capacity battery is mounted low in the vehicle’s body, beneath the cabin floor, providing electrical energy to four powerful in-wheel electric motors. Its low center of gravity design is matched with a cutting edge e-AWD system that quickly responds to driver inputs. Adding safety to performance, the Futuron has a network of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors capable of providing Level 4 autonomous driving features, enabling hands-off and eyes-off driving in most conditions.
Some if not most concepts, should they make it into production, vary greatly after they roll out of the factory. Kia has something good going for them as far as the Futuron’s design goes, though. With regard to its power plant and safety, that only adds to our curiosity, and to your anxiety to see what and how Kia brings to reality. Meanwhile, we’ll be looking at more photos of what could be Kia’s next big-hit EV concept.