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Kia CUB Concept Defies Definition

Kia CUB Concept Defies Definition

By Jeff Youngs, April 11, 2013
At the 2013 Seoul Motor Show, Kia introduced a new concept vehicle called the CUB. A compact vehicle that Kia calls a 4-door coupe because it does not have a traditional B-pillar, the CUB Concept is a hatchback with reverse-hinged rear access doors.

"The new Kia CUB is a compact, four-door coupe created with a clear focus on driving performance and practicality," comments Thomas Oh, senior executive vice president and COO, Kia Motors Corporation. "Styled to appeal to trendsetting urban dwellers, the CUB features a comfortable four-seater cabin which generates an emotional, feel-good response and delivers everyday, real-world benefits."

Kia characterizes the CUB as having a "cheerful face" and a "daring character." The concept is equipped with LED headlights, LED taillights, touch-activated doors, and bi-color 19-inch wheels, and rear styling details are intended to replicate the CUB Concept's frontal appearance. The CUB has yellow paint, gray accents, violet highlights, and a white racing stripe.

For the CUB Concept's 4-seat interior, Kia wanted to create an "access all areas" design providing the "sensation of a luxurious coupe." The CUB's cabin is trimmed in black leather with yellow exposed stitching and accents. The front seats face a minimalist instrument panel design equipped with a dash-top-mounted infotainment display screen. According to Kia, the gauge cluster design "is inspired by the eyes of a wild animal."

The CUB Concept's steering wheel is designed to measure the driver's biorhythms "for extra safety," says the automaker. A Driving Information System (DIS) is also included, which incorporates a gesture-recognition camera to provide "easier operation while driving," Kia says.

Kia installed a 201-horsepower, turbocharged, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine in the CUB Concept, a production power plant that could, theoretically, accelerate the CUB to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds. At this time, however, Kia says it has no plans to produce the CUB Concept.

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